The Carroll Girls couldn't be happier with finally winning a state title
We got a nearly a perfect weekend for the state meet finally. The course was a little damp in some areas due to a consistent rain that came down most of the day Friday.
This year the ladies got to race first. Coming into the race, defending champ Emma Wilson looked to be the girl to do it again. The pack didn't let her get to far away at the beginning, with a small pack of 4 within striking distance just after the mile. Just around the 3K she started to break a little more away, but someone else decided to try and keep with her a little. Erin Strzelecki looked strong and began to push away from the pack and gain some ground on Wilson. As they came onto the grueling final 400 meter straightaway, it was clear who the champion would be, Emma Wilson was ready to take home another 1st place win. Strzelecki kept pushing to finish just 7 seconds behind Wilson to improve by 10 spots from last year and snag a new PR in the process. Annalyssa Crain, just a sophomore took home 3rd, and Kayla Mcculloch managed to take home 4th.
Emma Wilson also became just the 2nd girl to ever repeat as champion on Lavern Gibson and just the 5th girl in state history to do so.
The team race before the start seemed a little up in the air with Zionsville and FW Carroll appearing to be the two favorites. The Carroll ladies found their place in packing up a little in some areas, to work together more. This proved to be the best method, as they were about to place 3 in the top 10, going 5,6,9 with Hathaway, Fruchey and Green.
The Chargers pretty easily won, scoring just 85pts to Zionsville's 149. West Lafayette, a team we did not expect to finish as high up on the podium as they did, managed to go home with 3rd, Carmel and HSE tied for 4th, but Carmel's #6 came in 63rd to break the tie.
Just like in the girls race, the individual title had a nearly guaranteed winner in Cole Hocker. The question then came, who would try to go with him or at least stick with him the longest? Right from the start it looked like Caleb Futter was going to go for it, coming through the 1K just 2 seconds behind. Not long after Futter dropped back to the chase pack that included Butche, Gallagher, Hamlin, Haskett, Sanchez and Gibson. Not long after that Brennan Butche decided to give it a go and hung just about 5 meters back from Hocker and at some moments right in his back pocket. Butche hung out there until roughly the final 500 meters of the race. Hocker just kicked it from there to get as big of a win as he could, coming across in 15:25.10. From there Lowell's Gabe Sanchez was able to pull out a monster of a kick to narrowly over take Butche for 2nd in 15:41.10. Butche took 3rd, Futter 4th and Gallagher 5th.
Cole Hocker becomes just the 4th boy in state history to take runner-up and then come back the next season to win it all.
The team scores were nearly impossible to count as the runners crossed so it took until the awards were announced to truly know who had taken it. The top 5 were all the expected 5, maybe not in the exact order though. Bloomington South claimed 5th with 230pts, Concordia Lutheran 4th with 228. Then the scores really separated between 3rd and 4th, with Fishers scoring 150pts for 3rd. The 2018 runner-up was Cathedral with 146pts, their best finish ever at the state meet. Carmel managed to once again win the team title with 136pts, with 3 in the top 30.
The 2018 state meet was definitely one for the books and will be tough to top. We've still got one more xc race out at Lavern, Nike Regionals and we hope to see lots of you out there.