The continued theme of neat alternatives to the traditional 5k for XC continued at Brownsburg this weekend as they ran a 4k course to help kickoff the season. On the girls side, Jessica Hegedus of Avon pulled out the individual title over Elizabeth Barrett of Fishers, 15:05 to 15:17. Lindsay Huston of Brownsburg was third overall in 15:49. Avon looked very strong against two other traditionally tough teams. They pulled out a 31-44-52 victory over Fishers (2nd) and Brownsburg (3rd).
On the boys side, a split squad of Columbus North runners went 1-2 with Reese Kilbarger-Stumpf picking up where he left off last track season and teammate Matthew Newell, who looked strong after some setbacks last spring, taking the top honors. Their times of 12:23 and 12:35 are great starting points for the season. Some of the Columbus North runners were also at the Zionsville Invite as well on Saturday. Avon teammates Griffin O'Neill and Sam Clore also looked strong taking 3rd and 4th in 12:39 and 12:41, respectively. The team scores, only done by hand off the individual results page, had Fishers with 39, Columbus North with 41, Avon scoring 96, and Brownsburg coming in with 100. Those are very unofficial. Of note, Fishers went 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 in the meet to display huge depth.
The Huntington Invitational saw some very close competitions on the boys side for both the individual and team titles. The team race was tight between three teams likely to make deep runs in the state tournament. Fort Wayne Concordia edged Noblesville and Northridge 67-79-89 respectively. Concordia's real advantage came from a 1-4-5 top three finish. Concordia was led by Karsten Schlegel who pulled out a win by 6 tenths of a second over Jack Moore from Northridge. They were respectively timed in 15:56.4 and 15:57.0. Concordia's Gabriel Connelly and Daniel Adair helped to seal the win with their 4th and 5th place finishes. These certainly look to be tough teams heading into September.
The girls race saw perennial powerhouse Carroll (FW) use a tight team pack of 27 seconds from their 1-4 runners to pull away from Northridge and Homestead. The team scores were 76-98-99 for Carroll, Northridge, and Homestead. This was Carroll's first race after the departure of Coach Phil Yoder and they look to have kept their edge very well under Coach Luke Miller. Individually, the race was a bit of a surprise with Homestead's Addison Knoblauch (18:56) besting Addy Wiley (19:05) of Huntington North and Addison Lindsey (19:06) of East Noble. Knoblaugh is a sub-18:00 XC runner and has possibly made a nice jump over the summer to an even higher level.
Fountain Central Grand Prix
The boys race saw Perry Meridian easily run away from the field by scoring only 24 points in the race. Perry went 1-3-5-6-9 and had their 6th and 7th runners also finish 11th and 15th to boot. Crawfordsville ran second in the team standings with 61 points. Luke Haggerty led Perry Meridian winning the overall title in 16:54 over Preston Padgett from Rossville and teammate Erick Gallardo. Padgett was timed in 17:05 with Gallardo close behind in 17:09.
The girls team race was much closer with geographic rivals battling to a 3-point margin. Crawfordsville beat Seeger 43-46 despite Seeger's Hadessah Austin winning the individual title in 19:42. Crawfordsville used a tight team gap to win. They put their five scorers in the top 13 places overall to gain their margin over Seeger. Faith Allen of Southmont and Sophia Melevage of Crawfordsville followed Austin in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Allen was timed in 20:21 and Melevage in 20:27 to lead their respective teams.
The Plainfield Relays continue some of the unique races this week as they run a 3 x mile relay with a partner as your recovery. The score is based on using the top three pairs of teammates instead of five. On the boys side, the team of Kai Connor and Josh Barnett from Westfield took the top individual honors over Jack Wajda and Liam Eifert of Cathedral and the combo of Emerson Nehring and Hayden Schmidt of Plainfield. The team of Connor and Barnett led the Westfield team to a nice victory over Mt. Vernon (Fortville) by a score of 18-29. Plainfield and Pike battled to a tie for 3rd with Plainfield winning on the 4th team.
The girls race saw Westfield go 1-2-6 for a commanding win over Franklin Community 9-29. Mt. Vernon (Fortville) and Cathedral were 3rd and 4th overall in the team standings. The team of Hannah Pensyl and Liz Smith led a 1-2 overall finish as teammates Robyn Schemel and Sydney Klinglesmith were runner-up in the field. Lauren Klem and Kathleen Lacy from Franklin Community were the third pair in team scoring.
Ranger Invite (Forest Park):
The Ranger Invite hosted by Forest Park was actually Thursday evening but featured some great team and individual competitions from Southern Indiana. On the boys side, Jasper used four in the top 10 to outdistance Castle by 20 points- 38-58. Abe Eckman led Jasper with a runner-up finish after last weekend's Valley Cross Kickoff. Jaryn Weinel was 4th for Jasper overall. Forest Park's Spenser Wolf was the overall winner with a 21-second win over Eckman. These are two of Southern Indiana's best runners and it appears this might just be the first of several duels between them at the front of races.
The girls team race was not as tight as Jasper, who should be very competitive in the Brown County Semi-State, easily beat host Forest Park 19-45. Andi VanMeter led Jasper's 1-2-3 sweep of the medals with a time of 19:56. Teammates Ally Wigand and Linzi VanMeter completed the knockout punch. Jasper put all 7 of their varsity runners in the top 15 places overall on the night.