The Columbus North Boys and Girls teams did not disappoint their #1 ranking Saturday at the Brown County Semi-State. The Boys and Girls teams both won their respective teams races and Reese Kilbarger-Stumpf and Julia Kiesler took home the individual titles as well with outstanding performances.
The Columbus North boys took care of business against a tough field Saturday morning. Reese Kilbarger-Stumpf took control of the early pace to pull the North boys out against the field with teammate Matt Newell close behind in 4th. The pair kept the pressure on throughout the race to keep the pace honest and, although several teams ran well, the North boys responded with a huge performance. The 45 points scored reflected team places of 1st, 4th, 11th, 12th, and 17th. They were able to outdistance a tough Bloomington North squad who put a distance between themselves and the 3rd and 4th places teams by keeping a great 50-second compression between their 1-5 runners. Their 129 points kept Floyd Central (151) and Northview (157) at bay. The always tough Bloomington South group finished a solid 5th with 196 and Austin gained a well-deserved State Finals birth by 7 points over Castle- 213-220.
Kilbarger-Stumpf took control very early and seemed to push the pace at will against the field, making a final push on the second lap in the woods to put the final distance between himself and Spenser Wolf of Forest Park and Abe Eckman of Jasper. Kilbarger-Stumpf, Wolf, and Eckman were timed in 15:10, 15:18, and 15:21, respectively. North's Newell led the next group of runners closely behind with his 15:30 to finish 4th, just edging out Alex Hooten of Evansville Central in 15:31 who finished 5th. Nolan Bailey of Bloomington North (15:37 - 6th), Will Conway from Floyd Central (15:39 - 7th), Nerius White of Northview (15:40 - 8th), Matt Gambill of Terre Haute South (15:44 - 9th), and Maddox Baker of South Central (Elizabeth) (15:44 - 10th) rounded out the Top 10. In total, 21 runners broke the 16:00-flat mark in the race under perfect conditions.
The Girls team race included several ranked teams with Top-Ranked Columbus North, #3 Floyd Central, #7 Northview, #12 Bloomington North, and #20 Jasper to set up a loaded girls field. Columbus North teammates Julia Kiesler and Brianna Newell took the early lead and set North up with a great 1-2 combo. Their strength up front complemented with their depth of their 3-6 runners finishing in 4 seconds, gave them a safe cushion as they beat a strong Floyd Central team 65-96. To prove the rankings justified, North was a close 3rd with 110 points to qualify for the State Finals. Jasper and Bloomington North ran closely throughout the race to finish 4th and 5th with a 164-175 advantage for Jasper. Princeton took home the final qualifying spot behind the great running of sisters Heidi Meade and Haley Meade who took 9th and 10th overall.
The race for the individual title took off fast with North's Julia Kiesler taking command of the early pace to set a blistering first kilometer. Her teammate, Brianna Newell, followed closely behind and set a tempo of honest racing for the day. The pair passed the mile mark in around 5:30 and kept the pace going. Newell was eventually caught by Ellie Hall, Forest Park, and Jaydon Cirincione, Floyd Central, while Kiesler ran free and clear for the individual title in an outstanding time of 17:41. Newell was able to regroup and pass Cirincione back over the last 500m for 3rd. Hall (18:08), Newell (18:16), and Cirincione (18:22) finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th overall. Northview's Gnister Grant (18:28) rounded out the Top 6. Jasper's Andi VanMeter (18:31) was 6th, Lily Myers (18:32) from Bloomington South finished 7th, Kaitlyn Stewart (18:32) from Floyd Central was 8th, and the Meade sisters, Heidi (18:39) and Haley (18:43) rounded out 9th and 10th place overall. In all, 21 runners, exactly like the earlier boys race, broke the 19:00-flat barrier for the day.