It's Semi-State week here in Indiana, and on Saturday teams across the state will take their shot at qualifying for a chance to compete at the State meet. The road to state continues through four locations in Indiana with Semi-States taking place at New Prairie, Brown County, Shelbyville and Indiana Wesleyan the site of the New Haven semi-state.
We are previewing all four semi-states throughout the week and giving in depth analysis on team and individual favorites, and scoping out which teams have the best chances of advancement to the State meet.
Next up, the Shelbyville Semi-State!
Shelbyville Girls Preview
For many in the Shelbyville Semi-State, this week is just another step towards the ultimate goal of having success at the State meet. There will still be many talented teams and individuals fighting for final advancing spots with hopes to show they belong with the best in the state. At Shelbyville, we will see the best girl in the State, many other top 10 girls and a team title contender. How will they all stack up against each other when they meet at the Blue River Cross Country course on Saturday?
Girls Individual Watch
Defending state champion and current Indiana #1 Lily Cridge of Bishop Chatard has been dominant all year. She is coming off of sectional and regional championships in which she ran 16:46 both times. Each and every time out she is blowing her competition out of the water and should come away with the Semi-State title.
That is no knock on the next tier of girls in this field. In fact, it is more of a compliment on how good the individuals in this semi-state are. Park Tudor teammates Sophia Kennedy and Gretchen Farley should take the next two spots. The Panther duo will be looking to replicate their cross country success from a year ago where they placed 3rd and 4th at the State meet respectively and also qualified for Eastbay Nationals.
Believe it or not we are still not done talking about All-State caliber talent in this field. There are two freshmen, Bishop Chatard's Julia Score and Indian Creek's Libby Dowty that have burst onto the scene this season and have had great success. Jessica Hegedus of Avon has been a flat out winner this year, winning the Valley Kickoff, Harrier Classic, HCC, sectional and regional championships. Bridget Gallagher of Guerin Catholic, Nadia Perez of Noblesville, and Jasmine Klopstad of Carmel are also potential All-State runners to watch for here at the Shelbyville Semi-State.
Girls Team Watch
Contending for the win- Noblesville
Likely to advance- Carmel, North Central, Zionsville, Franklin Central
On the bubble- Guerin Catholic, East Central, Bishop Chatard, Avon, Brownsburg
Outside shot at advancement- Batesville, Indian Creek
Noblesville has the inside track to the Semi-State team victory. The Millers have their eyes set on a state title and will surely cruise to the win at Shelbyville as they gear up for the title fight on October 29th.
Carmel, North Central, Zionsville and Franklin Central make up the next tier of teams. They all are in great positions to advance and a few of them will be podium contending teams next week at LaVern Gibson. This week should be a good tune up for these teams as they look toward the State meet.
The final advancing spot in the Shelbyville Semi-State is really up for grabs. There are 5 schools that have to feel they have a legitimate shot at making the state meet. Bishop Chatard gets off to a quick start with the Cridge/Score duo that will score low points through 2 runners. Brownsburg and East Central have the better fifth runners of the bubble teams but will need great races from their front runners to give their teams the best chance to advance. Guerin Catholic looks to be in the best position of the bubble teams with their combination of front running and depth, but there is no guarantee for this final spot.
Shelbyville Boys Preview
The boys side of the Semi-State features many of the same qualities as the girls. The current number one runner in the state and the potential team state champions headline the boys side of the Shelbyville Semi-State. With several All-State caliber athletes and potential podium teams competing, there is still lots of fireworks to be seen for the boys at Shelbyville.
Boys Individual Watch
Carmel's Kole Mathison has been the best runner in the state all year and is even one of the best in the nation. Mathison will have the inside track to the individual title not only this week at Semi-State but at next week's state meet.
The real individual battle here will be for runner-up honors. Carmel's other top athlete Anthony Provenzano has been stellar in his first season in Indiana. Provenzano and Brebeuf Jesuit's Cameron Todd have gone back and forth this season and expect to take the next two spots in the race after Mathison.
It's really easy to short the individuals in this semi-state as it is so deep and talented so here is a large group of individuals that will be competing for top 10 spots this week, and All-State medals next week. North Central's Nate Killeen, Ty Garrett of Center Grove, Charlie Leedke of Carmel, Brayden Henkle from Franklin Central, Zionsville's Matthew Helton, the Noblesville duo of Asher Propst and Caden Click, and the Brebeuf duo of Matteo Rosio and Ezra Burrell.
Boys Team Watch
Carmel has the inside track to the Semi-State team victory. The Greyhounds have their eyes set on a state title and will surely cruise to the win at Shelbyville as they gear up for the State meet on October 29th.
There shouldn't be a ton of drama on the boys advancement side. There are so many good teams in this semi-state, but there is a clear gap between the sixth and seventh best teams competing Saturday. If all teams holds serve expect Zionsville, Noblesville, and Center Grove to qualify while fighting for runner-up honors. Then we should see Brebeuf and Franklin Central grab the final two qualifying spots.
Brownsburg, Westfield, and Greenfield-Central are all top 20 teams with solid groups but would certainly need a team in the top 6 to slip up to have a shot at advancement. At this stage, nothing is guaranteed and no spot should be taken for granted.
Racing will get under way with the girls race at 10:30 EST, with the boys race to follow at 11:15 EST.
MileSplit Indiana is previewing all four Semi-States throughout the week. Check back to the website for all Semi-State previews before Saturday.