Evansville Mater Dei Boys & Girls Regional Preview

Evansville Mater Dei Boys Race
Qualifying Teams: Columbus North, Edgewood, Greensburg, Jennings County, Seymour, Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Orleans, Brownstown Central, Bedford North Lawrence, Floyd Central, Springs Valley, Silver Creek, Corydon Central, New Albany, South Knox, Jasper, Barr-Reeve, Perry Central, Tell City, Evansville Reitz, Castle, Evansville Memorial, Gibson Southern, Princeton Community

Photo from @bnxc_boys via Instagram

The Evansville Mater Dei boys regional could be the most balanced in terms of sectional to regional in the entire state with 4/5 sectional champions likely being able to punch their tickets to state. However this also means that several powerhouse teams will meet with these 4 sectional champions appearing in the top 10 in the most recent coaches poll! Bloomington North, Columbus North, Floyd Central, and Evansville FJ Reitz all look to be in contention for the win with Bloomington South also being favored to advance to state. Bubble teams that could challenge Bloomington South include Castle, Springs Valley, South Knox, and Jasper.

The top runner in the state based on time alone this year has been
University of Tennessee commit Will Conway. Conway currently holds a US #6 time of 14:41 and has only suffered one individual defeat this season to Cameron Todd who is 5th in the country for the MileSplit 50 national rankings. His closest competitor appears to be Jackson Nolan from Evansville FJ Reitz as he has run a 15:06 this season. Behind him are several boys that have been under 15:30 this season including Neal White from Columbus North, Luca Cirincione from Floyd Central, Alexander Pinckney from Christian Academy, Jacob Mitchell from Bloomington North, Ryan Rheam from Bloomington South. University of Washington commit Martin Barco has run a 15:38 this year and has yet to have a breakout race after going 8:57 in the 3200m last year.

Projected Advancing Teams:
Bloomington North
Bloomington North had one of the best sectional performances in the state by placing their entire 7 member lineup in the top 11 at the Bedford North Lawrence sectional. The team would go on to win their 4th sectional title in a row with Caelan D'Onofrio being the top contributor who ran a 15:52 earlier this season. The team also has Jacob Mitchell and Jack Holden who have also been under 16 minutes this season going 15:18 (IN #13) and 15:50 respectively. The team looks to have the best odds of a regional championship with their fifth runner having the best time out of any other 5th runner in the field. Columbus North and Floyd Central will provide tough competition and keep the scoring close.

Columbus North
Columbus North also had themselves a dominant day last weekend as the team was able to get all of their 7 into the top 13 at the Brown County sectional to win the championship for the third consecutive year. Neal White led the team with an individual sectional championship and has ran a IN #7 time this year at 15:12. The Bull Dogs also have seen Akot Tong under 16 minutes this year with a season best of 15:43. The team looks to race for the title with positions 20-40 in the race being the most critical for all teams challenging for the win.

Floyd Central
Floyd Central were also sectional champions last week winning Crawford County by 16 points without their frontrunner, Will Conway, in the lineup. In Conway's absence Luca Cirincione was able to win the individual title with his best time from the season being a 15:15 which is 8th for Indiana. Noah Nifong also has run 15:45 this year and enters with the 9th best time out of the scoring field. The team also appears to have the best top 5 average from season bests this year out of the field with a 15:42 largely thanks to Conway's early 14:41 performance. The Highlanders will need great performances from their 4/5 for a shot at the title with one of the state's best duos of Conway/Cirincione significantly helping out the odds.

Evansville FJ Reitz
Evansville Reitz took the top 3 spots at the Mater Dei sectional in route to back-to-back sectional championships. Leading the team this season, and winning the individual sectional title, was Jackson Nolan who is one of the state's best talents running a 15:06 to rank him 6th this year in Indiana. Finishing behind him was Brice Johnson and Sawyer Mossberger with both athletes breaking 16 minutes this season running 15:52 and 15:45 respectively. Nolan being such a low stick certainly helps the team's odds at the team title but with a noticeable gap between their 4 and 5 this may prove to be difficult. Regardless, Retiz looks to be safe to make the state meet as a team.

Bloomington South
Bloomington South is the first and only team projected to advance that did not win their sectional meet last weekend. The Panthers finished runner-up to Bloomington North by 13 points and had 3 runners in the top 7. Leading the team with the individual sectional championship was Ryan Rheam who has ran a IN #23 time of 15:27 this year. Behind him in 4th was Joseph Zinkan with Hunter Tabor placing 7th, this pair has run 15:55 and 15:54 respectively this year. Their 4th and 5th runners will likely keep the team from being able to win with the team being relatively safe to advance to state.

On the Bubble Teams to Look Out For:

Castle was runner-up to Evansville Reitz by 18 points and were led by Dane Kramer who has a season best time of 16:21. While the Knights will likely not have an elite frontrunner their strength will come in their pack with the difference between their first and 5th runner season bests being just 29.5 seconds. Castle could potentially take advantage of a team like Bloomington South with their 4/5 but it would take almost everything going right for the Knights for this to occur.

Springs Valley
Springs Valley came in second to Floyd Central by 16 points with Alan Marshall being the top finisher in 3rd nearing his season best of 16:15. Grant Brown and Carson Brown currently hold the two best times for the team this year dipping under 16 minutes ging 15:50 and 15:51 respectively. The team looks to be competitive with Castle as both teams have similar top 5 season best averages.

South Knox
South Knox won the Jasper sectional last weekend for the 4th year in a row by placing 3 in the top 8 and their scoring 5 in the top 14. Calvin Crabtree took runner-up as an individual and has ran a 15:59 this season. The team has not had the best times so far this season but raced well to win a narrow race against Jasper last weekend. Expect this weekend to be another close battle.

Jasper came runner-up to South Knox in a close race only losing by a margin of 6 points. The team had Calvin Seitz as the individual sectional champion who ran a 15:48 this year. The team has a significantly better top 5 average than Jasper over the course of the season so look out for the team to get revenge this weekend.

Evansville Mater Dei Girls Race
Qualifying Teams: Columbus North, Edgewood, Seymour, Jennings County, Greensburg, Bloomington South, Bloomington North, Bedford North Lawrence, Eastern Greene, Brownstown Central, Corydon Central, Floyd Central, Borden, New Albany, Silver Creek, Jasper, Tell City, Southridge, Barr-Reeve, South Knox, Castle, Evansville Memorial, Princeton Community, North Posey, Evansville Mater Dei

Photo from @BHSS_Athletics via X

The girls race does not feature as many ranked teams as with only two appearing in the most recent coaches poll. The race makes up for this though with an exciting race for the championship and for the final position to advance to state. Bloomington South and Columbus North will face off for the championship with Corydon Central and Edgewood both looking favorable to advance as well. The final spot looks interesting with Floyd Central's potential situation as well as Jasper, Bloomington North, and Tell City being teams on the bubble.

Ohio University commit Kaitlyn Stewart from Floyd Central enters the race with the best time out of the field from this season with a 17:51 which is good for 10th in the state. Indiana State commit Peyton Smith from Linton Stockton has the next best time this season in the field with a 18:08. Other girls that have been under 19 minutes this year and should be competitive include Hannah Crain from Edgewood, Maddie Graber from Southridge, Lexi Kollbaum and Jasmine Martoglio from Bloomington South, Laura Barco from Martinsville, Nola Somers Glenn from Bloomington North, and Lilli Pavey from Corydon Central. Recent Southeast Missouri commit Cordelia Hoover from Evansville Reitz should also be in the mix.

Projected Advancing Teams:

Bloomington South
Bloomington South was able to win back-to-back sectional championships being led by a 1-2 performance from Jasmine Martoglio and Lexi Kollbaum who have run season bests of 18:43 and 18:38 respectively. The team was able to place all 7 entrants into the top 13 in their 33 point win over Bloomington North. The team looks to be in a close battle with the Columbus North girls this weekend with the Panthers having an advantage for the regional title with a better 1-2 duo.

Columbus North
Columbus North was also dominant in their 27th consecutive sectional win at Brown County as the team also placed their 7 girls in the top 13. Finishing 3-4-5 was Kyleigh WolfCarys Glyn Jones, and Ainsley Sherlock with the trio having very close season bests to each other at 19:08, 19:10, and 19:13. The Bull Dogs are the only team in the field to have 5 girls under 20 minutes this season which could work to their advantage as they try to compete against Bloomington North for the regional championship. The team has a streak of 14 consecutive regional titles at stake which could go down due to the tournament being restructured.

Corydon Central
Corydon Central also won their sectional for the first time in school history last weekend. The Panthers won the title by 16 points and were led by Lilli Pavey, Erika Valdivieso, and Addison Applegate placing 2-3-4. These girls have had season bests of 18:59, 19:27, and 19:05 respectively. With one of the strongest teams in school history the Panthers look to continue their season one more week with advancement to the state meet looking favorable.

Edgewood finished runner-up to Columbus North at the Brown County regional last weekend with Hannah Crain also taking the runner-up position individually. Hannah has led the team this year with a season best of 18:28 that ranks her 32nd in the state. Riley Haskett is the only other girls on the team to have been under 20 minutes this year running a 19:53. Edgewood does not appear to have as much depth after their 5th runner compared to other teams which means that the team cannot afford any of their runners to have a bad day or drop out if they wish to make state.

Floyd Central
Floyd Central finished runner-up to Corydon Central at the Crawford County sectional and were led by one of the state's top talents with Kaitlyn Stewart. Kaitlyn currently ranks 10th in the state with a season best time of 17:51. Having the ultimate low stick will definitely play a large role in the Highlanders chances of advancing to state as Ginger Atzinger has the only other sub 20 minute performance on the team this year with a mark of 19:26. She currently has the second best time for the team but has not raced in over a month according to our database so there may be a chance where she is done for the season. Her being questionable to race could open the door for bubble teams to compete for the final advancing spot.

On the Bubble Teams to Look Out For:
Jasper won their fourth sectional title in a row last weekend with 3 runners in the top 7 in the race including Monica Lorey, Cara Jones, and Andyn Lampert. Monica is the Wildcats sole sub 20 performer clocking a season best of 19:55. The team looks to potentially take advantage of Edgewood's situation and has a relatively good chance to steal the last advancing spot as a team.

Bloomington North
Bloomington North was runner-up to Bloomington South by 33 points last weekend at Bedford North Lawrence. The team was led by a 5th place finish from Nola Somers Glenn who has run under 19 minutes this season with a 18:56. No one else on the team has logged a time under 20:30 but the team does have a pack just above that mark that could be seen at sectionals as they went 14-15-16-17-18-20. Like Jasper, this team could be a contender for that final team position.

Tell City
Tell City finished runner-up to Jasper last weekend with Lydia Hollinden, Lexi Schaefer, and Briley Applegate going 9-10-11 for the team. Lexi holds the top time for the team this season running a 19:29. There is some concern as this time was from mid August with her not being within a minute of that time since. The team could be in the mix for the final advancing spot if things go south for previously mentioned teams.