Recapping the 78th IHSAA Boys State Championship

This year featured one of the deepest state championships in the 78 year history of the meet. 62 boys were under 16 minutes with a sub 15:40 being the mark needed to earn a Top 25 All-State medal. Many athletes had significant improvements from last season with several storylines occurring for many different teams and individuals. 

Boys Individual Race

The boys kicked off the action with perfect weather and course conditions. The race began with Zionsville's Jack Turnbull gapping the field early with a 2:44 through the first kilometer. By the time the boys hit the mile, Sam Quagliaroli from Fishers claimed the lead ahead of his teammate, Matthew Kim, going through in about 4:42. Liam Bauschke from Mishawaka and Shane Conroy from Portage were immediately behind with a large group of runners chasing less than a second behind. The race looked relatively the same through 2K with Sam still leading at 5:45 by that point. 

As the runners passed the 3K mark
Aaron Richter from Elkhart moved up into the lead passing the 3200m in 9:39. Sam, Shane, Will Conway from Floyd Central, Liam, and Matthew all having a slight advantage over the rest of the chase pack which was led by Brebeuf's Cameron Todd. Cameron appeared to be implementing a similar strategy to last month's Nike Twilight race where he moved up throughout the race.

The immediate chase pack that Cameron led at this point consisted of other top runners including
Martinsville's Martin Barco, Zionsville's Sam Spees, Westview's Noah Bontrager, Carmel's Tony Provenzano, Concordia's Vaughn Hendrickson, CAI's Alexander Pinckney, Brownsburg's Ian Baker, Carmel's Kyle Grove, Noblesville's Caden Click, Jasper's Calvin Seitz, Columbus North's Neal White, Zionsville's Jack Turnbull and Bloomington South's Ryan Rheam.

Once the 4K mark was reached Sam made a surge to pass Aaron
 for the lead. His lead was short lived though as Cameron immediately responded as he began to lay down the hammer. In his last kilometer Cameron had the fastest closing speed in the field, running a 2:53 to gap the closest competitor by 8 seconds.

Photo by Benson Nguyen

Cameron Todd would cross the line in 14:55.5 which is the 7th fastest meet time since the 5K distance was first contested at state in 1980. His time was also the second fastest state championship time run at LaVern Gibson as North Central legend and Northern Arizona University standout Futsum Zienasellassie ran a 14:48.8 his senior year in 2011. Will Conway was the next to finish seperating from Sam to earn the runner-up position in 15:03.3. Sam Quagliaroli finished third with Tony Provenzano moving up extremely well throughout the race and nearly catching Sam.

Photo by Benson Nguyen

Aaron Richter gave a final effort in the last moments of the race to capture 5th place over Shane Conroy. They ran incredible races after both did not run at the state meet last year. This duo finished in reverse order from last week where they finished behind New Prairie regional champion Liam BauschkeBoth Aaron and Shane would get new PRs with Aaron having a HUGE breakout race by taking a whopping 30 seconds off his previous best effort to run a 15:15.3.

There were several other highlights and PRs within the top 25 All-State finishers with one of the largest being
Jasper's Calvin Seitz finishing 9th in a time of 15:23.1 as a freshman. This was another large improvement as he had just set a new PR last week of 15:41.5 at the Evansville regional. His time from state leads the freshman class from this year by 35 seconds according to our database. 

Team Race

As expected Carmel had a dominant performance having their entire top 5 run 16:00 or faster with a 15:33 average. Tony Provenzano, Kyle Grove, and Thomas Biltimier all finished all-state for the team. The Greyhounds won their 18th state title and had the third largest margin of victory in the history of the meet at 109 points. After winning Nike Twilight, and now state by a considerable margin, Carmel will now set their sights for LaVern once again for a NXN team bid. 

The 1-2 duo proved to be useful for
Fishers with Sam Quagliaroli and Matthew Kim both finishing all state and combining for 12 points. The rest of the team also had good days which helped the Tigers to a 15:51 top 5 average and score of 185 points. This was the team's best performance at state since 2017 where they also finished runner-up.

Brownsburg had the best finish in school history in their second appearance as a team at state. The team finished 5th in their first appearance back in 2019. Ian Baker  was the low stick for the team scoring 6 points with a top 10 finish. The Hoosier Crossroads Conference proved its strength as Brownsburg ended up earning 3rd place at state after finishing 5th at conference. 

Zionsville returned to the podium this year with a 4th place finish which was the second best team performance in school history. Last year the team placed just 3 points behind Carmel to take home runner-up. The team got out to a quick start early and were led by all-state performances from Sam Spees and Jack Turnbull who finished 8th and 18th respectively.

The HCC ended up having 4 of the 5 spots on the podium as Hamilton Southeastern returned to the stage for the 5th time in school history as the team narrowly defeated 6th place Columbus North by 2 points. The team had a massive turnaround from last season where they were 22nd and were led by Nicolas Vega who had a sub 16 minute personal record at LaVern. 

Columbus North had a heartbreaker, barely missing out on the podium by 2 points. Neal White, a junior, led the team with a 12th place all-state performance. The Bull Dogs have a long history of successful cross country teams with 14 appearances in the top 5 at state in the program's history. This will likely be another team in contention next cross country season as the team returns 5/7 individuals from the roster.

Fort Wayne Concordia also nearly made the podium as the team was 11 points off. Senior Vaughn Hendrickson, coming off a New Haven regional win, was able to secure an all-state position in 20th to lead the team. This was also the team's best finish since winning the state title back in 2019.

Floyd Central was another team close to the podium finishing just one point behind Concordia. Will Conway finishing as the overall runner-up and Luca Cirincione finishing 15th led the team with all-state performances. The team also finished the top 10 in the state meet for the first time since the 2008 squad.

Related Links:
IHSAA State XC Results

State Meet Interviews and Videos

State Meet Photos by Mike Kepner