Boys Cross Country Advances To Regional With 3rd Place At Sectional

Posted on October 9, 2016 in Boy's Cross Country, Fall Sports

BY JACOB RUDE – srude@wabashplaindealer.com
Coming into Saturday morning’s boys’ cross country sectional at Indiana Wesleyan University, Oak Hill knew they wouldn’t be able to dethrone Huntington North for the top spot, but considered themselves a safe bet for second.
And while the Golden Eagles did earn a spot in next week’s regional, along with Eastbrook and Marion, head coach Paige Brunner left disappointed in his side’s performance as they took home third with 96 points.
“I think with us, with as many young kids as we’ve got out there, we would have liked to have been second today, but our kids were putting so much into the last couple weeks to try to win conference,” Brunner said. “I think it’s tough to re-flip that switch this week when they knew they didn’t have a chance to beat Huntington.
“But at the end of the day, the ultimate goal was to punch a ticket to regional. We get to race again next weekend and obviously the expectation is we’re better next weekend than we were today and hopefully punch a ticket to semi-state.”
Huntington North placed five runners in the top ten, led by Brock Spahr in second overall, to take first with 31 points. Eastbrook was second with a score of 90, Wabash was fourth with a score of 101 and Marion fifth with a score of 120.
Individually, Brenna Butche of Mississinewa paced the field, coming in at a time of 15:52 on the day, to set a new school record for the Indians.
“I’m very pleased, I felt kind of achy coming into the race,” Butche said. “I just put it aside and new I had to run this.”
After Spahr, Elijah Chesterman took third for Huntington North while Conner White of Eastbrook and Jalen Springer of Marion rounded out the top five.
Channing Cook of Eastbrook took sixth while Tahj Johnson led Oak Hill with a 12th-place finish. Silas Vermilya took 15th, Dillon Mitchell 18th, Raffi Fry 25th, Julian Garcia 28th and Colin Harls 30th for Oak Hill.
“We had four freshmen run in our top seven today,” Brunner said. “Two of them ran really well and two of them looked like freshman in a big meet. Our freshmen all year have been pretty solid. It’ll be a great experience for them and some of our upperclassmen today. The conference was such a big deal to them last weekend that, again, I think they lost a little bit of an edge and maybe getting their butts kicked today will wake them up a little bit and hopefully next weekend we’re raring to go.”
Jon Tucker and Jacob Ehmer of Mississinewa will join Butche as individuals in the regional next week after finishing 26th and 29th, respectively.
For Marion, James Hovermale took 24th and Noah Shigley 27th to help guide the Giants to their fifth-place finish.
Eastbrook, Marion and Oak Hill all will have a week off before returning to Indiana Wesleyan next Saturday for the regional meet, a meet where Brunner expects his side to come out and compete.
“I think the big thing is we have to trust our pack,” Brunner said. “We’re not getting anywhere based on individuals. Our pack has gotten us somewhere all year. We have to tighten that pack up and let those guys know that next weekend they could be 80th and still be running a personal best. It’s being able to race in a crowd and being able to compete.
“That’s what it comes down to this time of year. Everybody wants to get out, everybody’s good, you have to compete for your spot and want it. I don’t feel like we did that a whole lot today, but hopefully we do it next week.”

Leave a Comment