XC Teams Sweep Grant 4 Championships

Posted on September 25, 2013 in Boy's Cross Country, Fall Sports
Shallen Lenhart runs to a Grant 4 championship.

Shallen Lenhart runs to a Grant 4 championship.

Brady Newhouse, David Horner, and Riley Jones run to a 2013 team Grant 4 championship.

Brady Newhouse, David Horner, and Riley Jones run to a 2013 team Grant 4 championship.

By Matt Wilson mwilson@chronicle-tribune.com

GAS CITY — Some streaks remained alive while others came to an end during Tuesday’s Grant Four boys’ and girls’ cross country meets at Mississinewa High School.

The Oak Hill boys’ cross country team was able to win a 15th straight championship, Oak Hill junior Shallen Lenhart was able to win the girls’ race for a second straight year, and Eastbrook senior Josh Neideck was able to win the Grant Four boys’ race for the fourth straight year.

The Oak Hill girls’ team, however, was able to end Eastbrook’s two-year reign of county championships. Oak Hill scored 23 points, while an Eastbrook team running without senior Sophie Seward was second with 40 points. Oak Hill won its first team championship since 2010.

Oak Hill won the boys’ meet with 22 points. Eastbrook was second with 47 points, Madison-Grant was third with 83 points and Mississinewa was fourth with 103 points. Madison-Grant was third in the girls’ meet with 84 points and Mississinewa was fourth with 100 points.

“Every year, our goal at the start of the season is to just keep the county streak alive on the boys’ side,” Oak Hill coach Paige Brunner said.

Depth paid off for both the Oak Hill boys’ and girls’ teams. The Eagle girls had six runners finish in the top 10. The Eagle boys had eight runners in the top 10.

Seward missed Tuesday’s meet due to an injury. Eastbrook coach Ken Yocum said he is unsure how long Seward might be out, and they are just taking things day by day. Seward did run last Saturday during the Carmel Invitational at Flashrock. Yocum said Seward was hurting throughout that race, however.

With Seward out, Lenhart raced out a quick lead and broke away from the pack. She finished in 19:54.

“I didn’t know that she wasn’t running until we were at the starting line and I was looking around and didn’t see her,” Lenhart said. “I thought in my mind going into the race that Sophie was going to be there pushing me, but when she wasn’t out there I just had to push myself.”

Brunner said he hopes to see Seward have a quick recovery.

“We kind of took notice before the day that Sophie was not out there warming up with the team,” Brunner said. “It’s too bad because it kind of hurt the race overall and the level of competition. But as we all now, it’s in October that is the key time for runners to be healthy, not in late September.”

After Lenhart, Brooke Hasty was third in 21:06, Reagan Brankle was fourth in 21:19, India Ulshafer was sixth in 21:47, Elissa Austin was ninth in 22:33 and Cynthia Kluevein was 10th in 22:59.

“For the team to win this meet is a big accomplishment” Lenhart said. “We just need to keep improving.”

Three Eastbrook runners finished in the top 10. Ellie Rodman was second in 20:59, Hannah Seward was seventh in 22:06, and Sierra Colvin was eighth in 22:25.

“Ellie had a good time,” Yocum said. “I thought the runners went out there and really competed well today.”

Madison-Grant’s Tori Galloway was fifth in 21:28. Amanda Armstrong was 16th in 25:26 and Jasmine Nelson was 19th in 25:59.

Mississinewa was led by Blayne Miller in 18th place in 25:33. Noel Kochanek was 25th in 27:15.

While Lenhart was able to run away with the girls’ race, Neideck did the same in the boys’ race.

Neideck won the boys’ race in 16:24. His nearest competitor was Oak Hill’s Bradey Newhouse, who was second in 17:26.

“This was certainly different than running on my home course, but this was still cool,” Neideck said. “I think this is a cool course with the woods and everything. I’m just very thankful that God has blessed me the ability to be healthy and be a four time Grant Four champion.”

After Neideck, however, Oak Hill runners occupied eight of the next nine spots. Following Newhouse, Ryan Miller was third in 17:45. Riley Jones was fourth in 18:07, David Horner was sixth in 18:20, Chandler Julius was seventh in 18:34, Beau Clouser was eighth in 18:36 and Kurtis Rangel was ninth in 18:53.

Madison-Grant’s Aaron Patton was fifth in 18:18.

“After Neideck, we were hoping to go 2-6, but Aaron Patton ran a great race for Madison-Grant,” Brunner said. “We have some guys on the back end of our team that are fighting it out for varsity spots, so that is a good thing.”

Eastbrook’s Brett Holder was 11th in 19:03. Brad Burchell was 12th in 19:08. Trevor Hix was 14th in 19:22. Sophomore Michael Neideck is out for the remainder of the season with a stress fracture.

“I feel really bad for my brother because he deserves to be out there running,” Josh Neideck said.

Jalen Ruth led Mississinewa by placing 19th in 20:20. Joel Enoch was 21st in 20:37.

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