Survive to run another day. That was the goal for every team and individual Saturday morning in the IHSAA regional cross country meet. Survive a dark, cold rainy and windy run over a very slick course Bedford North Lawrence High School course without any injuries. And, if you just happen to win the regional title, that’s bonus.
Terre Haute South and Terre Haute North girls and boys and a surprising Northview boys team finished among the top five teams to the semistate next Saturday at Brown County High School.
And West Vigo’s season is still alive, as Jonah Eckert advanced to the semistate.
Bloomington South won both regional championships in tight, tumbling races with North and South.
North’s girls came up two points short, Bloomington South winning 45-47. Bloomington North, led by individual champion Kate Raphael in 18 minutes, 45.13 seconds, finished third with 85 points. Terre Haute South finished fourth with 115 points and Salem took the fifth spot, holding off Shakamak 139-173.
“We move on. It would have been nice to get the win, but Lindsay [Welker, third place] had a great race and… we had all seven of our girls up there pretty high in the standings. We’re pleased with that,” North girls coach Mike Dason said.
Bloomington South’s Kyle Burks held off South’s Riley Stohler to win the boys race in 15:49.62 seconds. The Panthers nipped the Braves 29-47 in the final score.
Bloomington North finished third with 50 points, followed by surprising Northview with 154 and Terre Haute North in fifth place with 164. The fourth place finish put Northview in the semistate for the first time since 2001.
“That’s all I wanted to do [was advance to semistate]. I knew there wasn’t going to be fast times because it was really muddy. I saw three or four people fall. I just worried about place today, not time,” Northview’s Nic Yocum said after finishing 15th in 16:54.3.
Along with Stohler’s 15:54.48 run to second, South got a sixth place from Spencer Danielson, eighth from Jackson Bertoli 1636.91, 13th by Jack Harbaugh, 18th from Levi Elrod 16:58.57.
Bertoli, a pre-race favorite, ran without spikes because of his Achilles problems. He fell three times en route to eighth place.
“Our team still performed really well and advanced. The season is still going. There is still a lot to look forward to. We had aspiration to come back and defend our title as regional champs, but at the end of the day it’s just a stepping point to the next level and we’re just going to be that much aggressive, that much more ready for the next meet. It was a good day,” Bertoli said.
After Yocum, Northview’s scoring came from Cam Trout in 19th place, Ian Heffner 32nd, Travis Beil 44th, and Christain Herron 68th.
North’s effort was led by Peter Davis, who was obviously ill before and after finishing 22nd in 17:18.54.
“In [weather] conditions like these you’ll pretty much take whatever you can get. Our primary goal for a day like this is not to get good times or good positions. It’s mostly to advance to the next stage where we can compete,” Davis said.
North paced a tight little group together in the 40s. Tyler Nemeth was 40th, Chase Cresgy 41st, Adam Neece 42nd, Caleb Paauwe 43rd, Nana Dadzie 45th.
West Vigo’s Eckert finished 24th, earning one of the 10 individual berths in the semistate.
“I feel really good. I’m really excited about going to the semistate. [The course] was brutal. I’m happy I kept a good solid pace,” Eckert said.
North’s girls’ second place run was led by Welker in third place at 19:09.69. Jessi Conley finished 10th, Hannah Bunch 11th, Kenzie Smokstad 12th and Mallory Sanders 16th.
“In our debriefing [after the race], the first thing I said to them, you guys are going to understand after today’s race how important all seven of you are,” North’s Dason said.
South’s girls were led by Katie Schmidt in ninth place at 20:01.32. Sami Holmes finished 25th, Amanda Moore 28th, Nicole Howe 32nd and Nikki Thiede 34th.
“On a course like this today, the condition it is, to come home with everybody [healthy], nobody falls down and everybody up right at the end, that was huge. Survival of the fittest out there today and to get through. All my seniors looked really strong today,” South coach Ed Jarvis said.
And Rockville will be represented the girls semistate for the first time. The Rox advanced to the regional for the first time this year with a fifth place finish in the Terre Haute Sectional. The Rox finished last as a team, but sophomore Bailey Hayes finished 40th to earn an individual berth in the semistate.