With the Conference Indiana meet taking place early in the cross-country season, the Columbus North boys and girls don’t have a lot of chances to get a meet in before that conference race.
The Bull Dogs’ one and only preconference tuneup for Saturday’s meet came Tuesday at Ceraland. North’s fifth-ranked girls and seventh-ranked boys each scored a “Perfect 15” in dual-meet wins against Martinsville.
The Bull Dog girls claimed the top 16 spots in a 15-50 victory. The North boys took the top six positions and nine of the top 10 in a 15-49 win.
Senior Rachel Brougher led the girls race from start to finish. She covered the 5,000-meter (3.1-mile) course in 19 minutes, 21 seconds for the Bull Dogs, who lost three four-year varsity runners to graduation.
“I was happy with my first meet,” Brougher said. “It was just fun being out there and racing with the new girls on our team. I’m used to having Sierra (Lax) and Nina (Bouthier) and Allison (Coffey) around, and now I’m looking to some other girls, so it was completely different. But I liked it.”
Junior Arig Tong and freshman Olivia Morlok weren’t far behind Brougher, finishing second and third in 19:31 and 19:50. Ana Singhal took fourth in 21:03, followed by Sydney Geckler (21:29), Kennedy Kerber (21:32), Emma Smith (21:33), Lily Dozier (21:34), Kirsten Ballard (22:05) and Jen Gutman (22:26).
In the boys race, North’s Elijah Brooks led most of the way and won in 16:40.
“It’s good to come out and get the first race out of the way,” Brooks said. “I’d say we did decent, but we can always improve. It was good for the freshmen to get out and run their first high school race. Hopefully, we can do a little better at conference.”
Alec Embry finished second in 16:56. Eli Fischer took third in 17:01, while Justin Spoon was fourth in 17:05, John Sluys fifth (17:18) and Peyton Shelton sixth (17:26), Evan Porter eighth (17:35), Sam Russell ninth (17:35) and Drew Smith 10th (17:41).
The Bull Dogs were without two potential varsity runners. Charlie Allen was sick, and Drew Thompson had a sore ribcage.
“I think we ran a very solid meet, both boys and girls,” North coach Rick Weinheimer said. “We’ve done a lot of good training. It’s nice to get a good race in before we go right to the conference on Saturday. I liked how they looked today, but I also think we have a chance to get a lot better.”