NASHVILLE — Columbus North senior Rachel Brougher did not look like she would be in contention to win Saturday’s Brown County cross-country sectional at Eagle Park.
The last half of the race, Brougher made her charge. She made her way through the pack to claim one last individual sectional championship with a time of 18 minutes, 24 seconds for 5,000 meters (3.1 miles).
North’s sixth-ranked girls and ninth-ranked boys swept the team titles. The Bull Dog girls finished with 21 points.
“It feels amazing,” Brougher said. “I have been working to get back to where I was last year, and I’m almost there. I did not have any regrets. I felt confident the whole time. I knew my teammates would do awesome. We did so well, and I’m proud of all the girls because we have been working really hard for this and it’s exciting to see what we are capable of doing.”
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Seymour gave North a challenge early but settled for second place with 42 points. Columbus East also advances to Saturday’s Brown County Regional after finishing third with 121.
“We have a lot of respect for Seymour because they are a good team, so our girls wanted to run really well,” North coach Rick Weinheimer said. “Olivia (Morlok) and Arig (Tong) got in really good position, then Rachel came along and it helped them all and they responded to that. It was a terrific 1-2-3 finish.”
Tong finished second in 18:32, and Morlok was third in 18:36. Rounding out the rest of the field for North were Ana Singhal in seventh (19:50), Emma Smith eighth (20:14), Kennedy Kerber ninth (20:16) and Lily Dozier 10th (20:19).
East was led by Emma Mensendiek, who finished 15th in 21:14. Kristen Lyons was 17th (21:30), Ashley Novreske 19th (21:39), Amanda Pottorff 32nd (22:10), Hannah Harris 38th (22:41), Lizzy Frazier 45th (23:29) and Marisela Miranda 58th (24:54).
“I was really excited with how we ran,” East girls coach Jesse Shoaf said. “We have Emma lead us out with the senior leadership, and it set the pace for the rest of the team. We paced ourselves well, we got some PR’s today and we are peaking at the right time, right place.”
The host Eagles finished in ninth place, but two girls advance to the regional as individuals by being among the top 10 on a non-advancing team. Haley Abraham finished 29th in 22:05 and Mica Selby was 39th in 22:51.
Rounding out the field for Brown County were Maris Wyman in 52nd (24:03), Molly Austin 56th (24:40) and Coralynne Robinson 66th (26:46).
“Our girls did extremely well after looking back on everything,” Brown County coach Rob Abraham said. “We had PR’s across the board. (Selby) is just learning how to run and has only done three or four races. She is still learning and making it to regional just shows how good of an athlete she is.”
For Hauser, Tori Chandler finished 42nd in 23:05. Maleah Bates was 55th (24:31), Naomi Gollmer placed 67th (27:00) and Kristin Keith was 72nd (29:55).
Edinburgh finished 11th as a team, but Bailey Woodall advanced as an individual after taking in 30th in 22:05. Emily Davis was 59th (25:32), Blythe Carman 61st (25:58), Lili Ervin 62nd (26:14), Allie Schooler 71st (27:42) and Abby Schooler 74th (33:26).
In the boys’ race, North captured the team title with 32 points. Seymour finished second with 87, and East took third with 100.
Charlie Allen paced the Bull Dogs with a time of 16:13 to place in third. Elijah Brooks finished fourth in 16:15, while Eli Fischer was seventh (16:36), Alec Embry eighth (16:39), Justin Spoon 10th (16:51), Peyton Shelton 11th (16:52) and Drew Smith 12th (16:58).
“Elijah likes to be in front and run in clean air and he did his thing and hung on to get fourth,” Weinheimer said. “Charlie moved up really nicely, and we were real solid with Eli and Alec. We have a group that is close together, so I think that group will just get better and better.”
East’s Paul Bean placed second individually in 16:11. Nick Yeend of Southwestern (Shelby) won in 15:58.
“We went out hard our first mile,” Bean said. “I was running with the North guys and (Yeend) trying to stay with them. I finished strong and got off to a good start.”
“He has been running better,” East coach Ryan Burke said of Bean “I think the momentum is going to continue to build, and he will have a stronger race next week.”
Jonathan Clayton placed 13th for East in 17:00. Josh Sensanbaugher was 24th (17:28), James Zieleniuk 27th (17:43), Michael McGaha 37th (18:09), Josh Mauzy 47th (18:50) and Josh Wettsschurack 48th (18:54).
“It was a great race by our team,” Burke said. “It is probably our best one this year. We had four guys ran all-time bests today and two others a season best. Across the board, they ran a strong race.”
Brown County placed fourth as a team with 125 points to advance to regional. Wyatt Wyman led the Eagles by placing fifth in 16:21.
“I ran pretty well. I got my best time ever which is always good,” Wyman said. “I just tried to stay with Columbus North’s top runners, and it worked out for me.”
Job Lawson finished ninth in 16:47 for Brown County. Jackson McPheeters was 32nd (17:52), Nathan Kilburn 33rd (17:53), Jordan Samples 49th (19:02), Tim Kilburn 61st (19:56) and Michael Southerland 69th (21:34).
Hauser finished 10th with 283 points, but David Seelye advanced as an individual with a 22nd-place finish in 17:24.
Also for the Jets, Owen Rush was 62nd (20:01), Jordan Johnson 63rd (20:05), Sam Robinson 67th (21:00), Hunter Albright 75th (23:03) and Noah Benge 76th (23:24).
Trinity Lutheran’s lone runner, A.J. Goecker, advanced as an individual after finishing 15th in 17:04. Edinburgh’s only runner, Isaiah Estes, took 72nd in 22:13.