The Columbus East girls finished second as a team, and Brown County duos walked away with titles in the boys and girls races at Wednesday’s Brown County Cross-Country Challenge.
The event, which was the season-opener for the Olympians and the second of the year for the Eagles, featured two-person teams running 1½ miles each. The top three duos for each school were added to come up with the team score.
The East girls had four duos finish in the top 10, but Lawrence Central edged out the Olympians 11-12 in the team scoring. The only other school with enough girls to score as a team was Indian Creek, which finished with 26 points.
Amanda Pottoroff and Kristen Lyons were the first East duo to cross the line, placing third in 21 minutes, 14.48 seconds.
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“We knew there was going to be some good competition, but there weren’t a ton of teams,” Lyons said. “So it was really just a good start to the season.”
Lizzy Frazier and Olivia Linnenman finished in 21:44.79 to place sixth. Elizabeth Stevens and Hannah Harris finished two spots behind them with an eighth-place finish at 22:00.40. Katie Hagan and Marisela Miranda (24:17.50) and Anna Combs and Michela Greathouse (24:22.33) took in 13th and 14th, respectively, and Maddy Ping and Lynna Hendershot were 15th (24:41.02).
Brown County’s Wyatt Wyman and Marino Dolph finished in 15:48.00 to win the boys race. Brown County’s 27 points gave it a third-place finish behind Lawrence Central’s nine and Martinsville’s 26.
“It was an awesome feeling,” Wyman said. “This is our second race of the year, and it just really feels good to go out in the beginning of the season and compete well.”
Jordan Dolph and Jackson McPheeters finished in 17:35.59 for a sixth-place finish for the Eagles. Cameron Fox and Timmy Kilburn took in 22nd in 19:44.90.
The Brown County girls had only two duos, so they were unable to score as a team, but Maris Wyman and Anna Fleetwood finished first in 20:45.20, with the freshman Fleetwood anchoring home the win.
“I feel like I did pretty good,” Fleetwood said. “This is my first cross-county meet ever. I’ve never ran cross-country in my life. It was insane. It was a really good feeling.”
Freshmen Emma DeBord and Rowan Keen were the other duo for the Eagles. They were the 11th team to cross the line, finishing in 23:45.23.
East boys coach Ryan Burke said he was encouraged by the effort his runners showed but was a little disappointed with the end result. The Olympians had 46 points to finish fifth.
The top duo for the Olympians was Casey Bartholomew and Garrett McGaha, who placed 14th in 18:40.33. The duo finished 10 seconds ahead of their teammates Kaden Wise and Owen Rupp, who placed 15th in 18:50.87.
Jared Baker and Michael Zieleniuk’s 19:03.81 gave them a 17th-place finish. Jalen Pleak and Caleb Wettschurack took 19th (19:23.26), and Brandon Taylor and Matthew Novreske were 21st (19:32.03).
“It looks like we’re going to have a really strong pack this year,” Burke said. “I think if we just continue to work hard in practice and improve, then we could be dangerous by the end of the year.”