NASHVILLE — Both the Columbus North boys and girls cross-country teams added to their sectional win streaks by taking first place at Saturday’s Brown County Sectional.
Arig Tong finished in 19 minutes, 17.69 seconds for 5,000 meters (3.1 miles) to place first overall on her way to helping the Bull Dog girls finish with 25 points. Seymour placed second with 53, and Columbus East finished third with 95 points. Brown County (125) and Brownstown Central (132) claimed the final two qualifying spots to Saturday’s Brown County Regional.
North, Seymour and Brown County girls took the top 11 finishes, with the Bull Dogs accounting for six of them. Olivia Morlok took third in 19:28.46, while Aric Tong finished sixth (20:09.97). Kristen Ballard ran a 20:38.50, and Mackenzie Barnett crossed the line in 20:39.30 for seventh- and eighth-place finishes. Ella Anderson placed 10th (21:00.34), and Emma Lawson was 20th (21:57.58).
“We talked about keying off of each other and things like that,” North girls coach Bethany Scruton said.
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“It’s been awhile since they’ve all raced. We didn’t have one last weekend. We practiced last weekend in our workout to pack up and get together. I think they did a really good job with that.”
East girls coach Jesse Shoaf pretty much knew the pecking order of where he thought the Olympians should be, and said they were coming into the race shooting for that third-place spot.
The East girls were led by Olivia Linnemann’s 14th-place finish in 21:26.58 and Elizabeth Stevens 16th in 21:29.76. Kristen Lyons was 18th (21:43.26), Hannah Harris 25th (22:36.26). Amanda Pottorff 27th (22:41.84) and Katie Hagan 39th (23:26.18).
“All of our girls were sitting really well, and we had some good times,” Shoaf said. “We had our group mentality as we were coming in with that big bunch, so that’s really pleasing.”
The top runner for Brown County’s girls was Emilia Koester who placed fourth in 19:33.69. Anna Fleetwood took 11th in 21:04.29, and Emma DeBord was 19th (21:48.99), Maris Wyman’s 37th (23:21.11) and Angel Meece 62nd (27:19.66).
“We have two (runners) who are in the top 11,” Brown County coach Rob Abraham said. “They did well, and then I thought Emma DeBord ran a great race. We just need those other two — my fourth and my fifth, to move up a little bit in order to compete next weekend. It just gets tougher every week.”
Hauser finished 10th with 279 points. Lauryn Starnes was the first Jet to finish, crossing in 24:21.23 for 50th place. Tammy Essex was 54th (25:01.08), Hae-leigh Washburn 63rd (27:24.59). Leah Joyce 65th (27:59.42), and Kristin Keith 68th (29:57.77).
Edinburgh finished 11th with 307 points. Mackenzie Adair placed 59th (26:56.33), and Emily Davis was 64th (27:25.36), Lili Ervin 66th (28:14.83), Destiney Ramey 71st (33:41.93), Haven Link 72nd (34:17.16) and Kaylia Kelley 74th (42:43.10).
Trinity Lutheran only had only had two runners in Jodi Goecker and Abby Hildreth, but Goecker advanced to the regional as an individual by finishing in 22:45.78 to place 28th. Hildreth was 61st (27:10.76).
Wyatt Wyman of Brown County won the boys race in 16:24.46, but the North walked away with the team win with 27 points. The Eagles were a distant second with 85, while Seymour came win third with 90 and Matrinsvillle had 121. East was the fifth and final team to advance with 163.
Sam Horak finished behind Wyman in second place (16:28.51), while teammate Charlie Allen crossed in 16:44.26 to earn a third-place finish. John Sluys was sixth (16:50.46), Drew Thompson seventh (16:51.18), Peyton Shelton ninth (16:59.47), Rishi Poludasu 10th (17:13.09) and Spencer Sherlock 13th (17:24.58).
“They showed up, and they’re prepared to run fast and hard no matter what,” North boys coach Danny Fisher said. “We can only control what we can control, so we focused on those things and ran to our potential.”
Other runners for the Eagles were Jackson McPheeters (fifth in 16:49.83) and Marino Dolph (12th in 17:17.50). Tim Kilburn finished 21st (17:54.62), and Jordan Dolph was 49th (19:33.30), Cameron Fox 51st (19:42.53), Billy Webb 64th (21:38.28) and Sean Tharp 67th (22:31.13).
“Wyatt wining was big for us,” Abraham said. “Whenever you can have a single-digit person, it’s definitely going to be one of those things that’s a major benefit for us. My top three ran solid races.”
The Olympians came into the sectional knowing they were going to have to compete if they wanted to advance in that fifth spot. East boys coach Ryan Burke said his runners didn’t have their best race, but it was still good enough to get the job done.
Garrett McGaha was the top East runner, finishing in 17:26.62 for a 14th-place finish. Ryan Sadtler took 33rd (18:36.89), while Kade Wise was 39th (19:05.37), James Ziel 40th (19:06.04), Nick Walter 42nd (19:11.36), Matthew Novreske 50th (19:37.87) and Jared Baker 55th (20:14.24).
“Obviously, I’m relieved we advanced,” Burke said. “I don’t believe we ran our best race today, so we’re going to go through a week of practice, put in some good work and come back and see what happens next week.”
The Hauser boys placed ninth with 208 points. David Seelye will be advancing to regional after placing 15th individually in 17:27.24. Ryan Ault was 37th (18:56.85), Jordan Johnson 38th (18:57.80), Brock Thalls 58th (20:55.37) and Noah Benge 66th place (22:16:18).
“I think the effort was great, and times were pretty good,” Hauser coach Ben Finke said of both the boys and girls teams. “We had had a few (personal bests), and I think we ran the races we wanted to run today.”
Trinity had another Goecker advance to the regional, with lone boys runner AJ Goecker placing 11th individually in 17:14.84. Isaiah Estes was Edinburgh’s lone boys runner and finished 65th in 22:01.54.