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FOR the Columbus North boys and girls cross-country teams, the quest for state championships will go through Carmel.
The second-ranked Bull Dogs boys and girls teams will try to upset the top-ranked Greyhound squads Saturday afternoon at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country course in Terre Haute. The boys race is at 1 p.m., and the girls will follow at 1:45 p.m.
“This is an exciting time for us because we know there’s a handful of probably four or five teams that can finish near the top, and we believe we’re one of those,” said Rick Weinheimer, who has led North to five boys and one girls state titles. “How high up at top we get, I don’t think I know yet, and that’s part of the fun of it.
“I know our training has been great, and we’re getting better and better every week, he said. “It’s going to be fun to see where we end up.”
The Bull Dogs boys won state titles in 2002, 2003 and from 2009-11. They finished sixth last season.
North’s girls won their lone state crown in 2009.
The Bull Dogs were second in 2010 and 2011 and third last season.
“We need to go into it thinking anything is possible and focus on each of us running the best that we can individually in order to help the team do the best that they can,” senior Mackenzie Caldwell said.
Caldwell will be looking to become North’s first girls individual champion. The senior has the state’s second-fastest time this season, a 17-minute, 29.9-second clocking. The leader — defending state and national champion Anna Rohrer of Mishawaka — is out with a foot injury.
Caldwell posted the third-fastest semistate time in the state Saturday with a 17:45.3 at Brown County. Carmel’s Kelcy Welch ran 17:35.9, and Avon’s Mary Abramson ran 17:44.9 in the Carmel Semistate.
“I’ve raced both of those girls, and they’re good runners,” Caldwell said. “I think it’s going to be a race, and I’m going to give it my best shot.
“I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to approach it yet,” she said. “I’m just going to try to run my race and focus on doing the best I can.”
Olympians getting healthy
Now that the Columbus East volleyball team has reached the semistate, the Olympians are as healthy as they’ve been all season.
East did lose junior Courtney Frost to a torn ACL and sophomore Kortney Thalls to a torn meniscus in the preseason. Senior Erin Mack, who tore an ACL in the spring, re-tore it in September and was lost for the season.
The Olympians also played the first part of the season without sophomore Katie Mack because of a hip injury. Junior Caitlyn Williams recently returned after having a concussion and stitches in her head.
“Sometimes, I don’t even know who’s going to be practicing,” East coach Faith Wilder-Newland said. “It doesn’t matter what it could have been. We just have to go with it.”
The Class 4A No. 10 Olympians (25-12) will play Bishop Chatard (23-13) at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Seymour Semistate. No. 2 Avon (34-3) and No. 6 Floyd Central (29-8) will meet in the second semifinal, and the title game will be at 7 p.m. Saturday.
East QB reaches milestone
East quarterback Alex Cowan had a big year last season when he accumulated more than 1,000 yards both passing and rushing.
In Friday night’s first-round sectional win at Madison, Cowan went over the 1,000-yard passing mark again with a 181-yard effort. For the season, he has completed 45 of 69 passes for 1,004 yards and 19 touchdowns.
“We’ve worked hard on that this year because we want to be more balanced than we were last year,” Cowan said.
Cowan has run 83 times for 693 yards and eight touchdowns.
Trio makes Academic All-State
East’s Sydney Newell in girls soccer and Hauser’s Haley Webster and Brown County’s Alaina Glidden in volleyball are Academic All-State selections by the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association.
East’s Rachel Amlung, Katey Bastian, Olivia Darnell, Amy Hanson, Sarah Klein, Hannah Park and Olivia Smith are honorable mention selections in girls soccer.
2 Cougars to play in all-star game
While the boys and girls soccer state finals are taking place Saturday in Indianapolis, several small-school players will play in the POSTYOURT.ORG East/West High School Soccer All-Star Games at Knightstown High School.
Two Trinity Lutheran players will play in the Game 3 boys contest. Stone Riddle and Bobby Tabeling are on the East squad that will play the West in the final game of the day at 5 p.m.
Ted Schultz is a sports reporter for The Republic. Send comments to email@example.com.
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