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NASHVILLE — The Columbus East boys cross-country team set a primary goal to perform strong in Tuesday afternoon’s Brown County Pre-State Invitational, hoping to build momentum going into the sectional.
The Olympians achieved that goal, winning the team event with 71 points. Seymour and Franklin each finished with 76, with the Owls taking second because of a faster sixth runner.
“I think this race for huge for us going into sectional,” East coach Ryan Burke said. “This is the first win we’ve had since I’ve been here, and being on this course and getting that confidence boost for our young team will go a long way towards our performance next Tuesday.”
The Olympians were led by Isaac Richardson, who finished fourth in 17 minutes, 10 seconds for 5,000 meters (3.1 miles).
“I felt pretty good with my time for an afternoon race,” Richardson said. “I believe it’s over a minute faster than I have ran here before. This was a good race for us to gauge where we are before coming back here for sectional on Tuesday.”
East’s Paul Baker finished seventh in 17:21. Jacob Bostic took 12th (17:42), while Paul Bean was 20th (17:58) and Will Bucklew 34th (18:40).
The boys race was won by Jennings County’s Jonah Woods, who ran 16:46.
“I’m a little disappointed with my time,” Woods said. “I was on time through the second mile, but in the third mile I didn’t push through like I should have.”
Woods’ Jennings team finished seventh with 164 points, but he feels confident going into its sectional next week at Madison.
“I feel we’re ready for sectional,” Woods said. “As a team, I feel we’re strong and ready to compete. I think we have a good chance to move on.”
Other top area runners included Seymour’s Jack Tormoehlen, who finished ninth in 17:29 and Chris Norman from Brown County who finished 15th in 17:45. The Eagles finished eighth as a team with 178 points.
The girls race was dominated by Greenwood, who won the team event with 22 points and had four of the top five individual finishers. Brown County finished second with 58 and was paced by foreign exchange student Elodie Belleflamme, who finished seventh in 20:51.
Belleflamme is excited to be part of school sports and in awe of the events, something that’s not as prevalent in her home country of Belgium.
“We don’t have team running like this at home,” Belleflamme said. “It is amazing to be a part of team and be a part of this.”
Brown County’s Alecia Frederick finished ninth in 21:04, and Rose Guingrich was 12th in 21:17.
East finished third with 84 points. Kira Singer took sixth in 20:51, while Morgan Ketron was 10th (21:09), Rachel Foley 18th (21:59), Emma Mensendiek 28th (22:44) and Megan Miller 32nd (22:53).
The Seymour team took a different approach coming into the event. Having ran three meets in the past week, and with sectional a week away, the Owls decided to ease up and use the meet as a workout and finished fourth with 103 points.
“As a team we ran as a tempo run. We’ve had three meets in the past week, and we needed a bit of a break,” said Madison Hays who finished 20th in 22:22. “We feel it was a good workout before sectional. Running here today will help us map out where we need to shave some time on this course.”
Jennings finished sixth with 156 points. Rachel Thomas took 15th in 21:33, while Olivia Heaton was 24th in 22:29.
Jets clinch share of MHC title
HOPE — Hauser clinched at least a share of the Mid-Hoosier Conference title with a 25-13, 25-16, 25-19 win against Edinburgh.
Haley Webster led the Jets (14-7, 8-0) with 10 digs and two aces. Jordan McDaniel pounded 11 kills, Ellie Trotter recorded 27 assists, Kiera Easley had two blocks and Jordan Cain and Sam Greenhut each served one ace. Brianna Howard led the Lancers (3-18, 0-7) with five kills and six digs.
Panthers down Red Devils
NORTH VERNON — Jeffersonville came closer in each game, but Jennings held on for a 25-10, 25-17, 25-22 victory.
Kyleigh Nelson led the Panthers with 25 assists and 17 digs. Emily Ertel pounded 11 kills, Emma Campbell had four blocks and Hannah Shockley and Dani Kirchner each served three aces.
Eagles sweep Mohawks
WALDRON — Brown County cruised to a 25-17, 25-19, 25-19 win at Waldron.
Liz Jackson pounded 14 kills, and Bri Harper recorded 26 assists for the Eagles.
Alaina Glidden had three blocks, and Maddi Talor served three aces.
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