They might be a long shot, but the Columbus North boys still are alive for a chance at a third-consecutive Nike Cross Nationals appearance.
The Bull Dogs, who have finished third and ninth in the country the past two years, took fourth in Sunday’s NXN Midwest Regional at Terre Haute’s LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.
Elmhurst (Ill.) York (95 points) and Carmel (162) claimed the two automatic qualifying spots to the Dec. 1 Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Ore., and were followed by Cincinnati St. Xavier (211) and North (252). A total of four at-large teams from among the nine regionals will be selected Nov. 25 to round out the field of 22.
“I’m very sure they want the team that was third,” North coach Rick Weinheimer said. “Will they want the team that was fourth? They’ve done that before. We will have name recognition this time. We beat a couple ranked teams in the regional, but it will be a long shot.”
The Bull Dogs were not selected after finishing fourth in the regional in 2009. They earned automatic berths with second- and first-place finishes the past two years.
Kaden Eaton led North with a 28th-place finish in 16 minutes, 4.9 seconds. Andy Carr took 52nd in 16:18.7, while Karson Tays was 71st (16:24.5), Seth Williams 142nd (16:45.3), Kevin Rudzinski 146th (16:46.3), Chase Ballard 203rd (17:06.1) and Josh Beiriger 274th (17:22.9).
The Bull Dogs, who finished sixth at the state meet on the same LaVern Gibson course, beat two teams — Valparaiso and Fort Wayne Carroll — that had beaten them in that race.
“I’d say our guys probably did run better than they did at the state meet,” Weinheimer said. “We stayed in solid training. Our boys, I think, were just relaxed and ran really well.”
The North girls finished 10th with 289 points. Carmel (91) and Naperville (Ill.) North (107) claimed the automatic qualifying berths.
Mackenzie Caldwell finished 11th in 18:42.4 to earn second-team All-Midwest Regional honors and lead the Bull Dogs. Sierra Lax took 72nd in 19:39.5, while Rachael Sollman was 74th (19:42.8), Nina Bouthier 114th (20:09.0), Caryn Wolfe 157th (20:30.7), Morgan Neal 195th (20:58.6) and Allison Coffey 204th (21:05.8).
Seymour’s Zoey Johnson, who was running unattached, finished 68th in 19:37.4.
Sollman will compete in Saturday’s Mideast Cross Country Championships in Kettering, Ohio. The meet features the top seniors from Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.
North will also send about 45 kids to the FootLocker Midwest Regional on Nov. 24 in Kenosha, Wis. The top 10 boys and girls individuals from there qualify for the FootLocker nationals Dec. 8 in San Diego.
Players set for soccer showcase
Several soccer players from Columbus are scheduled to compete in this weekend’s Indiana Soccer Coaches Association Showcase at North Central High School.
Seniors Chase Francoeur, Brad Shaw and Reid Wilson and junior Andre Abedian from the state champion North boys squad will be joined on the Region 5 team by Columbus East senior Mitch Tabler. North senior Michelle Amlung and East juniors Sydney Newell and Olivia Smith are on the Region 5 girls squad.
North senior Elizabeth James and junior Kenadie Carlson, and East senior Emma Dwenger were also All-District selections and eligible to play in the showcase but will be with their Carmel United club teams in Virginia this weekend.
The Region 5 girls will play games at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday, while the Region 5 boys will play at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday. All-State voting will take place from 5:15 to 8:45 p.m. Saturday, and the ISCA All-State Awards Banquet will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
North athletes named All-CI
Five players from the state champion and Conference Indiana runner-up North boys soccer team have been named to this year’s All-Conference squad. The Bull Dogs are represented by seniors Mason Engel, McClain Goggin, Tony Gonzalez, Shaw and Wilson.
Amlung, Carlson and James are on the All-Conference girls soccer team. Senior Malissa Hofmeister and junior Gabby Sims were named honorable mention.
Seniors Shaquille Ash, Thomas Shoaf and Taylor Summa made the All-Conference football squad. Seniors Ethan Brown, Luis Cambron, Skyler Farmer and Solomon Knight and junior Luke Teague are honorable-mention selections.
Junior Luke Red is on the All-Conference boys tennis team. Senior Ernest Xi made honorable mention.
Senior Quin Shoultz made the All-Conference volleyball squad.
JC scrimmage time changed
Jennings County’s boys basketball scrimmage against Brownstown Central scheduled for Saturday has been moved from 5 p.m. to a 2 p.m. start.