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Seymour’s Johnson wins conference: Columbus East boys, girls cross-country squads finish fifth overall

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VERNON TOWNSHIP — Seymour’s Zoey Johnson set a course record with a 19:18.2 in winning the Hoosier Hills Conference Girls Cross County individual title on Saturday at Muscatatuck State Park.

Johnson’s effort helped the Owls to a third-place finish behind conference champion Floyd Central and runner-up New Albany.

“The course record didn’t even enter my mind,” said Johnson, who ran under overcast skies that kept temperatures cool. “I just wanted to run a good race. It felt good to have such a good run at the conference meet. I felt great during my run and my body felt great. I had a case of dead legs this past week, but today I felt great.”

Columbus East finished fifth and was led by Morgan Ketron’s 15th-place finish in 21:51.3. Jennings County finished seventh and was led by Olivia Heaton, who placed eighth in 21:21.

Johnson’s steady pace enabled her to pull away from the rest of the field by more than a minute.

On the boys side, Bedford North Lawrence captured the team title.

The Seymour boys finished second and were led by Jack Tormoehlen (16:58.4) who finished third to race winner Arthur Cross-Najafi from Bedford North Lawrence (16:34.7).

“I felt pretty good out there,” Tormoehlen said. “My time was a little slower than usual for me, but I’m happy with it. It was a good run.”

Cross-Najafi held on to win a competitive race that saw the top five runners finish within a 30-second margin of each other.

The Columbus East boys finished fifth and were led by Clayton Johnson, who finished in 17:39.7. The Jennings County boys finished seventh and were led by Jonah Woods (17:03.2).

Conference Coach of the Year honors went to Carl Hook (girls) from Floyd Central and Scott Hiles (boys) from Bedford North Lawrence.

Columbus East, Jennings County and Seymour will get another chance Tuesday when they meet at the Brown County Invitational. The sectionals are Oct. 9.

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