North girls third in state in cross country

TERRE HAUTE — Three was the magic number for the Columbus North girls cross-country team Saturday afternoon.

The Bull Dogs finished third in the state finals for the third time in the high school career of their three varsity seniors — Sierra Lax, Nina Bouthier and Allison Coffey. North finished fifth last year.

“We would have loved to have been in the top two,” North coach Rick Weinheimer said. “But we have a really good girls team and really neat girls that anchor that. That’s a very deserving group to be on the awards stand.”

The second-ranked Bull Dogs were led by junior Rachel Brougher, who earned All-State honors with an 11th-place finish in 18 minutes, 20.8 seconds for 5,000 meters (3.1 miles). Lax, Bouthier and Coffey weren’t far behind.

Meanwhile, North’s boys team finished eighth among the 24 teams entered in the state finals. Senior Ben Rankin led the fifth-ranked Bull Dogs with a 49th-place finish in 16:10.4. He was followed closely by senior Chase McQueen, junior Elijah Brooks and senior Chandler Steward.

Top-ranked Carmel swept the boys and girls individual and team titles.