Kilbarger-Stumpff, Bull Dog boys claim crown

NASHVILLE — Columbus North boys cross-country coach Danny Fisher went into this weekend hoping a dry course would lead to some fast times for his runners in Saturday’s Brown County Semistate.

A little rain on Friday and Saturday morning softened the Eagle Park course a little, but not enough to slow down the top-ranked Bull Dogs. They still put five runners under 16 minutes an rolling to the semistate title.

“I think this time of year, you just worry about getting out and competing,” Fisher said. “That’s what it takes to win races. We came out here to win and run the best that we can and focus on that.”

The Bull Dogs finished with 45 team points. No. 15 Bloomington North finished second with 129, while No. 21 Floyd Central (151), No. 12 Northview (157), No. 14 Bloomington South (196) and Austin (213) claimed the other state-qualifying spots.

Columbus North senior Reese Kilbarger-Stumpff won the 5,000-meter (3.1-mile) race in 15 minutes, 10.5 seconds. He pulled away from Forest Park’s Spenser Wolf around the 2K mark. Wolf caught Kilbarger-Stumpff around the 3K mark, but Kilbarger-Stumpff pulled away again around the 4K mark.

“I think I made more moves and led more of the race, which I was proud of,” Kilbarger-Stumpff said. “I made some hard moves, which is uncomfortable to me. Mostly, I was trying to take the run out of Spenser Wolf and Abe Eckman of Jasper just so Matt (Newell) could hawk them down.”

Newell finished fourth in 15:30.3. Clayton Guthrie and Mateo Mendez took 12th and 13th in 15:46.3 and 15:48.6, while Evan Carr was 18th (15:54.4), Will Kiel 35th (16:15.3) and Will Russell 40th (16:18.6).

“I think we ran pretty great,” Fisher said. “Five in the top 20 is pretty good. Definitely, this semistate is a little bit deeper than it maybe has been in years’ past, so it’s good to have seven guys up there competing for places in the teens.”

Jennings County fell short in its quest to qualify for state, finishing 11th with 290 points. Brenden Baker and Aidan Ernstes took 53rd and 54th in 16:41.5 and 16:43.2, while Eli Wahlman was 66th (16:54.6), Logan McIntosh 80th (17:02.7), Lane Elsner 87th (17:06.6), Noah McFall 136th (17:47.8) and Elijah Hatton 148th (18:00.7).

Brown County finished 18th with 441 points, but did qualify one runner to Saturday’s state finals at Terre Haute’s LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course. Chase Austin placed 17th in 15:53.2 to advance as an individual.

Also for the Eagles, Rhett Silbaugh finished 116th in 17:24.2. Cord Smith took 139th in 17:49.2, while Waylon Patrick was 146th (17:56.6), Rafe Silbaugh 149th (18:06.9), Case Smith 152nd (18:10.2) and Charlie Webb 154th (18:13.5).