In the absence of a Nike Cross Nationals for the second year in a row, most of the nation’s top boys and girls cross-country teams are headed to Huntsville, Alabama, this weekend for the Running Lane Nationals.
The Columbus North teams will be among those 30 boys and 30 girls squads competing for an unofficial national championship. The Nike Cross Nationals were canceled again this year because of COVID.
The Bull Dog girls won the Indiana state championship Oct. 30 and finished third in the Nike Midwest Regional Nov. 14, both in Terre Haute. North is seeded 15th among the teams who are entered in Saturday’s Running Lane Nationals.
“We’re pretty healthy,” North girls coach Rick Sluder said. “Everything has been progressing going pretty well since Nike. We’d definitely like to be a top-10 team.”
The Bull Dogs will be taking 20 girls. The same seven that ran in the state and regional races will be competing in the 10:45 am. CST (11:45 a.m. EST) championship race, and a B and C team will run in the Silver Race.
“We want to compete well, but it’s also a great reward for these girls, as hard working as they are and as talented as they are,” Sluder said.
The North boys are seeded 19th. They also will take 20 runners, with the same seven that ran at state competing in the 11:30 a.m. CST (12:30 p.m. EST) championship race. Thirteen others will run in the Blue Race.
The Bull Dog boys finished third in the state meet and did not compete in the Nike Midwest Regional.
“We trained for the state meet, and we’re trying to hold onto that fitness we had at the end of the year,” North boys coach Danny Fisher said. “We’re going down there to gain some experience and see how teams conduct themselves at that level. We want to become a national-level program year-in-and-year-out, and we want to come back with a new motivation and a new ceiling in terms of how good we can be.”
Olympians, Panthers make All-HHC
Five members of the Hoosier Hills Conference runner-up Columbus East football team have been named to this year’s All-HHC squad.
East’s Josh Luedeke, Ashton Hartwell, Tryce Villarreal, Jamall Starks and Chase Harrison made the first team, along with Jennings County’s Peyton Hayden and Cole Marskberry. East’s Jaden Durnil, Caaden Gault and Devon Tekulve and Jennings’ Zach Reason are honorable mention selections.
Hammons named North football MVP
Senior quarterback Luke Hammons has been named MVP of the Columbus North football team.
Bryce Abner won the Bull Dog Award, Matthew Hager won the Tom Orr “Renaissance” Award and Jaxson Scruggs won the John Skobel Memorial Scholarship. Keegan Castetter was named Most Valuable Offensive back/receiver, Neal Likens was Most Valuable Offensive lineman, Dawson Adams was Most Valuable Defensive Lineman, Connor Essick was Most Valuable Linebacker/Defensive Back and Scruggs was Most Valuable Special Teams player.
Max Mormino won the JV Bull Dog Award.
Jets’ Blair receives sportsmanship pin
Hauser’s Jayden Blair was the recipient of an IHSAA sportsmanship pin earlier this week.
Blair was cited for helping set up for the junior high and C-team basketball games after practice, then volunteering to keep the scorebook for the C-team game.
Hauser-Lutheran game has early start
Tonight’s Hauser at Indianapolis Lutheran girls basketball game will be a varsity-only contest. The game will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Also, Friday’s Brown County at Eastern Greene game will be varsity-only with a 7 p.m. tipoff.
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. he can be reached at [email protected] or 812-379-5628.