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October 15, 2013

XC sectional preview

Cross country sectional is today at Logansport

Western’s boys squad and Eastern’s girls team look like the favorites in today’s Logansport Cross Country Sectional.

Western’s boys are shooting for their second straight sectional title and third in four years. Eastern’s girls are gunning for their fifth straight sectional crown.

The sectional brings together 12 schools. The boys race is at 5 p.m. at the Berry Patch with the girls race to follow at 5:45. In both races, the top five teams and the top 10 individuals from non-qualifying teams will move on to Saturday’s Culver Academies Regional.

Western’s boys are coming off a dominant victory in the Mid-Indiana Conference meet last week. The Panthers put seven runners in the top 11 and posted a score of 27 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Hamilton Heights (67). It was the Panthers’ fourth straight MIC title.

“I don’t know if we’re the [sectional] favorite or not. Kokomo is running really well right now,” Western coach Gary Jewell said, noting the Wildkats’ runner-up finish in the North Central Conference meet last week caught his attention. “We have a pretty decent shot at winning. We need to run a better race than what we’ve been doing. We had a nice performance at conference. It’s hard to compare times on [different] courses, but at this time of year, it’s all about position, all about putting guys ahead of Kokomo’s guys.”

Jewell noted Kokomo has a gap in time after its top three runners. He wants to put several Western runners in between Kokomo’s Nos. 3 and 4 runners.

Western is led by Matt Grider, who returned from an injury last week and posted a runner-up finish in the MIC meet. Teammates Riley Carter and Caleb Maddox were fourth and fifth.

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