Howard County will be well represented at next weekend’s IHSAA cross country state finals, as four runners performed well enough in Saturday’s New Prairie Semistate to punch their tickets to state.
On the boys side, Eastern’s Lewis Duke, Western’s Matt Grider and Kokomo’s Jeremy Breedlove finished in the top 12 to take spots at next Saturday’s state meet at Terre Haute.
In the girls race, Northwestern senior Taryn Thor finished in sixth place in 18:41.6 to earn the trip to state. LaPorte’s Elena Lancioni was the race winner in 18:11.3.
“She cut 36 seconds off her course best up there,” NW coach Dave Stevens said. “She ran just an outstanding race. I was very proud of how she positioned herself so she made sure she was up in that top group right from the start. She’s accomplished her goal of getting to state, we just have one more week of getting her ready and see what she can do down there.”
The top six teams and top 10 individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to state. This marks Thor’s first trip to state, and the first time Stevens has sent a girl to the state meet.
Eastern’s Carly Jones finished 25th in 19:44, while Western’s Nicole Hampshire took 45th in 20:14.2. Eastern’s Jessie Sprinkles followed closely behind in 46th at 20:15.4. The Comets’ Avery Ewing followed in 55th at 20:24.9, and Erin Knepley finished 65th in 20:39 as Western finished 15th as a team. Also for Western, Samantha Luginbuhl was 117th (21:22.4), Emma Nixon was 121st (21:28.8) and Jama Claxton was 163rd (22:41.5). Eastern’s Elyssa DeAngulo was 152nd in a time of 22:21.1.
“It was a little bit disappointing that we didn’t get any of the girls individually to state,” Eastern coach Brandon Mink said. “Eighteenth was the last cut for making it on and it was just a real fast day, a lot of girls stepped up. We ran OK but it was just a really fast day for some folks that we hadn’t expected to be there. Overall, I’m just glad to have a great season. Everybody comes back next year that ran [Saturday].