“I’m proud of the girls for how they came through after we had all those girls graduate last year. I’m looking forward to building on that.”
Cass’ Gabi Carney took 106th in 21:15.5, and Taylor’s Cami Hansen was 108th at 21:16.5.
On the boys side, three runners will run on to state, led by Eastern’s Duke, who took seventh in 16:09. Warsaw’s Ellis Coon took top honors in 15:45.5.
“It was really an awesome race,” Eastern’s Mink said. “Lewis, he’s just rock sold and the way he’s run this year has been so smart. he got back at the 800-meter mark and he was probably in the 40s, and I was a little worried but knowing Lewis, not too worried. He just kept picking people off. By the time I saw him at two miles, he was down to 16th or 17th and then he was at 12th at 400 meters left and he kicked by five guys and took seventh place. He’s such a strong runner at seventh place. It’s a real joy to have him advance.
Western’s Grider was next across the finish line in eighth at 16:11.6 as the Panthers finished 14th as a team.
Riley Carter (69th, 17:24.1), Josh Everetts (114th, 17:47.6), Auston Davenport (123rd, 17:53.3) and Mark Boss (134th, 18:02.7) rounded out Western’s lineup.
“Matt ran a typical Matt race, which is he ran very consistently through the first four K and then he finished with a fast last K,” Western coach Gary Jewell said. “I was standing at 3K and he was about 20th place. He just kept moving through the pack. He told me after the [regional] race that neither his breathing nor his legs felt good. This week his breathing is back, his legs are a little off. He thinks by next week both will be where they should be.