Northwestern’s boys cross country team used a balanced attack to win the Logansport Sectional on Saturday.
The Tigers posted a score of 62 to finish comfortably ahead of runner-up Cass (101). Western (108), Pioneer (108) and Winamac (143) rounded out the top five in the 11-team field. The top five teams advance to the Culver Academies Regional.
Northwestern’s top five runners all finished in the top 16. Caleb Champion led the charge with an eighth-place finish in 18:28 and Isaiah Kanable was 11th in 18:41. From there, the Tigers had a nice pack with Caden Lechner (13th, 18:56), Matthan McGriff (14th, 19:00) and Colin Feazel (16th, 19:05). The Tigers’ sixth and seventh runners, Matthew Mitchell and Gunnar LaShure, followed in 18th and 21st.
“We have had our focus set on this meet since last year,” Northwestern coach Josh Perry said. “Winning sectionals was the goal all along and the boys paid their dues all offseason and summer to get here. The race didn’t go as planned, but the boys competed and didn’t give an inch.”
It’s Northwestern’s first sectional title since 1989.
“I hope they understand how special their accomplishments are,” Perry said.
For runner-up Cass, Enoch Hines (18:16) and Dominic Gilbert (18:23) finished fifth and sixth to lead the Kings. Braxton Armstrong (19:15) was 20th, Felix Palafox (19:21) was 22nd and Gustavo Herane Macaya (21:11) was 48th to round out Cass’ scoring.
Pete Bradshaw led Western with a second-place run. He covered the course in 17:41. Maconaquah’s Isaiah Wittenberg won the race in 17:07.
“Pete ran well and was in position when they came out of the woods,” Western coach Gary Jewell said. “He’s been near the front the entire season. But Isaiah is a good runner, too. And he was just a little bit better on Saturday.”
Western’s other scoring runners were: Brady Parks (23rd, 19:25); Charlie Conkle (25th, 19:34); Taylor Rathbun (26th, 19:34) and Aden Yeary (32nd, 19:46). Western beat Pioneer for third place by a tiebreaker.
Jewell noted the recent rains left the course wet and slick in spots.
“Aden Yeary was the only runner in the entire field to set a new personal best,” Jewell said. “In the last three weeks he’s dropped over two and half minutes since New Prairie. He’s finally seeing a glimpse of where he was in middle school.”
In addition to the top five teams, the top 10 individuals from the remaining teams also advance to the regional. Those runners include: Maconaquah’s Wittenberg and Daylen Schrock (seventh, 18:35); Kokomo’s Collin Keesling (12th, 18:47) and Kelton Serra (33rd, 19:53); Eastern’s J.T. Webster (17th, 19:07) and Obadiah Greene (19th, 19:11); Carroll’s Eli Harshbarger (27th, 19:34); and Peru’s Leland Brown (28th, 19:36).
Tipton took seventh place in the sectional, which is dominated by large schools like Carmel and Noblesville.
Tipton advanced Evan Long and Chris Adams individually to the Noblesville Regional. Long continued his big season with a fifth-place showing in 16:31 and Adams was 41st in 18:51.
Western (66) edged Maconaquah (68) and defending champion Winamac (71) to win the Logansport Sectional. Cass (112) and Northwestern (134) rounded out the top five. The top five teams in the 11-team field advance to the Culver Academies Regional.
It’s Western’s fifth sectional title in the last seven years and 11th all-time. The Panthers had won two in a row before Winamac broke through last year.
The Panthers put their top five runners in the top 21. Lauren Bradley was fifth in 21:26, Madelyn Shoaff was eighth in 21:43, Cami Caldwell was 15th in 22:39, Destiny Herr was 17th in 22:53 and Sophie Foehner was 21st in 23:12.
Likewise, runner-up Maconaquah had good balance, putting their top five runners in the top 24. Abby Jordan was third in 20:47, Lucy Loshnowsky was 11th in 22:08, Samantha Jones was 14th in 22:35, Lauren Driscoll was 16th in 22:48 and Aubrey McClain was 24th in 24:02.
Makenna Leicht and Liberty Scott led Cass with Leicht taking second in 20:15 and Scott taking fourth in 21:09. Mackenzie Dockery (30th, 25:21), Fernanda Montiel (34th, 25:44) and Emerson Jones (42nd, 26:19) rounded out the Kings’ scoring.
Northwestern’s Hannah Moore repeated as the individual champion. The Tiger sophomore covered the course in 19:23.
Also for the Tigers, Katelyn Saul was 27th in 24:50, Ella Deck was 32nd in 25:30, Sally Freeman was 35th in 25:45 and Hannah Troyer was 39th in 25:57.
“The girls have wanted to move onto regionals all year. They have battled and improved every race this year. They really earned their trip to Culver this season,” Northwestern coach Josh Perry said. “I couldn’t be any prouder of the girls for how they fought this season. Hannah Moore ran perfectly. We wanted to run a relaxed race without dialing back too much.
“I can’t believe how far Hannah has come. She has set herself up really well for the rest of the state tournament. I know she’s happy to bring the team to regionals with her this season too.”
In addition to the top five teams, the top 10 individuals from the remaining teams also advance to the regional. Those runners include: Carroll’s Anna Goodrich (12th, 22:16) and Aubrey Salts (31st, 25:28); and the Eastern trio of Emily Slaughter (19th, 22:59), Lily Greene (23rd, 24:00) and Alesia Rummel (37th, 25:51).
Maconaquah went 2-1 in its invitational. The Braves beat Southern Wells 2-0 (25-9, 25-16) and beat Carroll (25-15, 25-9) to reach the championship. Culver Academies beat the Braves 2-0 (25-14, 25-22).
Against Southern Wells, Taylor Roesler and Lilly Maple led the Braves with a combined 11 kills and Averi Miller had 12 assists. Against Carroll, the Braves’ highlights included Roesler’s 11 kills and 21 digs, Mackenzie Nord’s six kills, Maple’s 13 digs and Miller’s 23 assists and 10 digs. And against Culver Academies, Alyssa Birner had seven kills, Maple had nine digs and 15 serve receptions and Miller had 15 assists.