FC sweeps Eastern Regional
Just like they did at the Crawford County cross country sectional, the Floyd Central Highlanders swept the Pekin Eastern regional Saturday morning under clear blue skies.
Meanwhile, both Crawford County’s boys’ and girls’ teams advanced to the semi-state for the first time in school history.
Probably the biggest question of the girls’ race was whether Silver Creek’s Kelsey Page’s back problems would bother her enough to affect her performance and keep her from winning her fourth straight regional title. Page answered that question at the gun, taking the lead and stretching it out ahead of South Central’s Sarah Pease in the first half mile.
Also in the lead group was Floyd Central’s Lisa Miville, with North Harrison’s Amber Gresham in sixth place. Crawford County’s Lauren Schaftlein also worked her way to the front, with several of her teammates nearby, showing the orange jerseys had some strength.
By the time the runners came back around for the last quarter mile, Page had established her dominance and went on to win by 14 seconds over Pease. Gresham made a late charge to get by Rising Sun’s Maggie Sauerhage for fifth place. Schaftlein finished 10th. Floyd Central’s Allison Laird and Sadie Huth finished 11th and 14th, respectively.
‘I was going to try to stay with her as long as I could, run like I did here when we ran here for the invitational,’ said Pease, who finished in a time of 15 minutes, 13 seconds, good enough for a spot in Saturday’s semi-state at Bedford.
Gresham, whose finish was good enough to advance to Bedford, had a clear plan for her race.
‘The main strategy was to beat (Pekin Eastern’s Angie Sells), because I figured she’d run a hard race on her home course,’ said Gresham, who covered the course in 15:46. ‘I knew I’d been struggling with her all year, so that was my goal. If I had 50 more yards, I could have got the other girl, too, but I didn’t.’
Gresham admitted she will be inexperienced Saturday, when running at Bedford.
‘Now, semi-state, I don’t know about that,’ she said. ‘It’s a whole new thing. I’ll wait a couple of days before I start stressing about that one.’
‘Amber ran tremendous today,’ said North Harrison coach Monty Schneider. ‘I challenged her a little bit and told her there’s some kids she needs to work on beating and stay with them. She’s got the ability. She’s got a sprinter’s background, but she’s really improving and really a competitor.
‘There’s still something left in her tank. She did step up today and ran a 15:46, under 16 on a legit course.’
Floyd Central, with 61 points, finished first in the girls’ team standings. Behind Miville, Laird and Huth, Andrea Trinkle was 20th and Logan Jenny 32nd.
The Ladypack of Crawford County finished second, 20 points behind Floyd. Besides Schaftlein’s 10-place finish, Sarah Rothrock and Chelsea Hollis placed 21st and 24th, respectively. Morgan Kenner was 26th, with Renee Darland 27th and Hope Mitchell 33rd.
‘We weren’t even supposed to get out,’ said Rothrock, a senior. ‘This is the best we’ve ever placed in the regional, so it feels really good. My race was a lot better than sectional. I was sick that day and felt really bad, but today, I felt good and ran a lot stronger.’
Rothrock said she hopes for an even better day at Bedford.
‘The last two years we ran really bad at semi-state,’ she said. ‘Our freshman year, we ran well. We’ve already run there and run good times, so we’re hoping this year we do a lot better than we’ve ever done. So, we’re looking for it to be a good semi-state.’
North Harrison’s Christian Horstman probably felt pretty good at the beginning of the boys’ race while he led early. That lasted only a few hundred meters, however, as Charlestown’s Hillary Bowen, Floyd Central’s Ben Draper, New Albany’s Eric Schulz and Southwestern’s Derick Clark made their moves.
Draper made a charge to the lead on the second circuit, but Clark and Bowen were not shaken. On the last circuit, Bowen, a native of Kenya, was in full command. Bowen went on to win in a time of 16:53 with Draper second at 17:09.
Floyd Central put four runners in the top 12 to secure the team championship. Besides Draper, Mark Hamilton was eighth, Brad Robertson 11th, Keigan Mull 12th and Sam Mires 40th.
The last three years Crawford County had seen its boys’ season end at the regional, being ousted by just two or three points. This time, the Wolfpack got the monkey off its back with a solid fourth-place team finish, just two points behind Jeffersonville, to advance to the semi-state.
Individually, Chris Humphrey finished 21st, Dustin Lindsey 22nd, Ryan Bean 29th, R.T. Elliott 30th and Brandon Curl 48th.
North Harrison’s Shay Barnickle finished 32nd, and Horstman fell to 42nd. The Cougars placed ninth overall.
‘The boys’ team is very young,’ Schneider said. ‘We only beat one team. We had one of our normal top fives that was a little off today. We could have as easily been in seventh or eighth. We only had one senior, no juniors, the rest freshmen and sophomores. So, we’ve got a future ahead of us.’
Girls’ Scores (Top 5 to Semi-State) – Floyd Central 61, Crawford County 81, New Albany 100, Southwestern 107, Silver Creek 109, Madison 142, Rising Sun 150, North Harrison 175, Providence 221, Jeffersonville 243, Inc – South Central, Pekin Eastern, Switzerland Co. Borden, Christian Academy, Henryville
Girls’ Results (Top 15 to Semi-State) – 1. Kelsey Page (SilCk) 14:59, 2. Sarah Pease (SoCent) 15:13, 3. Lisa Miville (FC) 15:30, 4. Whitney Hamilton (Swstrn) 15:45, 5. Amber Gresham (NH) 15:46, 6. Maggie Sauerhage (RS) 15:50, 7. Angie Sells (PE) 15:53, 8. Kristin Hart (Mad) 15:56, 9. Amanda Hon (SwtzCo) 16:02, 10. Lauren Schaftlein (CC) 16:06, 11. Allison Laird (FC) 16:11, 12. Sally Bell (Swstrn) 16:26, 13. Caitlyn Bowman (RS) 16:31, 14, Sadie Huth (FC) 16:35, 15. Allison Goodwell (NA) 16:36
Boys’ Scores (Top 5 to Semi-State) – Floyd Central 35, Silver Creek 43, Jeffersonville 116, Crawford County 118, Southwestern 124, New Albany 157, Rising Sun 175, Corydon 191, North Harrison 202, Switzerland 242, Inc – Austin, Borden, Charlestown, Lanesville, Madison, Scottsburg
Boys’ Results (Top 15 to Semi-State) – 1. Hillary Bowen (Chrlstn) 16:53, 2. Ben Draper (FC) 17:09, 3. Alex Jones (SilCk) 17:14, 4. Derick Clark (Swstrn) 17:21, 5. Jeremy Brown (Chrlstn) 17:24, 6. Eric Schulz (NA) 17:27, 7. Adam Hough (A) 17:30, 8. Mark Hamilton (FC) 17:30, 9. Neal Masterson (Jeff) 17:33, 10. Ryan Strom (SilCk) 17:34, 11. Brad Robertson (FC) 17:37, 12. Keigan Mull (FC) 17:41, 13. Bryant Layman (Mad) 17:48, 14. Jonathon Muncy (SilCk) 17:52, 15. Brendan Chwalek (SilCk) 17:53