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Stewart nabs Corydon’s first state bid

Stewart nabs Corydon’s first state bid
Stewart nabs Corydon’s first state bid
Corydon Central sophomore Marcie Stewart finishes 11th in the girls' race of the Brown County semi-state cross country meet to become the school's first-ever state finalist for girls in the sport. She will compete in Saturday's state finals in Terre Haute. Photos By Wade Bell

The Floyd Central Lady Highlanders cross country team punched its ticket to the state finals on Saturday when it placed third at the Brown County Semi-State. Also making the cut was Corydon Central’s Marcie Stewart, placing 11th of the 176 girls running.
‘It was a strong effort like always,’ Floyd Central girls’ coach Carl Hook said. ‘That’s all we’re after is our best effort. … ‘
The start of the girls’ race saw Forest Park’s Clare Mehling immediately go to the front of the field. Floyd Central’s Kyley Sorg pushed her way up to the top 25 as did Corydon Central’s Stewart. A mile into the race positions started changing hands. Mehling dropped to sixth, but Stewart had moved into the top 15. A little farther back, Sorg and her Floyd Central teammates, Faith Barba and Sydney Liddle, were clustered together about 10 spots back.
In the end, Bloomington North’s Grace Williams crossed the finish line in first place in a time of 17 minutes, 53 seconds. Mehling finished in sixth in a time of 18:34.2, while Stewart just missed a top-10 finish, crossing the line in the 11th spot in a time of 18:42.0.
‘It was a lot faster than I expected it to be,’ Stewart said. ‘I didn’t expect to finish at the pace I did. I knew by the website races, I was expecting to be ranked in the top-10 individuals to qualify for state, so I didn’t really know what I expected. I just tried to stay with the front pack and just tried to race with them and then throughout the race just pick people off.’
‘I felt really good,’ Stewart said. ‘My foot started hurting at the very end because I was going pretty fast. I guess that was part of the reason it hurt. But I felt really good the whole time. Everything about (the course) was really good. I think they widened it or something, but it was a great course. It’s definitely a fast course.’
Corydon Central finished 13th as a team. Besides Stewart, Emily Armstrong was 59th (20:03.5), Brianna Medcalf 94th (21:00.6), Jillian Wise 159th (22:59.5) and Alexis Orme 166th in 23:34.9.
Stewart said there wouldn’t be any real plan for this week’s state finals run at the LaVerne Gibson course at Terre Haute.
‘I don’t really have any goals, I guess, going into it,’ she said. ‘I’m just happy I’ve made it there. I just want to try to do good and try to finish. I’m definitely going to use it for next year.’
Sorg came in at 12th for the Lady Highlanders with a time of 18:42.0. Floyd Central had a good bunching, with Liddle 19th (18:52.5), Chloe Loftus 27th (19:07.5), Barba 29th (19:13.5), Sydney Baxter 31st (19:15.8), Erica Batliner 40th (19:35.3) and Jacqueline Owings 53rd in 19:53.6.
‘I knew we were going to be around the 5:40 to (5:45) pace, so I wasn’t too nervous at the beginning,’ Sorg said. ‘I was used to that. That’s how these races always tend to go. So, I felt strong coming into the race. It’s just that last mile is where everybody is kind of spread out and it’s harder to stay with a group. You start losing it a little bit. But, overall, I was pretty happy with it. I’m happy with how all the other girls did.’
The Lady Highlanders tallied 102 points to finish third behind winner Bloomington North and runner-up Bloomington South.
Christian Academy’s McKenna Cavanaugh made the state finals cut, finishing 16th in 18:47.3.
Other local runners who came up short of a state finals spot included Perry Central’s Elizabeth Dauby in 90th (20:57.8), West Washington’s Zoe Williams in 98th (21:04.8), North Harrison’s Cassidy Thompson 97th (21:04.4) and Sadie Rothrock 102nd (21:08.7) and Crawford County’s Gabbie Gaines in 109th (21:22.8).
For the boys, things didn’t go so well. Things were jammed up for nearly everybody, with bumping of elbows and bodies banging against each other.
‘I had a few good little swipes that I took to my ribs and stuff that I was going through,’ North Harrison’s Noah Rothrock said.
Edgewood’s Austin Haskell went to the front at the start, and, as they did in the sectional and regional, Christian Academy of Indiana’s runners also went to the front but this time they were joined by runners from Bloomington South, Tell City and Columbus North. At the halfway point, CAI’s Caleb Futter and Skylar Stidam were up front along with Evansville Reitz Memorial’s Matthew Schadler and Haskell.
‘I was hoping the guys would come with me and tag along,’ Futter said. ‘The first mile I was feeling really good. I was going to go, and I was hoping they would come with me, but they still did an amazing job and I’m proud of them.’
Meanwhile, Rothrock and Corydon Central’s Blaze Abner were several spots back and in a situation of not making the state finals cut. The Floyd Central Highlanders also were farther back than what they would have liked.
‘Coming into it originally was just go out as fast as I can,’ Abner said. ‘I was going to hammer the first mile and just stick it out the other two.’
‘I wanted to push to get up there in the top 20 or top 30 at the start of the race, so I made sure to get into a good position because I know every year I’ve come up here it’s tightly packed,’ Rothrock said. ‘It’s hard to get through. If you get in a bad position, you’re basically done.’
Down the stretch, it was Futter and Schadler battling for the first two positions while Stidam and Haskell battled for third and fourth. At the finish line, Futter got the win by a half-second in the time of 15 minutes, 8.9 seconds. Haskell out-sprinted Stidam to take third, and Evansville Central’s Evan Sorenson was fifth.
‘I felt really good coming into today,’ Futter said. ‘I’ve put in the work, and I’ve had my teammates and my brothers here that have helped push me through it, and it all just came together. … ‘
It wasn’t a good day for the Highlanders of Floyd Central, who finished 12th of the 20 teams. David Heinemann was No. 1 for the group, finishing 31st in 16:16.4, short of a state finals individual berth.
North Harrison’s Rothrock finished 38th in a time of 16:22.7, while Corydon Central’s Abner placed 59th in 16:38.5.
‘I’m pretty happy with it,’ Rothrock said. ‘I was pushing for state today. That was my main goal. I had an idea of what I needed to do all week. I wanted to shoot for 16:25, and I ran a 16:20 and it felt pretty good. The first mile was pretty quick, but I had guys picked out I wanted to stay with.’
‘It felt good time-wise,’ Abner said. ‘It was amazing. I never could have imagined getting this fast. It’s a great way to end off a season and high school. It’s a great way to go out, really … I know I broke my track PR at two mile, going through mile two. That gives me hope for track. Realistically, coming in I’ve got hamstring problems, and I just pushed through that. Overall, though, it was a great race. I love it.’

Boys’ team scores (Top 6 to state) ‘ 1. Bloomington South 86, 2. Tell City 122, 3. Christian Academy of Indiana 124, 4. Columbus North 152, 5. Bloomington North 153, 6. Jennings County 168, 7. Castle 220, 8. Barr-Reeve 260, 9. Princeton 262, 10. Terre Haute South 270, 11. Evansville Reitz Memorial 325, 12. Floyd Central 352, 13. Brown County 352, 14. Heritage Hills 366, 15. Austin 381, 16. Terre Haute North 383, 17. Gibson Southern 381, 18. Seymour 412, 19. Jasper 435, 20. Northview 463.
Boys’ individual results ‘ 1. Caleb Futter (Christian Academy of Indiana) 15:08.9, 2. Mathew Schadler (Evansville Reitz Memorial) 15:09.5, 3. Austin Haskell (Edgewood) 15:22.6, 4. Skylar Stidam (Christian Academy of Indiana) 15:30.4, 5. Evan Sorenson (Evansville Central) 15:32.7, 6. Nate Kaiser (Tell City) 15:33.5, 7. Adam Babillis (Evansville Mater Dei) 15:35.6, 8. Noah Hufnagel (Heritage Hills) 15:36.5, 9. Ian Shaw (Bloomington South) 15:39.7, 10. Andrew Warren (Bloomington North) 15:43.7, 11. Justin Goodwin (Barr Reeve) 15:45.0, 12. Dalton Craig (Jennings County) 15:48.1, 13. Mitchell Hopf (Heritage Hills) 15:49.2, 14. Wil Zinkan (Bloomington South) 15:51.5, 15. Isaiah Hollars (Bloomington North) 15:53.5.
Boys’ qualifying individuals (10) from non-qualifying teams ‘ 2. Matthew Schadler (Evansville Reitz Memorial), 3. Austin Haskell (Edgewood), 5. Evan Sorenson (Evansville Central), 7. Adam Babillis (Evansville Mater Dei) 8. Noah Hufnagel (Heritage Hills), 11. Justin Goodwin (Barr Reeve), 12. Dalton Craig (Jennings County), 13. Mitchell Hopf (Heritage Hills), 16. James Truman (Terre Haute South), 17. Wyatt Wyman (Brown County).
Girls’ team scores (Top 6 to state) ‘ 1. Bloomington North 63, 2. Bloomington South 76, 3. Floyd Central 102, 4. Evansville Reitz Memorial 144, 5. Columbus North 153, 6. Edgewood 178, 7. Seymour 220, 8. Barr-Reeve 242, 9. Forest Park 246, 10. Terre Haute North 302, 11. Terre Haute South 336, 12. Jasper 368, 13. Corydon Central 374, 14. South Knox 382, 15. Jennings County 388, 16. Evansville Mater Dei 395, 17. Charlestown 418, 18. Columbus East 452, 19. Heritage Hills 461, 20. North Daviess 500.
Girls’ individual results ‘ 1. Grace Williams (Bloomington North) 17:53.0, 2. Annalyssa Crain (Edgewood) 17:59.3, 3. Natalie Graber (Barr Reeve) 17:59.8, 4. Toudora Galuska (Bloomington South) 18:24.8, 5. Mya Hagerty (Bloomington North) 18:30.9, 6. Claire Mehling (Forest Park) 18:34.2, 7. Presley Warren (Evansville Reitz Memorial) 18:37.3, 8. Abbey Armstrong (Bloomington North) 18:39.4, 9. Grace McDumon (Evansville Reitz Memorial) 18:40.6, 10. Haley Barker (Boonville) 18:40.8, 11. Marcie Stewart (Corydon Central) 18:40.9, 12. Kyley Sorg (Floyd Central) 18:42.0, 13. Madison McMullen (Bloomington South) 18:43.2, 14. Aviv Hagar (Bloomington South) 18:44.8, 15. Arig Tong (Columbus North) 18:45.8.
Girls’ qualifying individuals (10) from non-qualifying teams ‘ 2. Annalyssa Crain (Edgewood), 3. Natalie Graber (Barr-Reeve), 6. Clare Mehling (Forest Park), 9. Grace McDurmon (Evansville Reitz Memorial), 10. Haley Barjer (Boonville) 11. Marcie Stewart (Corydon Central), 16. McKenna Cavanaugh (Christian Academy of Indiana), 17. Sarah Foster (Edgewood), 21. Kaylee Meyer (Edgewood), 23. Ashton Chase (Seymour).