A whole lot of purple led the pack at the Seymour Invitational on Thursday.
For nearly the entirety of their season-opening meet, the Seymour girls cross-country team held seven out of the top-10 individual scores.
Led by a first-place finish by sophomore Emma Brock, who clocked 19:58.9, the Owls dominated their home meet at Freeman Field, taking the top six finishing positions.
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The Owls finished the meet with 15 points, while Jeffersonville claimed third at 77 and Jennings County notched 93 for third in the eight-team field.
For the first two-thirds of the race, all six girls ran together before pulling away at the finish.
In second place was Owls freshman Ashton Chase, who ran a 20:02.8 in her varsity debut.
Sophomore Abby Voss finished third in 20:09.8, and senior Megan Winter claimed fourth at 20:18.1.
Owls sophomores Claire Loebker and Oriana Morales claimed fifth and sixth place with times of 20:18.7 and 20:47.6.
Coach Spencer Sunbury said that having Emma finish first in the invite was a good thing for his younger girls.
“We have several girls that are ready to improve, get better and compete this year, and we’re glad we have Emma,” Sunbury said. “Having Emma, who has experience, takes pressure off Ashton on finishing as our top runner and leading the pack. It’s great that Ashton has the ability to chase a strong runner like Emma.
“I was pleased with how Abby Voss ran; she did a great job staying with the pack and finished very strong.”
Rounding out the Owls’ top-10 overall scorers was senior Maya Hauersperger’s time of 21:48.7, which was good for ninth.
In the offseason, the Owls fed off each other for improvement.
“I was hoping that we would run in a pack, and I am very pleased that it happened,” Sunbury said. “We have a lot of competition on our team this year. There is always someone there to push another. We came out strong and I was a little worried, but they ran much better than I had expected.”
Panthers edge Owls boys
The Owls’ boys unit placed second behind Jennings County, by four points, by scoring 39 in the first race of the evening.Panthers senior Ricky Hendrix garnered first place with a time of 16:34.The top six scoring spots went back and forth between the Panthers and Owls.
“Our one through three runners were right behind Jennings County’s one through three,” Owls coach Randy Fife said. “Our four man was in front of their four, but their five place above our five. Jennings has gotten much stronger this season. It gives us some nice motivation.”
Senior Cam Deppen came in second clocking 17:16.5 to lead his unit.
The Owls’ Jacob Voss crossed the finish next, for fourth place, in 17:35.6 and Alex Lovins got sixth in 17:52.5.
Hunter Bauserman ran an 18:11.3 for 10th place, Cole Fosbrink placed 19th in 18:42.1, Trent Hohenstreiter’s time of 18:51.7 was 21st and Cooper Morrow rounded-out the Owls’ scoring finishing 24th in 18:52.6.
“I don’t think there were nerves, we may have just went out a little strong,” Fife said. “We still finished well. We had three guys in the 17 (minutes). We’re going to continue getting better and get some depth back when one of our seniors comes back.”
Fife was pleased with his team’s first race of the season.
“It’s a good, low score. It’s hard to complain with a 39 when competing with eight teams,” Fife said. “I’m very happy with the times. It wasn’t a short course this year as we changed the layout a little bit. The times were very strong. We’re not happy with second but are happy with how we ran.”
Moving forward, Fife said he wants to see more competition between his Nos. 4 and 5 runners. Fife said he doesn’t want the positions to get stagnant early in the season.
Braves boys, girls claim fifth
The Brownstown Central boys team claimed fifth place with 142 points at the Seymour Invite.Boys coach Derrick Koch said his squad finished right where he anticipated.“I thought we were looking at fourth or fifth place,” Koch said. “Time-wise, I was really pleased. Our one through five runners, I saw a lot of improvement with on the road.”
Braves senior Jake McCullough led his pack with a 14th-place finish in 18:31.8.
“Jake will lead our team this year,” Koch said. “He’s been leading them all summer long. We expect good things from our senior.”
In next for the Braves was Cameron Lee, clocking 18:52.2 for 25th place.
Harlan Deaton broke the finish line in 19:25.7 for 30th place, Jacob Keith came in 46th at 20:24.3, and Aaron Kruse’s time of 21:41 placed 58th for the Braves.
“I was more worried about how they ran this race heart-wise. I think many of them came out and ran at the pace I expected. I just wanted to see the effort, and I thought the effort was good.”
Like the boys, the Braves girls team finished right where their coach predicted.
“I think we did pretty well, right in the middle, during the race I figured we would be fourth or fifth,” Braves girls coach Maria Weigel said. “The weather was perfect, we couldn’t have asked for a better first meet.”
Braves junior Alexis Koch led the Braves’ girls team to a fifth-place finish with her 23rd placing time of 23:45.7.
“The girls ran well; they worked hard,” Weigel said. “(Koch) needs to continue to lead the freshman that finished second through fourth. If they can keep pressuring each other we will be pretty decent the rest of the season.”
A 33rd-place finish from Shauna Drake was next for the Braves in 23:19.2 and teammate Destiny Satterwaite was close behind, in 34th, ticking 23:34.5.
Kaelyn Johnson finished 31st in 24:58.4 and Morgan Harrison placed 49th in 25:49.7
Weigel said that she pays special attention to the times in the first meet of the season.
“I look to look at our first and watch the time drop the rest of the season,” Weigel said. “I know a couple of girls will drop a couple minutes by the end of the season. We have a whole lot of room for improvement, and it’s exciting to see where the season will go.”