For The Tribune
Freshman Kaelyn Johnson and junior Alexis Koch earned all-conference honors to spark the Brownstown Central girls cross-country team to a second-place finish in Saturday’s Mid-Southern Conference meet at Salem.
Johnson finished fourth with a time of 22:40, while Koch was seventh in 23:05.
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Silver Creek edged the Braves 50-53 for the title. Salem, paced by individual winner Sandra Warren in 21:11, finished third with 64 points.
In the boys meet, senior Jake McCullough placed 10th in 17:31 and earned all-MSC honors, helping Brownstown place fifth with 137 points.
Silver Creek was first with a team score of 52. Austin and Eastern both had 66 points, but Austin was awarded second place based on the placings of the sixth runners from those schools.
Johnson and Koch both said while they were pleased to make all-conference, they were hoping to run faster times than they did.
“That was one of my best times of the year, but not my best,” Johnson said. “I’d say the cold really didn’t bother me because I feel like when it’s cold out, I can run faster since I can barely feel my own body. I’m pleased with my finish. My goal at the end of the season is to be 20:30. I haven’t made it yet, but I hope to make it next week.”
Koch earned honorable mention the past two years, so she was glad to earn all-MSC for the first time.
“(The course) was kind of rough with the mud, but not too bad,” she said. “My time wasn’t a PR (personal record), but with the weather, it was all right. I want to get in the 22s at sectional. I need to work on my middle mile and finishing.”
Brownstown girls coach Maria Weigel was happy with her team’s performance.
“My freshmen really stepped up,” she said. “Kaelyn Johnson finished fourth, and that’s outstanding for a freshman. She’s gone out with the leaders and has done what we’ve asked her to do. Alexis ran a really great second leg today for us.
“Destiny Satterthwaite really picked up some ground in that last mile. She was back in the pack. She definitely wasn’t 12th at the two-mile mark when she came by me, and Shauna Drake closed that last mile, so we had some great finishes.”
Satterthwaite (23:42) and Drake (21st, 24:30), both freshmen, and sophomore Morgan Harrison (23rd, 24:26) earned honorable mention.
“We hadn’t ran in cold temperatures like that,” Weigel said. “It wasn’t too bad, and most of them ran better. Hopefully, it will get us ready for sectional. I’m looking forward to hopefully advancing to regional. We’ve got a good shot.”
McCullough said he was pleased with his run.
“My time was 26 seconds slower than my PR. It’s a little easier to breathe in cold weather, but it was a little hard to get warm today,” he said. “I need to work on my second mile, keeping it closer to the same pace as my first and third miles.”
Brownstown boys coach Derrick Koch liked what he saw in McCullough’s race.
“I’m super excited for Jake McCullough, finishing in the top 10, being all-conference, especially as a senior,” Koch said. “I like to see him go out that way. He ran a great race today.”
Junior Cameron Lee placed 19th with a time of 18:18 and junior Harlan Deaton finished 24th in 18:31 to receive honorable mention status.
“Cameron and Harlan ran real well today,” Koch said. “They had some decent times. I was happy to see them place-wise where they were. They did a great job.
“I was pretty happy overall. We’ve got a little bit of work to do for sectional where we need to get the No. 4 and 5 runners up there closer to No. 3 so we can run in a pack a little bit better. If we can get them to run as a pack at sectional, we’ll be successful.”
Josh Ratts of Eastern was the individual winner with a time of 16:32.