For The Tribune
After looking at the results from last year’s 19th-place state finish, Seymour girls cross-country coach Spencer Sunbury thought his team could climb into the top 15 this season.
The 13th-ranked Owls did a little better than that on Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute. They ran to a 13th-place finish with 342 points.
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“We set a goal and thought top-15 would be a great accomplishment for us,” Sunbury said. “We thought it was in our reach, so 13th, I couldn’t be happier with it.”
Led by individual winner Sarah Leinheiser, top-ranked Carmel scored 70 points to win a record sixth consecutive team title.
No. 3 Fort Wayne Carroll outscored No. 2 Columbus North 158-170 for second.
Freshman Ashton Chase led Seymour with a 42nd-place finish in 19 minutes, 4.2 seconds for 5,000 meters (3.1 miles).
“She got out quick, which we had talked about,” Sunbury said. “She held on and worked her way through the field and had a great day.”
Sophomore Emma Brock took 66th in 19:17.0 for the Owls.
“I felt pretty confident in myself and the team,” Brock said. “I felt like I ran the best I could.”
Sophomore Claire Loebker, who missed last year’s regional and semistate with an injury before returning at state, finished 117th Saturday in 19:49.4.
“She had a great run at state (last year), and she came in here and did it again today,” Sunbury said. “I don’t know if she really likes the course or what, but she had a really good race today for us.”
Senior Megan Winter took 130th in 19:57.5. Sophomore Oriana Morales rounded out the Owls’ scoring with a 137th-place finish in 20:01.6.
“I think we all performed really well and put it all out there today,” Winter said. “It was a big deal for us because we’ve been working hard, and we know that we’re definitely better than what we were last year.”
Sophomore Abby Voss finished 185th in 20:43.8. Freshman Brett Kleber was 205th in 21:59.6.
“It was not an easy day,” Sunbury said. “It’s a fast race, and they got in there and ran their own race. I couldn’t be happier with 13th.”