In her second attempt at taking the top individual finish at the Hoosier Hills Conference meet, Ashton Chase wouldn’t settle for another second-place finish.
Chase, a sophomore at Seymour High School, placed first in the HHC by running the 3.1 mile Bedford North Lawrence course in 19:04.8 Saturday morning.
That helped the Owls place second in the team standings. Floyd Central had 28 points and the Owls scored 39.
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The top-12 finishers were either Seymour or Floyd Central runners.
The Owls had three runners earn All-HHC first team honors as Makenna Sunbury was second with a time of 19.21, and Abby Voss placed fifth in 19:49.3.
Abby’s brother, Jacob, also placed fifth in the boys race to help the Seymour boys finish sixth with 107 points, one point behind Jeffersonville.
“It was good to see Ashton and Makenna run 1-2, and Abby Voss ran a good race, maybe the best she has ever ran,” Seymour girls coach Spencer Sunbury said. Sometimes she falls off in the middle of a race, but today she stayed on it and her effort was fantastic. I was very impressed. Hats off to her.
“Claire (Loebker) has been battling low energy, and she’s been fighting to get back in form. I’m glad to see her turn it around. She’s ready to get back under 20 again.
The fourth finisher for the Seymour girls was Loebker in 10th at 20:29.9, which was All-HHC honorable mention.
Rounding out the top five for the Owls was Grace Rennekamp 23rd in 22:08.9.
Jennings County won its first team title in 41 years with a team score of 39, and New Albany was second with 76.
“Tuesday, some of the girls got to experience running fast, and it showed,” Sunbury said. “It gave them some confidence. We had good times from everyone. We ran up against a good Floyd Central team. They are a top-20 team.”
Chase got runner-up in the HHC cross-country meet last year, and she placed first in the mile and two-mile in the HHC track and field meet last spring.
“It does feel pretty good,” Chase said of her title. “My goal was to get 19-flat, get first place for the team and get first place overall and I did that.”
She said she took the lead from the Floyd Central girls after one mile.
“That’s where I passed them,” Chase said. “This is my PR this year, but last year I ran 18:48 at Brown County. I like this course. It’s a little bit hilly, but I think it pushes me a lot to get up those hills and get a quicker time.”
Chase said this is her fourth win in big races this season as she won earlier in the season at Bedford, in the Seymour Invite and at Franklin.
Seymour boys coach Randy Fife called the results for his team “a mixed bag”
“We had thee or four runners run really well, but we had some key runners that just didn’t have their best race today — and when that happens the conference is too good to have an off day to do well,” Fife said.
Hunter Bauserman finished right behind Voss (sixth) in 17:07.8 to also earn All-HHC honors.
Barry Huff placed 27th in 18:02.5, Trent Hohenstreiter clocked 18:13 for 31st and Luke Hauersperger rounded-out the scoring five recording 18:36.3 for 40th.
“We had a little bit of a slow start, but Hunter and Jacob ran smart races. They ended up closing fast. We put two in the top seven for all-conference. I thought if we had two all-conference, and all five ran well we would probably win. The two that were all-conference were not the two I thought it would be.
“It’s bittersweet. I’m happy for those kids that ran well. I feel for those kids that didn’t run well. None of them ran poorly on purpose. You’ve got to feel for them because they know they could have done better. That’s a tough pill for them to swallow. It’s part of competition. Sometimes you’re on, and sometimes it’s not your day and you’ve got to sort through that and move on.”
The Owls will run in the sectional Saturday at Brown County.