With less than a week until the postseason, Seymour’s cross-country teams aimed to leave Ceraland Park on a high note.
Seymour didn’t disappoint, posting numerous season-bests and top finishes at the Hoosier Hills Conference.
The Owls’ girls finished runners-up while the boys placed third to conclude the regular season Saturday.
Top seven finishes earned All-HHC status while the next seven were honorable mention in the 5,000 meters (3.1 miles) boys and girls races.
In the boys’ race Jennings County dominated the eight-team field, repeating as champions.
The Panthers, paced by Dalton Craig’s winning time of 16-minutes, 7-seconds, scored 26 team points. Jennings County took the top-four finishes on the morning.
Floyd Central was second (57), followed by Seymour (96), New Albany (97) Jeffersonville (109), Bedford North Lawrence (140), Columbus East (178) and Madison (253).
Owls senior Jacob Voss earned his second-straight All-HHC honor, finishing seventh in 16:39 of 84 runners.
“The past few races, I haven’t faced this kind of competition,” Voss said. “I felt really good. I tried to stay with the first pack, but fell off a little bit. I will stay with the rest of the pack next time.”
Luke Plummer timed 17:07 for 15th, Cooper Morrow took 19th clocking 17:19, Luke Bane ran a 17:40 for 25th and Trent Hohenstreiter rounded out the Owls’ scoring five in 30th (17:50). The Owls’ Brandon Kleber was 31st in 17:52 and Ethan Dippold finished 38th at 18:07.
“I’m very happy with today,” Owls boys coach Randy Fife said. “We made some progress this year through the middle part of the season, I thought we were making really good headway to being a solid team, but we took some steps back the past couple meets. Today, we rebounded well. I thought we competed well with the other schools here.”
In the girls’ race, No. 10 Floyd Central almost posted a perfect score.
Seven of the Highlanders’ runners finished in the top nine. Five Highlanders earned All-HHC status and five more were honorable mention.
The Highlanders were first with 19 points, followed by No. 24 Seymour (50), Jennings County (98), Columbus East (110), Madison (137), Jeffersonville (150), BNL (177) and New Albany (217).
“(Second) is what we were hoping for — Floyd is just so tough this year,” Owls girls coach Spencer Sunbury said. “Our girls had a great day. We probably had 90 perecent season-bets or personal bests today. They ran hard. I like where we’re sitting right now.”
Sophomore Sydney Liddle was champion, of 78 runners, in 18:51 for the Highlanders.
Seymour’s Ashton Chase, last year’s champion and runner-up in 2015, finished third in the race with a time of 19:11. Makenna Sunbury also earned All-HHC honors for SHS by placing sixth in 19:20.
Abby Voss was HHC honorable mention for finishing 11th in 20:11.
“To get our two girls up there in the top-seven, and Abby as an honorable mention, is a big deal for us today,” Sunbury said. “I’m super proud of them, they represented us well on and off the course.”
Claire Loebker (19th, 21:12) and Grace Rennekamp (22nd, 21:20) completed the Owls’ scoring five and Brett Kleber (38th, 22:42) and Oriana Morales (41st, 22:49) followed.
Saturday, the Owls’ boys and girls will compete in the Brown County Sectional in Nashville.
The Owls’ girls are gunning for a fourth straight state appearance as a team.
“I feel good about (sectional),” Sunbury said. “I think we’re heading in the right direction. We have our heads focused on our goal right now. They’re ready to get to work. We’re going to tighten some things up and fine tune.”