For The Tribune
Both the Seymour boys and girls cross-country teams made it out of the Brown County Sectional on Saturday.
The Columbus North girls scored 25 points to take first place as a team. The Owls placed second with 53, and Columbus East finished third with 95 points. Brown County (125) and Brownstown Central (132) claimed the final two spots to Saturday’s Brown County Regional at Eagle Park.
Seymour’s Ashton Chase finished five seconds behind North’s Arig Tong to place second in the girls race in 19 minutes, 22.7 seconds for 5,000 meters (3.1 miles). Makenna Sunbury, finished in 19:51.21 to place fifth, and Abby Voss ran 20:51.78 for a ninth-place finish.
Grace Rennekamp placed 17th (21:37.42), and Claire Loebker was 22nd (22:02.45). Brett Kleber finished 48th (24:08.12), and Courtney Mansfield was 51st (24:36.35).
“I felt like we had a solid run today,” Seymour girls coach Spencer Sunbury said. “We talked about just going out having fun, having a good race and running relaxed and getting the course down again for the next few weeks. I felt like the girls came out and raced within the race.”
Sunbury there are some stronger teams that will be in the mix for the regional race, but he feels pretty confident the team can advance to semistate. Seymour’s goal heading into regional is to finish in the top three.
“I think we’re in a good spot for regional next week,” Sunbury said. “It will be another good opportunity for us to run the course and get a good look at it to get prepared for semistate.”
The Brownstown girls also will be gearing for a chance at a semistate race after Kaelyn Johnson’s 21:16.42 led the way for a regional bid. Johnson finished in 12th place, while Shauna Drake took 29th (22:48.60).
Claire Poulton placed 30th (22:51.92), and Grace Garland finished 33rd (23:03.80). Madison Klinge took 36th (23:19.64), Emma Winks crossed the line in 23:21.11 for 38th and Destiny Satterthwaite was 46th (24:01.30)
Trinity Lutheran only had two participating runners in Jodi Goecker and Abby Hildreth, but Goecker advanced to the regional as an individual. She finished in 22:45.78 to place 28th. Hildreth was 61st (27:10.76).
The Seymour boys did not start the race as aggressive as they normally would. Coach Randy Fife decided to have his runners tempo the first two kilometers as a group before branching off from one another.
The Owls knew they would make it out, so they used the sectional as more of a workout race to prepare for the regional. Seymour’s 90 points placed them in third behind North’s 27 and Brown County’s 85.
“Most of them, after I talked to them after the race didn’t like it,” Fife said. “They were too worried about staying together and not racing. They didn’t feel that competitive juice early, which they needed. I told them it’s just for today only … next week is not a given by any means.”
Jacob Voss led Seymour with an eighth-place finish in 16:55.25. Luke Plummer and Cooper Morrow finished in 17th and 18th place at 17:37.79 and 17:41.32.
Luke Bane and Brandon Kleber finished 25th and 26th in 18:11.46 and 18:17.55. Trent Hohenstreiter finished in 18:35.40 for 32nd place, while Luke Hauersperger placed 43rd (19:14.52).
The Brownstown boys finished seventh with 195 points. Jeremy Pitts and Ethan Carroll advanced to the regional as individuals. Pitts finished in 17:53.01 to earn a 20th-place finish, while Carroll finished 27th in 18:22.89.
Trey Hackman placed 45th (19:25.33), and Mason Kellogg finished in 48th place (19:31.34). Andrew Wheeles placed 60th (21:11.62), while Sean Tharp was 67th (22:31.13).
“We had two that advanced to the regional. We were hoping for one and got double for the money,” Brownstown coach Dan Botkin said. “We finished two spots higher than we did last year, so overall, I’m happy with how everything went.”
Trinity had another Goecker advance to the regional with its lone boys runner, A.J. Goecker, placing 11th in 17:14.84.