In the cross-country postseason, it’s all about surviving and advancing.
Both Seymour’s boys and girls teams mustered top-five finishes at the Brown County Regional Saturday to move on to this weekend’s semistate.
Teams with the five lowest scores moved on to semistate along with the top-10 individual times on nonadvancing teams.
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The Seymour boys opened the day with a fifth place finish, in the 10-team field, scoring 132 points.
Columbus North won their 10th straight regional title with 42 points, followed by Jennings County (47) Austin (114) and Brown County (131).
North senior Charlie Allen was individual champion of 90 total runners in 16 minutes, 10.38 seconds.
Jacob Voss led Seymour by timing 16:42.15 for seventh place. Cooper Morrow ran a 17:20.91 for 25th, Trent Hohenstreiter was 35th in 17:56.11, Luke Plummer clocked 17:58.92 for 36th and Luke Bane rounded out the Owls’ scoring five in 46th (18:06.12).
“It’s kind of like the NCAA basketball tournament. You survive and advance,” Owls coach Randy Fife said. “We did that. We would have liked to have finished a little higher, but we were one point out of fourth place. We know we have more in us, and that’s an encouraging thing.”
Fife said the Owls ran with more purpose at regional.
“We went out strong and aggressive,” Fife said. “We gave ourselves a chance to advance. It takes an entire team, and we had a team effort today. Jacob Voss led the effort up front and kind of carried us through. We look forward to next week.”
Trinity Lutheran’s lone runner, A.J. Goecker, will return to the semistate after advancing with a 24th-place finish in 17:20.91.
“I would have liked my time to be a little bit faster, but it’s all right,” Goecker said. “I want to try and set a personal record (at semistate). I planned on running the first mile slower and then increase pace as I went on. I didn’t follow that really well today. I kind of got burnt out.”
Brownstown Central seniors Jeremy Pitts (40th, 18:02.86) and Ethan Carroll (44th, 18:04.87) finished their seasons at regional.
“Our two senior boys ran a hard race,” Braves coach Dan Botkin said. “I’m proud of the effort they put into today. They were shooting for the 17s, and they were close. I’m really satisfied with how they pushed each other. It has been fun watching them. I think they went out on a high note even though they’re not moving on.”
Crothersville’s Lane Wienhorst placed 53rd in 18:25.24.
“Lane has worked really hard this year,” Tigers coach Carl Bowman said. “He has dropped a lot of time. We’re hoping he starts next season under 18 minutes. He’s just a junior, so he has another year. He did a really good job today.”
In the girls race, Seymour finished runner-up of 10 teams with 48 points.
North took its ninth consecutive regional crown — led by junior Arig Tong’s championship time of 19:00.57 — with 35 points.
Charlestown was third with 128 points, Columbus East came next at 129 and Jennings County claimed the final advancing spot with 130. Brownstown Central amassed 158 points for seventh on the day.
Seymour junior Ashton Chase garnered second of 86 runners with a time of 19:25.30, while teammate Makenna Sunbury took fifth in 19:51.50.
“We talked about getting out strong,” Owls coach Spencer Sunbury said. “They looked good at the start. There was a little lapse after the two-mile, but Ashton finished strong. I think she was a little disappointed, falling back to Arig, but I think she’s ready to work smart this week and be ready for semistate.”
Abby Voss (9th, 20:35.46), Grace Rennekamp (14th, 20:59.06) and Claire Loebker (19th, 21:10.39) completed the Owls’ scoring.
“I thought we had a strong day today,” Sunbury said. “We talked all week about finding something and running stronger. I know we ran stronger than (at sectional). We’re going to take a week to fine-tune and hopefully come out and be prepared to give our best effort Saturday.”
The Owls’ girls team is gunning for a fourth straight state appearance this weekend.
Sunbury said returning Loebker, who missed most the beginning of the season to injury, to the lineup has made the team stronger.
“We missed (Loebker),” he said. “Working her back has made a big difference. It has solidified our top five. It has helped Grace Rennekamp. I think she was feeling a lot of pressure in the position she was in. The No. 4 and No. 5 spot is getting stronger and more confident.”
While her team won’t advance, Brownstown’s Kaelyn Johnson will run individually in the semistate after finishing 24th (21:30.05).
“(Johnson) ran a decent race,” Braves coach Maria Conklin said. “I know she wasn’t too pleased with her time. Next week, she’s just running to run. I think she will run a season-best, and it will build her confidence going into track season.”
Claire Poulton (32nd, 22:10.78), Shauna Drake (41st, 22:44.610), Grace Garland (42nd, 22:48.36) and Madison Klinge (45th, 22:54.44) followed Johnson.
“We wanted to try and stay with Charlestown, and they ran a really great race,” Conklin said. “They had about four girls around my No. 2. We were booking it, but some of the other teams were, as well. We were hoping to sneak a spot, but seventh is all right. We didn’t have our No. 2 today, we had her last week, but she was out today with stress fractures.”
Crothersville freshman Grace Wilson will make her first semistate appearance after placing 18th in 21:09.23 at regional.
Wilson is the second Tigers girls runner to ever advance to semistate and the first freshman to accomplish the feat.
“We let her know that she can do it, and she’s a good runner going into the race,” Bowman said. “Her goal today was to run ahead of a girl that she finished behind last week. She did, and she ran 17 seconds faster than last week. We’ve tried to tell her she has ability since she was in junior high. I think she’s starting to believe it, and it’s paying off.”
Trinity Lutheran’s Jodi Goecker was 59th in 23:21, finishing her season.