While the three-year streak of sending the team to the state finals snapped, Seymour’s girls cross-country team will still be represented at LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute on Saturday.
Owls junior Ashton Chase and sophomore Makenna Sunbury both punched individual tickets to this weekend’s state championship.
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Chase timed 19 minutes, 1 second for 21st and Sunbury clocked 19:11 (24th) at Eagle Park’s semistate Saturday.
As a team, the Owls scored 220 points to finish seventh of 20 teams, just one spot out of qualifying.
Teams with the six lowest scores moved on to state along with the top 10 individual times on non-advancing teams.
Led by Grace Williams’ first overall finish of 17:53, of 176 runners, Bloomington North topped the girls’ standings with 63 points. Bloomington South (76), Floyd Central (102), Evansville Memorial (144), Columbus North (153) and Edgewood (178) also advanced teams to state.
Abby Voss (46th, 19:56), Claire Loebker (63rd, 20:37) and Grace Rennekamp (66th, 20:54) rounded out the Owls’ scoring five.
“Semistate has gotten fast,” Owls coach Spencer Sunbury said. “We ran hard. They were excited beforehand. It’s a hard one because we’ve had high expectations over the past four years. It was our goal to make it again this year. It’s disappointing, but I’m not disappointed in the girls. Edgewood has some strong runners, and we knew it would be a battle.
“It was a good day. Makenna had a (personal record) by four seconds, Claire Loebker had a season-best and all the other girls ran their races. Ashton was faster today than she’s been through the whole series.”
When Makenna’s name was the last called over the loudspeakers, a pocket of Owls fans erupted.
“I thought I didn’t make it at first,” Makenna said. “I was overjoyed when I found out.”
While Saturday will mark Chase’s third trip to state, it didn’t take away from the excitement of moving on.
“It’s a dream come true,” she said.
Brownstown Central junior Kaelyn Johnson (105th, 21:11) and Crothersville freshman Grace Wilson (118th, 21:39) both finished their seasons at semistate.
On the boys’ side, the Owls finished 18th of 20 with 412 points.
Bloomington South won with 86 points. Tell City (122), Christian Academy of Indiana (124), Columbus North (152), Bloomington North (153) and Jennings County (158) also moved on to state.
Christian Academy junior Caleb Futter was individual champion, of 179, in 15:08.
Jacob Voss paced the Owls by finishing 53rd in 16:49.
Trent Hohenstreiter (77th, 17:21), Luke Plummer (83rd, 17:27), Cooper Morrow (92nd, 17:39) and Brandon Kleber (107th, 17:54) completed the Owls’ scoring.
“The kids competed well,” Owls coach Randy Fife said. “We just didn’t have enough up front to have that low score. It was a good experience being here at the semistate.
“It’s a very good semistate, and that’s what we want. We want to be somewhere where it’s a challenge. We’re going to continue building. We have a lot of young kids who get to see what it’s like, and they will work hard to be here next year.”
Trinity Lutheran junior A.J. Goecker finished his season with a 75th-place finish in 16:53.