By Beau Wicker Pharos-Tribune
---- — CULVER — Winamac’s girls and boys cross country teams had the top finishes among area squads at the Logansport Sectional Tuesday at the Berry Patch course.
The Warriors girls team finished runner-up with 88 points behind champion Eastern (41), while the Warriors boys team finished in third place (83) behind Western (50) and Kokomo (59).
Logansport’s boys team placed fourth (107) for the only other area team to advance as a team with a top five finish.
The Culver Academies Regional will be held beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The Lady Warriors were led by Claire Collins, who placed fifth among individuals with a time of 20:10. She was followed by Jadyn Scott (13th, 21:11), Kial Beach (15th, 21:18), Sara Bailey (26th, 22:01) and Lilly Linch (34th, 22:14).
Logansport’s girls team placed sixth with 142 points, finishing 29 points short of Northwestern for the fifth and final spot in the regional.
The Berries did have two runners advance as individuals as top 10 finishers on a non-advancing team in Megan Martin (27th, 22:01) and Maddie Zartman (28th, 22:03).
LHS coach Brian Morrill said his squad’s times were 45 seconds to a minute slower than last week’s times at the North Central Conference meet at the Indiana Wesleyan University course when the Berries finished second to Huntington North.
“We may have ran our best races a week ago at conference. The times were certainly off tonight,” Morrill said. “We thought we had a shot at fourth or fifth, but some nights you just don’t have it. We were flat tonight.
“We just have to take this and get better with it. I told the girls last year Western finished where we were tonight, and this year they’re in third place. So hopefully we take that as a challenge and work really hard between this year and next year and put ourselves in the top three maybe.”
Lewis Cass had two individuals advance in Gabi Carney (8th, 20:36) and Haley Johnson (16th, 21:34).
“That’s where we were headed and what our goals were to get those kids out and they rose to the occasion,” Cass coach Don Bonsett said.
Bonsett added Johnson was able to overcome a sprained ankle that she suffered last week at the Mid-Indiana Conference meet that caused her to not finish the event held at Oak Hill Park.
“She made it out [of the sectional] and will get a couple more days to rest and hopefully she’ll race well at Culver,” Bonsett said.
Carroll’s Shari Bowers (11th, 21:07) and Pioneer’s Haley McWherter (29th, 22:03) both grabbed a spot in the regional.
Northwestern’s Taryn Thor was the sectional champion with a time of 18:15.
Kyle Collins led Winamac with a fourth place finish in 16:43, followed by Zen Zupin (8th, 17:00), Braden Tankersley (19th, 17:46), Derek Dotlich (20th, 17:47) and Joe Vontobel (32nd, 18:28).
Jacob Graf paced the Berries with an 11th place finish in 17:06, followed by Kyle Jordan (17th, 17:39), Alex Calisto (18th, 17:43), Orlando Toloza (28th, 18:21) and Kenny Echols (33rd, 18:31).
“We finished where we should have finished,” Logan coach Chuck LaDow said. “If you charted it on paper I had Winamac up on us by about 20 points and they beat us by about 24 points.
“Kyle Jordan and Alex Calisto, our seniors, ran pretty great meets tonight and finished in the top 20. Graffy finished in 11th and I know he was trying to stay with [Jordan] Fivecoate from Kokomo who went 16:56, so he’s a little down. But he ran a good, competitive race and followed our strategy. We hope to get him in the 16s next weekend. Where we struggled tonight was our five guy finished seventh tonight, so he just had a bad race. But we advanced, we get to run next week.”
Pioneer placed sixth with 159 points, finishing just nine points behind fifth-place Northwestern which grabbed the final spot in the regional.
But Pioneer’s Dylan Bice (10th,. 17:05) and Jacob Van Horn (30th, 18:25) each grabbed a spot in the regional as individuals.
Carroll also had two regional qualifiers in Cameron Conn (16th, 17:35) and Patrick Lewis (25th, 18:08).
Cass also had a regional qualifier in Cail Brown (23rd, 18:04).
“Real good for Cail. Time-wise he brought his time down,” Bonsett said. “He had a goal of running an 18:20 and he ran an 18:04, so he rose to the occasion. He knew what he had to do and did a good job of it. I’m real proud of him as a freshman doing a good job.”
Eastern’s Robert Duke was the sectional champion with a time of 15:58.
Complete results can be found on today’s Scoreboard on Page B2.
Beau Wicker is the sports editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5113 or email@example.com.