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FORT WAYNE—Both Adams County cross country teams entered in the 2012 IHSAA cross country semi-state competition Saturday at the Plex saw their seasons come to an end as the Bellmont girls and South Adams boys each ended up 12th in their respective field of 20 teams.
The top six squads in each field advance to the state finals in Terre Haute this Saturday and the top 15 individual runners also move on.
The closest chance an Adams County runner had of placing was South Adams' Brody Shane who ended up 27th in the boys race of 160 runners. Shane, who has led the SA harriers this season, posted a finish of 16:41.53.
Both teams found times recorded to be somewhat higher than what they had at the Marion regional at Indiana Wesleyan University a week earlier. For example, Bellmont's Cady Faurote, who broke 20 minutes for the first time of the year at regional, was the top BHS finisher in 47th place with a time of 20:21.21. Still, that was a huge improvement from when she ran in the semi-state as an individual last year and placed 84th with a 21:00 clocking.
Bellmont coach Carl Risch noted "our girls ran very respectable times. They ran their hearts out. They were disappointed because they wanted to go on and it's hard to be consoled with the fact they ran their best and won't go on, but they certainly have nothing to be ashamed of."
Risch pointed out all of the teams were running slower on the Plex course which he said was "soft, wet, muddy, and the wind was a factor. It certainly wasn't a day for runners to get PBs (personal bests). We were tremendous underdogs in this race but we didn't let that stop us from giving our best."
The most outstanding effort put forth on the day at the Plex came in the girls race when Mishawaka's Anna Rohrer EASILY won in 17:03.96. Rohrer was never seriously challenged as she was the only runner in the field to break the 18 minute mark and whipped the second place finisher in the meet by nearly 1:16. Risch noted Rohrer's time is the fastest 5K effort ever run by a girl in the state and perhaps is among the top in the United States.
Ironically, Rohrer broke a state record that had been set just several hours earlier in a semi-state at New Prairie where Warsaw's Ashley Erba posted a 17:06 time. Erba had beaten Rohrer in a race earlier this year and Risch predicted it will be quite a race between the two at the state meet.
Zachary Panning of Fort Wayne Concordia took the boys' competition at 15:37.35, just one of three times in the race that eclipsed the 16 minute post.
As expected, the Carroll Chargers breezed their way to titles in both races.
The Charger boys placed four runners among the top 10 finishers and tallied just 40 points overall beating second place Homestead which had 110. In addition to Carroll and Homestead, teams moving to the state finals include Bishop Dwenger 129, Northridge 164, Goshen 175, and Mishawaka 186. Other teams included Concordia 238, West Noble 241, South Bend Riley 248, Frankton 260, Penn 260, South Adams 291, Northfield 324, Huntington North 333, Mount Vernon (Fortville) 389, Oak Hill 412, Yorktown 433, Pendleton Heights 457, Monroe Central 463, and Fort Wayne South Side 529.