- Special Sections
One long streak for Bellmont cross country lived on and another was halted in the IHSAA cross country sectional held at the BHS course.
The Squaws found themselves squeezed out of first place by Norwell (58-73) but will still advance to the IHSAA regional this Saturday at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion along with Canterbury 103, Fort Wayne South Side 109, and Bishop Luers 119.
The advancement will be the 19th consecutive regional appearance for Bellmont at the girls level.
A long list of 22 straight regional appearances for the Braves, however, will not be in the works as Bellmont finished sixth in a 12-team field and only the top five teams advance to the regional.
South Adams easily won the boys side of the competition and junior Brody Shane captured the individual title as he was the only harrier in the 81-runner field to break 17 minutes with a time of 16:57.4.
Three Adams County runners followed Shane in the top 10 with South Adams' Joel Hawbaker posting a sixth place finish in 17:35.6 and Sawyer Miller going seventh in 17:42.4. Bellmont's Adam Garner posted a 17:56.2 clocking to earn ninth place overall and he'll join teammate Adam Corral at the regional as an individual runner. Corral was 14th (the top 15 individuals move on from the sectional to the regional) with a time of 18:00.8.
"I'm puzzled by our performance," noted BHS coach Randy Hisner. "We had a really good week of practice and went into the meet healthy and, I thought, ready."
Others finishing strong for the Starfires on their winning day were Simon Sprunger, 11th in 17:58.2, Andrew Steffen, 16th in 18:05.1, Cody Sprunger, 18th in 18:14.8, and Daniel Velasco, 24th in 18:26.4.
No one was close to the Starfires who totaled only 41 points to easily outlast second place South Side at 74. Wayne was third with 110 followed by Norwell 120, Canterbury 122, Bellmont 137, New Haven 143, Adams Central 165, Bishop Luers 245, Woodlan 283, Heritage 333, and an incomplete Bluffton score.