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MARION — Both the Bellmont boys and girls cross country teams competed well Saturday at the Marion CC Regionals, and both finished in eighth place, three places short of qualifying for semistate action.
South Adams did better as both teams made it out, qualifying fourth in both races. Hannah Moore finished sixth in the girls race with a 19:17. Eric Isch led the boys with a 9th-pace finish in 16:06 for the Stars.
However, Bellmont will have one representative at the Plex (IPFW) next Saturday as Junior Junior Evan Boucher earned a semistate spot with his 15-place finish in a season-best 16:24.
"We ran well, with several season or career bests on the fast Indiana Wesleyan regional course, but it wasn't enough," stated Bellmont boys coach Ranndy Hisner.
"We finished 8th, but only 13 points out of 5th, the last qualifying spot. Boucher led us and will go on, and Nick Fuelling posted a career-best time of 16:40 for 21st place."
In the girls race, frosh Cadie Faurote proved that her lead in sectional was no fluke, slicing 44 more seconds off of her career--best with a 20:30 for 30th place. Senior Jessica Brewer closed our her cross country career with 38th place in 20:57, her second best time of the season.
"Overall, it was a perfect day on a fast course and there were a lot of excellent performances by our girls," stated Bellmont coach Carl Risch, who string of consecutive semistate appearances by his teams stops at three.
"I feel the girls ran about as good as they could."
Hisner noted that Blake Adams cut 31 seconds from his previous best to take 29th in 17:01. Michael Braun cut 12 seconds from his career best, taking 57th in 18:09.
"Adam Corral was our fifth man in 60th in a huge season best of 18:15, a cut of 35 seconds," praised Hisner.
Josh Porter was close behind in 63rd, also in a season best of 18:24. Tyler Fenwick, coming off an illness earlier in the week, placed 67th in a season-best 18:39.
"It was disappointing to fall short of making it to sem-state. We had a string of four straight appearances there, and had made it in nine of the previous thirteen seasons. We are kind of used to being there, and it's tough to take it when we don't make it back," said Hisner..
"But we had a good season, considering the adversity we faced and the inexperience of much of our team. Four of the guys we ran Saturday — Braun, Corral, Porter, and Fenwick — were in their first season of varsity cross country, and three of them — Corral, Porter, and Fenwick — were in their first high school season ever. They made remarkable progress and gained valuable experience that will help us in the future.
"We return all of the seven guys who ran Saturday, so we plan to head back to the regional next year and get back up near the top where we belong," said Hisner.
Kodi Mullins of Homestead went 15:44 to break the course record with his individual win, beating Brian Menzie fo Whitko by three seconds. Josh Neideck of Eastbrook was third at 15:52 and Max Silcox of Homestead was fourth in 15:54.
Homestead won with 54 to the 75 of Huntington, 80 of Whitko, and 120 of South Adams. Eastbrook was fifth at 163.
Evan Liechty took 12th in 16:15 for the Stars while Joel Hawbaker was 25th in 16:51. Simon Sprunger ran a 17:14 for 33rd and Brody Shane ran 44th in 17:39. Andrew Steffen ran 64th and Mark Smith 69th.
For Adams Central, Kyle Fawcett had a strong 17:33 to finish 43rd in the boys race. Karly Prichard ran 33rd in the girls race at 20:30.
Columbia City took first for the girls with a 38-point total, taking one-two in the race with Sam Roush (18:32) and Renee Menzie. Roush tied the course record.
Huntington North was second at 51 while Homestead scored 69 and South Adams 129. Norwell grabbed the fifth slot with 151 points. Eastbrook tallied 177, Marion 184 and Bellmont 215, avenging a loss to Woodlan (221, 9th) in the sectional.
Bellmont finished about .500 for the season, Risch noted.
Jenna Smith ran 23rd for the Stars in 20:04 while Sawyer Shanne finished 35th in 20:47. Kristen Muselman ran 31st in 20:33. Emily Miller took 60th and Alexis Ford went 67th.
Sarah Garner ran 21:69 for 43rd overall for BHS, a much better time that this past Tuesday.
"All three of our top runners led us in at least two races, and Garner was the leader most of the season," noted Risch.
Alexis Harvey cut 32 seconds from her season's best with a 22:56 in a strong run, 57th. Olivia Babb went 23:11, a second best career time.
Amanda Noonan cut an amazing 1:06 of of her career best with a 24:53 for 65th. Maddi Werling ran 26:51, her second best time of the year.