Three runners from Bellmont, three from South Adams, and one from Adams Central advanced to the boys' cross-country regional on Tuesday by placing in the top 15 at the sectional held at Bellmont. There were 76 participants.
Homestead took the team title with the first two finishers and six in the top 15, while scoring 27 points, followed by South Adams at 67 (led by third-placer Eric Isch, Evan Liechty 10th, and Joel Hawbaker 12th), Bellmont at 91, Norwell 95, New Haven 126, Woodlan 172, Adams Central 199 (led by 11th-place Kyle Fawcett), Bluffton 201, Canterbury 251, Wayne 271, and Southern Wells 303.
Longtime Braves coach Randy Hisner said, "We had a very strong performance to slip past Norwell and place third. Evan Boucher, as usual, led us with a sub-17 race, taking seventh in 16:55.44.
"Nick Fuelling continued his excellent season with a 17:00.13 clocking to finish eighth and Blake Adams ran a clutch race as our third man in 14th place.
"Placing our top three in the first 15 was a big key for us and those veterans really came through."
Hisner added that Michael Braun "ran his best race of the season, taking 26th in 18:33, his career-best time" in the full distance.
He also stated that sophomore rookie Adam Corral had an impressive outing, just nine seconds slower than his best time, and Josh Porter and Logan Neher, both freshmen, did well, too. Neher filled in for Tyler Fenwick, who was ill.
The coach looked ahead by saying, "Now, it's on the Marion regional, where we will be in the hunt to place in the top five and advance to the semi-state. It won't be easy. We will have to battle Norwell and a surprisingly strong Eastbrook team for the fifth spot. Homestead, Huntington North, Whitko, and South Adams seem to be locks for the top four."
Here are the top 15 sectional performers, plus the others from Adams County:
1—Kodi Mullins, Homestead, 16:10.84
2—Max Silocox, Homestead, 16:29.4
3—Eric Isch, South Adams, 16:37.03
4—Alex Cushman, Norwell, 16:47.77
5—Blake Harris, Homestead, 16:48.05
6—Christian Clark, Homestead, 16:48.81
7—Evan Boucher, Bellmont, 16:55.44
8—Nick Fuelling, Bellmont, 17:00.13
9—Brandon Long, Norwell, 17:07.64
10—Evan Liechty, South Adams, 17:24.84
11—Kyle Fawcett, Adams Central, 17:26.98
12—Joel Hawbaker, South Adams, 17:29.92
13—Brandon Perry, Homestead, 17:31.91
14—Blake Adams, Bellmont, 17:32.58
15—Kipp Force, Homestead, 17:35.24
19—Simon Sprunger, South Adams, 17:57.41
23—Brody Shane, South Adams, 18:18.24
26—Michael Braun, Bellmont, 18:33.53
28—Ben Lehman, Adams Central, 18:43.49
36—Adam Corral, Bellmont, 18:59.64
41—Cody Sprunger, South Adams, 19:14.68
44—Josh Porter, Bellmont, 19:21.39
47—Brett Affolder, South Adams, 19:31.66
51—Logan Neher, Bellmont, 19:54.08
52—Jim Harrison, Adams Central, 20:08.26
53—Maverick Baumer, Adams Central, 20:14.75
55—Michael Yoder, South Adams, 20:16.28
57—David Teeple, Adams Central, 20:16.9
63—Nick Baumer, Adams Central, 21:19.72