By GREG MENGELT
NASHVILLE — Columbus North’s boys and girls — both ranked in the top three in the state — both easily cruised to Brown County Regional championships at Nashville.
Silver Creek’s girls were a distant second to the Bull Dogs, but Brown County was a distant third to the impressive Dragons.
North, Silver Creek and Brown County will be joined by Seymour and Columbus East at next Saturday’s Brown County Semistate. The top five teams and the top 10 runners not on a top-five team advanced.
“The girls continue to run well even though it was tense before the race because we were not sure Maggie [Shields] would be able to run due to back problems,” Creek coach Darrell Kingery said.
Silver Creek’s boys finished eighth — one spot ahead of Henryville — in the boys’ race.
“The boys ran really well on a muddy course,” Kingery said. “With no seniors on the team, hopefully the best is yet to come in about a year from now.”
Martinsville, Seymour, Brownstown Central and Columbus East joined North to advanced to the semistate.
Among a sea of Bull Dogs at the front of the pack is where Silver Creek’s Mackenzie Crouch could be found on Saturday.
Crouch was the only non-Columbus North runner to finish in the top five. The Southwestern Sectional champion finished fourth in 19:04 to pace the Silver Creek, which placed five of its seven runners in the top 30. Crouch’s time was one minute and two seconds behind North champion Mackenzi Caldwell, who finished 16 seconds ahead of teammate Sierra Lax for the individual title.
“Everyone picked it up, especially Mackenzie, who ran a personal best on a muddy course,” Kingery said.
Shields crossed the line in 12th despite her back programs. Also for Silver Creek, Brittany Sharp was 17th, Jessica Backherms placed 27th and Miranda Coats finished 30th.
“We look forward to the biggest challenge of the year at the semistate,” Kingery said. “Everyone will have to be at their best for us to have shot, but these gals are tough and up for the challenge.”
A pair of Henryville Hornets finished in the top 10. Senior Sadie Spears finished ninth and freshman Cia Greene was 10th. Both had little problem earning a spot in next Saturday’s semistate.
Charlestown finished 10th as a team and saw Whitney Andrews advance to the semistate with a 21st-place finish.
New Washington freshman Olivia Graebe also moved on in 19th.
Silver Creek’s finished eighth, but the youthful Dragons were only 12 points from advancing as a team.
Tanner Coots was the lone Dragons to make the semistate cut by finishing 13th in a personal-best 17:02.
“Tanner Coots qualified for the semi state next week by running a great race and by beating at least 6 runners that he had never beaten before,” Kingery said.
Cameron Stephens finished 35th, Morgan Davidson placed 37th with a season-best 17:57. Andrew Westfall also ran a personal best in 18:14 to come in 44th for the Dragons.
Jacob Hedrick of Henryville also advanced in 12th place in a time of 16:50.
Charlestown’s Seth Park finished 53rd, freshman Brandon Horton paced New Washington with a 68th-place finish and Rock Creek’s Michael Murphy crossed the finish line in 19:27, which was good for 70th overall.
Columbus North’s Seth Williams was the overall boys’ champion in a blazing time of 15:51. The Bull Dogs took the top five spots ahead of Seymour’s Jack Tormoehlen in sixth.
BROWN COUNTY REGIONAL
(Top five teams and top 10 individuals on non-advancing squads advanced to semistate.)
Team scores: Columbus North 18, Silver Creek 73, Brown County 107, Seymour 132, Columbus East 146, Brownstown Central 174, Switzerland County 196, Madison 198, Southwestern 223, Charlestown 223.
Overall winner: Mackenzi Caldwell (CN) 18:02.
Top 10: 1. Caldwell, 2. Sierra Lax (CN) 18:18, 3. Rachel Brougher (CN) 19:12, 4. Mackenzie Crouch (SC) 19:24, 5. Allison Coffey (CN) 19:27, 6. Whitley Schirmer (Sw) 19:32, 7. Nina Bouthier (CN) 19:40, 8. 19:40, 9. Avrie Allen (CN) 19:50, 9. Sadie Spears (H), 10. Cia Greene (H) 20:02.
Top 10 individual advancers: 6. Schirmer, 9. Spears, 10. Greene, 14. Ashlee Allen (M) 20:37, 15. Haley Temple (SW) 20:37, 16. Emma Russell (IC) 20:38, 19. Olivia Graebe (NW) 20:53, 21. Whitney Andrews (Ch) 21:05, 23. Elisa Gallion (BC) 21:14, 24. Savannah Rueda (SW) 21:15.
Silver Creek: 4. Crouch, 12. Maggie Shields 20:35, 17. Brittany Sharp 20:49, 27. Jessica Backherms 21:31, 30. Miranda Coats 21:48, 43. Paris Brock 22:35, 51. Emory Lewis 22:45.
Charlestown: 21. Andrews, 47. Alysha Flaget 22:38, 60. Mary Hoff 23:16, 73. Lauren Crowe 24:29, 85. Kaitlynn Henning 26:48, 87. Molly Sumner 35:13.
Henryville: 9. Spears, 10. Greene,
New Washington: 19. Graebe, 84. Courtney Morgan 26:30.
Team scores: Columbus North 15, Martinsville 99, Seymour 133, Brownstown Central 140, Columbus East 146, Jennings County 149, Madison 158, Silver Creek 158, Henryville 218, Switzerland County 220.
Overall winner: Seth Williams (CN) 15:47.
Top 10: 1. Williams, 2. Kaden Eaton (CN) 15:51, 3. Andy Carr (CN) 15:59, 4. Chase Ballard (CN) 16:24, 5. Michael Keller (CN) 16:29, 6. Jack Tormoehlen (Sey) 16:36, 7. Jonah Woods (JC) 16:43, 8. Nick Firsich (Mar) 16:43, 9. Ryan Franklin (BC) 16:45, 10. Aaron Tincher (Mar) 16:46.
Top 10 individual advancers: 7. Woods, 12. Jacob Hedrick (H) 16:50, 13. Tanner Coots (SC) 17:02, 15. Kyle Lewis (JC) 17:08, 17. Talen Taylor (Sw) 17:11, 20. Alex May (Sc) 17:23, 21. David Gibson (Mad) 17:27, 22. Quenton White (Mad) 17:28, 25. Braden Burk (Sw) 17:37, 26. Brady Devine (IC) 17:42.
Silver Creek: 13. Coots, 35. Cameron Stephens 17:54, 37. Morgan Davidson 17:57, 44. Andrew Westfall 18:14, 55. Tyler Priddy 18:38, 61. Boone Barton 18:48, 77. Matt Street 19:55.
Henryville: 12. Hedrick, 27. Zach Knox 17:45, 71. Koleton Freitas 19:28, 73. Lucas VanMeter 19:33, 86. Cody Combs 22:33.
Charlestown: 53. Seth Parker 18:34.
New Washington: 68. Brandon Horton 19:21, 76. Devin Herron 19:47.
Rock Creek: 70. Michael Murphy 19:27.