At the start of the season, the runners on the Borden boys’ cross country team thought they had the potential to accomplish something most small-school squads can only dream about — win a sectional championship.
On Tuesday at Crawford County High School, the Braves achieved that major goal.
Borden’s top five runners each finished in the top 18 spots and captured the Crawford County Sectional title with 58 points. It was the Braves’ first-ever sectional title and they advanced to Saturday’s Crawford County Regional.
“At the beginning of the year, I felt like that we had a chance to not be just a good team, but a great team,” fifth-year Borden coach Liz Carmony said. “This is a great accomplishment not only for the boys, but the whole community. The boys have worked hard and continued to work hard. We have a young team, but we have good leaders.”
In the girls’ race, Floyd Central reclaimed the sectional title by tallying 30 points and having five runners in the top 11. It was the Highlanders’ first sectional championship since 2010 and their 20th sectional title overall.
“I’m proud of them whenever we can get one,” Floyd Central girls’ coach Carl Hook said.
The top five teams and top 15 individuals in both boys’ and girls’ races qualified for regional.
Borden senior Brian Eurton gave a few reasons why he and his teammates persevered on Tuesday.
“Hard work and coaching are what it comes down to, and you’ve got to have guts on race day,” Eurton said.
The Braves showed plenty of guts on the Crawford County course.
Freshman Julien Magallanes was Borden’s top runner, finishing fifth in a time of 16:46.8. Eurton followed in seventh, while Braves’ junior George Tipker wound up 11th. Rounding out the Borden scoring were Gavin Tipker in 17th and Nathen Magallanes in 18th. Braves’ junior Brian McGee ended up 31st.
“Honestly, I can’t wrap my head around it,” said Borden senior Michael Lynch, who ran 33rd. “Our times have improved throughout the year.”
Floyd Central wound up third in the team standings with 84 points. Junior Grant Reynolds was the Highlanders’ fastest runner with a 10th-place finish. Teammate Luke Uhl finished 13th. Also for Floyd Central, Alec Heitz was 19th, Mike White placed 20th and Kahler Davis wound up 22nd.
Providence earned a regional berth with a fourth-place effort, scoring 134 points. Senior Murphy Sheets led the Pioneers by finishing sixth. Providence junior Lincoln Ottersbach placed 21st, while teammate Spencer Mitchell was 24th. The Pioneers’ Alex Grove and Nathan Shumate finished 39th and 44th, respectively.
New Albany finished sixth and Jeffersonville was eighth, failing to move on to regional. Each team will have a runner at regional.
Bulldog senior Drew Hirsch was the highest-finishing Clark-Floyd area runner, placing fourth in 16:41. Red Devil senior Tyrell Dowdell finished 12th.