The Silver Creek girls’ cross country team has no secret formula to its successful 2013 season.
All the Dragons do is work hard and log the miles, and that work ethic helped them capture their third consecutive Southwestern Sectional championship on Tuesday at Hanover College.
“The key for us was last summer when the girls decided to come out and practice,” Silver Creek coach Darrell Kingery said. “The girls showed up for practice every day, we ran all the time and it makes a difference.”
Silver Creek had three runners finish in the top four spots and four runners place in the top 10.
“It feels amazing. I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Silver Creek junior Mackenzie Crouch, who won the individual girls’ sectional title for the first time in her career.
In the boys’ race, the Dragons’ two-year reign as sectional champions came to an end. They placed third behind first-place Madison and second-place Jennings County.
The top five teams in each race advanced to Saturday’s Brown County Regional. Plus the top 10 individuals on non-qualifying teams moved on to regional, which is a new rule set by the IHSAA this season.
Crouch posted a personal-record time of 19:50.02 to lead the Dragons, who scored 31 points. She was the only female runner to run the course in under 20 minutes.
“There were a lot of good competitors, but I felt good today and got first,” she said. “I’m surprised that I broke 20 today on this course. I’m proud of myself that I PR’d today.”
Teammate Maggie Shields finished second in 20:01.84, while Dragon senior Brittany Sharp was fourth in 20:23.65. Rounding out the Creek scoring were Jessica Backherms in 10th and Miranda Coats in 15th. Also for the Dragons, Paris Brock finished 19th and Emory Lewis was 23rd.
“They ran extremely well tonight,” Kingery said. “I was surprised that we went one, two and four. They ran really well.”
Charlestown earned a regional berth as a team by placing fourth with 114 points. Pirate junior Whitney Andrews ran in the top 10 with an eighth-place finish.
Teammates Alysha Flaget and Mary Hoff finished 17th and 22nd, respectively. Also for Charlestown, Lauren Crowe was 32nd and Kaitlynn Henning placed 42nd.
Henryville did not qualify for regional as a squad, as it placed seventh with 147 points, but the Hornets’ top two runners each got individual regional spots by placing in the top six.
Henryville freshman Cia Greene wound up third in 20:17.37, while senior teammate Sadie Spears was sixth in 20:49.65. Spears won the sectional title last season.
New Washington, which finished eighth, had four runners earn regional berths. Olivia Graebe was seventh, Courtney Morgan ended up 37th, Tori Wiggam placed 44th and Emilee Holloway was 45th.