NASHVILLE — Coming into the season, Floyd Central’s girls’ cross country team had the ulitimate goal of getting back to the state finals as a team.
On Saturday at the Brown County Semistate, the Highlanders achieved that dream with a fourth-place finish.
“It was a great team effort,” Floyd Central coach Carl Hook said. “It’s been a while since we’ve been [at state] and everybody was extremely happy to reach that final goal.”
Three Highlanders finished in the top 22, led by reigning News and Tribune Runner of the Year Lydia Kotowski in eighth place.
“Lydia ran another great race,” Hook said. “She told me last night she was going to run an 18:48 and finish ninth. She ran an 18:51 and was eight. When she sets her mind to something, she’s a great racer. It was exciting to see her in that front group.”
Highlander sophomore Kassidy Manning finished 14th and classmate Madison Barney crossed the line in 22nd to help Floyd Central to 138 points, well ahead of fifth-place Bloomington North (178) and sixth-place Jasper (203).
“We were carried by our top three,” Hook said. “Kassidy Manning was huge for us and Madison Barney has been rock solid for us at the three spot. To have three girls in the top 22 is really special. We knew it would be tough to keep us out [of the state finals] if we could do that.”
The top five teams advanced to next Saturday’s state meet in Terre Haute.
Silver Creek placed 10th as a team and Mackenzie Crouch came in 15th overall to earn an individual spot at state. The top 10 runners not on one of the top five teams also qualified for the state meet.
"Mackenzie has been solid all year, being our most consistent runner,” Silver Creek coach Darrell Kingery said. “She will be making her first apperance at state and is looking forward to another great challenge.”