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October 13, 2012

H.S. CROSS COUNTRY: Highlanders girls win second regional title in three years

Borden boys finish runner-up at regional

MARENGO — After having the Crawford County Regional title wrestled away from them by rival New Albany a year ago, Floyd Central’s girls’ cross country team recaptured the crown, winning it for the second time in three years on Saturday.

All seven Highlanders finished in the top 19 as they out-distanced runner-up Perry Central by a large margin, 43-96.

Floyd Central freshman Lydia Kotowski, who had a team-best fourth-place finish, said she and her teammates expected nothing less than leaving the stiff competition far behind.

“That’s what we assumed we would doing coming into it, but it’s nice to make a dream a reality,” she said.

Kotowski said a personal-best time of 19:18, cutting over a minute off of Tuesday’s sectional time at the same course in Marengo.

“I had a dream a couple of nights ago — this is going to sound really corny — and I saw myself run the race in 19:22, so I set that for myself as a personal goal,” Kotowski said.

“Amazing race for Lydia,” Hook said. “She just got out there and ran. She’s a talented girl and works really hard. She had a great day today, an exception race for her.”

Alyssa Moore — the Highlanders’ only senior — and Madison Barney finished sixth and seventh, respectively, for Floyd. Zoe Doebler was 11h, Jamie Bierman 15th, Haley Meyer 17th and Cassie Nale 19th for the Highlanders.

“It was an awesome job by all the girls,” Kotowski said.

“This is a team sports,” Hook said. “We coach it that way and run it that way. Everybody helps each other out. We had a great team effort today.”

The defending champion Bulldogs tied Perry Central with 96 points, but the Commodores officially finished second when their sixth runner, Verna Schwartz, beat New Albany’s sixth runner, Corinn Mundy, by five spots.

Phoebe Bauer led the Bulldogs in eighth place after a late charge through the field. Bailey Knable and Rose Kaforski each finished with personal bests. Knable came in 12th and Kaforski crossed the line 13th.

“I’m really proud of them,” Bauer said of her teammates. “I’m really happy to make it to next week.”

Bauer, who won the regional as a sophomore and was runner-up a year ago, continued to fight thigh and ankle injuries Saturday.

“I’m feeling it, that’s for sure,” Bauer said. “I feel like I should be up front.”

She and her teammates will join the Highlanders at next Saturday’s Brown County Regional. Bauer still isn’t sure if she’ll be prepared to be competitive by then.

“I’ll do the best I can. I’ll but it out there, but I don’t know,” she said.

The Highlanders, on the other hand, expect to fight for a spot in the Oct. 27 state finals at Terre Haute.

“I expect us to go to state,” Kotowski said. “That’s been the goal all season.”

“We know who the  top three are up there,” Hook said of Columbus North, Terre Haute North and Bloomington South. “We figure to be fighting with three to six other schools for the final three spots. If we run like this, I think are chances are pretty good. We just have to go up there and take care of business like we did today.”

Providence finished fourth as a team, and Erin Denis (ninth) and Kori Siebert (10th) will also compete at Saturday’s regional in Nashville.

Borden, which was led by Brooklyn Agnew’s 35th-place finish, was 10th overall.

Heritage Hills’ Sienna Crews won the regional title with a course-record time of 18:31.

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