By KEVIN HARRIS
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.
Floyd Central had three runners finish in the top four positions.
Leading the Highlanders was senior Alyssa Moore, who finished second in 19:50.5. At one point in the season, Moore was training with the Floyd Central boys’ team to help her get ready for the postseason.
“It’s helped make me stronger more than anything,” Moore said. “It feels great [to win sectional] with the girls I love and to accomplish something we’ve worked hard for all season.”
Hook lauded his top runners afterwards.
“Alyssa Moore had a big breakout race and had a sub-20-minute time. She’s been shooting for that,” Hook said. “She’s had a good season. She’s been working hard. It’s good to see a kid that is so focused to have a big day.”
Highlander freshmen Lydia Kotowski and Madison Barney finished third and fourth, respectively. Floyd Central junior Jamie Bierman placed 10th, while teammate Cassie Nale was 11th.
New Albany finished second as a team with 58 points. Senior Phoebe Bauer paced the Bulldogs with a fifth-place finish in 21:04.9. New Albany’s Rose Kaforski and Bailey Knable placed seventh and eighth, respectively. Also for the Bulldogs, Rachel Bowden placed 18th and Rachel Geveden was 20th.
“It was a controlled effort by them for most of the race and then we let them loose toward the end,” New Albany coach Paul Hamilton said. “We wanted to keep them fresh for Saturday’s race.”
Providence placed fourth with 104 points. Senior Kori Siebert was the Pioneers’ top runner, finishing sixth. Fellow Providence senior Erin Denis was ninth. Rounding out the scoring for the Pioneers were Samantha Stiner in 19th, Janelle Marriott in 35th and Virginia McCauley in 41st.
Borden qualified for regional for the first time in Carmony’s coaching tenure by finishing fifth with 146 points. Brooklyn Agnew led the Braves with a 17th-place finish. Teammate Shelby Kirchgessner wound up 27th. Also for Borden, Abby Ellis was 28th, Nikki Carter placed 38th and Aspen Kirchgessner finished 45th.
Jeff had a sixth-place finish with 155 points. Red Devil sophomore Kayla Barrett missed qualifying for the regional by one spot, running 16th.
CRAWFORD COUNTY SECTIONAL
Team scores: Floyd Central 30, New Albany 58, North Harrison 99, Providence 104, Borden 146, Jeffersonville 155, Lanesville 157, Corydon Central 163.
Individual champion: Ashton Bosler, North Harrison, 19:09.
Floyd Central: 2. Alyssa Moore 19:50, 3. Lydia Kotowski 20:20, 4. Madison Barney 20:53, 10. Jamie Bierman 21:31, 11. Cassie Nale 21:33, 13. Haley Meyer 21:40, 14. Zoe Doebler 21:53.
New Albany: 5. Phoebe Bauer 21:04, 7. Rose Kaforski 21:17, 8. Bailey Knable 21:21, 18. Rachel Bowden 22:27, 20. Rachel Geveden 22:42, 30. Corinn Mundy 23:26, 43. Emma Bauer 24:49.
Providence: 6. Kori Siebert 21:08, 9. Erin Denis 21:21, 19. Samantha Stiner 22:29, 35. Janelle Mariott 24:40, 41. Virginia McCauley 24:48.
Borden: 17. Brooklyn Agnew 22:26, 27. Shelby Kirchgessner 23:14, 28, 28. Abby Ellis 23:18, 38. Nikki Carter 24:39, 45. Aspen Kirchgessner 24:58.
Jeffersonville: 16. Kayla Barrett 22:21, 22. Ashley Friedrich 22:49, 37. Cat Patton 24:31, 42. Heather Nichols 24:49, 49. Hamilton Dickey 25:33, 50. Taylor Hines 26:13, 53. Brooke Avery 27:00.
Team scores: Borden 58, North Harrison 69, Floyd Central 84, Providence 134, Lanesville 135, New Albany 152, Corydon Central 169, Jeffersonville 175, Crawford County 201, South Central 240.
Individual champion: Jonathan Reynolds, North Harrison, 15:51.
Borden: 5. Julien Magallanes 16:46, 7. Brian Eurton 17:03, 11. George Tipker 17:10, 17. Gavin Tipker 17:23, 18. Nathen Magallanes 17:23, 31. Brian McGee 18:27, 33. Michael Lynch 18:28.
Floyd Central: 10, Grant Reynolds 17:10, 13. Luke Uhl 17:13, 19. Alec Heitz 17:24, 20. Mike White 17:39, 22. Kahler Davis 17:52, 26. Reese Tarr 18:05, 29. Zack Doebbler 18:15.
Providence: 6. Murphy Sheets 16:53, 21. Lincoln Ottersbach 17:47, 24. Spencer Mitchell 17:57, 39. Alex Grove 19:04, 44. Nathan Shumate 19:16, 63. Collin Rankin 20:53, 66. Joseph Swearingen 21:05.
New Albany: 4. Andrew Hirsch 16:41, 16. Matthew Sogge 17:21, 40. Andrew Bostock 19:06, 45. Theron Gust 19:16, 47. Randall Lynch 19:2, 49. Matthew Street 19:2, 69. Jared Clemons 23:35.
Jeffersonville: 12. Tyrell Dowdell 17:12, 25. Oscar DeLeon 19:59, 37. Caleb Hawes 18:49, 50. Eric Harris 19:28, 51. Jasi Coureur 19:32, 56. Ian Tex 19:57, 65. Caleb Boutell 20:58.
Clarksville: 68. Stuart Martin 23:10.