INDIANAPOLIS — With near-perfect running conditions, the Avon cross country squads had solid performances at Saturday’s 20-team invitational at Ben Davis.
Avon’s Malyka Abramson was the top female runner with a time of 17 minutes, 41 seconds. Five Orioles placed in the top 17, as they finished second behind West Lafayette in the overall standings despite running without No. 2 Courtney Kerr, who sprained her foot a week earlier.
“We kept Courtney out as a precaution, but we still expected to compete with the top teams here,” Avon girls’ coach Brad Rosebrock said. “There are a lot of great teams here, and we had girls running 20 to 40 seconds under their personal bests, so I’m really pleased.”
Placing behind Abramson for Avon in the 139-runner field were Taylor Nicholson (5th place), Kelsie Mothersead (12th), Lauren Heeger (15th), Kate Bernicke (17th), Alissa Lustgarten (56th) and Fiona Kelly (57th).
With a time of 18:33, Plainfield’s Sam Woodford finished sixth overall for the 11th-place Quakers, followed by teammates Sydney Simpson (37th), Saige Woodford (87th), Mady Hayden (92nd), Anne Krietenstein (94th), Marina Pfeil (96th) and Camryn Kline (115th).
“Sam might not be real sharp yet, but she ran strong and hit a (personal record),” Plainfield coach Wes Woodson said. “Sydney also had a nice day and her best race. She’s definitely running like an all-conference runner.”
Tri-West’s Carrie Chappell ran a 20:19 to finish in 54th place.
“I was really pleased with the way she ran,” Tri-West coach Brian Powers said. “She’s been running really smart this year. She let everyone else go out hard and let them come back to her. The rest of the girls ran well too.”
Behind Chappell for Tri-West were Molly Henley (103rd), Brooke Snoeberger (125th), Erin Boles (131st) and Madison Warden (132nd).
On the boys’ side, Avon placed fourth with 95 points, 23 behind first-place Zionsville.
“I thought we ran well and that we got out very well together,” Avon boys’ coach Zach Toothman said. “It got really fast in the third (kilometer) and we closed well. We’ve been working on that all year.”
Alec Scheerer ran a 16:15 to lead Avon and finish in 14th. He was followed by teammates Jon Cramer (17th), Presley Martin (18th), Will Anderson (21st), Matt Everling (25th), Brandon Vu (28th) and Dawit Woldai (45th).
Paced by Joel Thompson’s 16th-place run of 16:17, Plainfield finished 12th as a team. Quakers behind Thompson were Justin Pelkey (59th), Zach Robinson (69th), Dominic Restivo (96th), Bayley Watson (97th), Colton Clay (98th) and Aaron Payne (103rd).
“I thought that they looked a little sharper this week,” Woodson said. “Joel got out better and had a good finish, and Justin ran pretty well. We have a lot of young kids running this year, and they’re learning.”
Tri-West’s boys’ team didn’t officially place because three of its seven runners went the wrong way on the course. Keiland Cooper (113th place), Ian Williams (115th), Josh Mauzy (117th) and Robby Stumph (124th) were the Bruins’ non-disqualified runners.
With schools like host Ben Davis and Carmel in the talented field, Tri-West was there to improve and get used to running with the best.
“Anytime we can run with schools like this, especially on our regional course, we’ll do it,” Powers said. “It’s a good opportunity for us, because you find out a lot about yourself.”