By Jake Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org
Hendricks County Flyer
---- — INDIANAPOLIS — With drizzling rain falling and cooler temperatures settling in overnight, Saturday’s Ben Davis cross country regional brought with it weather most runners hadn’t competed in so far this year. The conditions did not have an adverse affect on the county teams competing, as they brought home team and individual successes.
Avon pulled off a three-peat, taking its third regional title in as many years. The Orioles placed all of its runners in the top 10 and Malyka Abramson and Taylor Nicholson finished 1-2, respectively.
“Three-peating county, sectional and regional has been a great run,” Avon coach Brad Rosebrock said. “I think we’d not won a regional before our first. It’s a testament to the hard work put in by the athletes, coaching staff and our parents.”
Abramson finished in 18:02, while Nicholson broke Abramson’s freshman record time with her run of 18:16.
Kate Bernicke, Kelsie Mothersead, and Lauren Heeger made up the rest of Avon’s scoring, with Alissa Lustgarten and Fiona Kelly not far behind. Avon tallied 28 points on the day.
Zionsville (40) finished second, Pike (88) took third, Plainfield (117) was fourth and Brownsburg (135) advanced in fifth.
Samantha Woodford, who finished sixth, led the Quakers’ squad of Marina Pfeil, Sydney Simpson, Anne Krietenstein, Mady Haden, Saige Woodford and Hannah Snider.
Julia Popenfoose took 12th to lead the Bulldogs’ squad of Cassidy Brown, Alex Smock, Allison Hering, Brianna Channon, Mackenzie Vondersaar and Caroline Johnson.
Tri-West’s Carrie Chappell was the lone county runner to make it through without a team, finishing 30th with a time of 21:11.
“It’s indicative of the effort she’s put in all year, over the summer and in the workouts,” Tri-West coach Brian Powers said. “I’m just so happy and proud of her. “
In a very tight competition, Zionsville (47) edged Avon (51) by four points to win its first cross country regional title in school history. Brownsburg (94) finished third, followed by Ritter, Ben Davis, Pike, Plainfield, Danville, Greencastle and Covenant Christian.
Second place did not sit well with Avon coach Zach Toothman, but he believes the team can improve on the performance at next Saturday’s semi-state. It was also the highest Avon had ever finished in a regional.
“We knew it was going to be close and Zionsville is very, very good,” Toothman said. “Hopefully, we fair a bit better in a bigger field. We’re happy with our accomplishment.”
Presley Martin, Taylor Kleyn, Alec Scheerer, Jon Cramer and Will Anderson accounted for the Orioles’ scoring.
Brownsburg’s Mark Bond and Hari Sathyamurthy turned in impressive performances, finishing 1-2, respectively. Bond followed up his sectional championship performance with a regional victory. Sathyamurthy ran a personal best, shaving just over a minute off his best effort.
“Since I’ve been coaching we’ve only had a few guys win a regional title and we’ve never had anybody go 1-2,” Brownsburg coach Bret Neylon said. “We expected Mark to do very well today. I’ve always known Hari had this type of run in him and he did it in the biggest meet of the year.”
Bond, Sathyamurthy, Elijah Wagner, Seth Webster and Marcus Fierek made up the Bulldogs’ scoring.
With the newly-instituted rule of advancing the top 10 runners without a team, Danville benefited as senior Sam Bratton and freshman Daniel Gerber both made the cut.
“I’m happy for them as they came back from strong sectional performances with solid runs today,” Danville coach Pat McKenzie said. “It’s a great accomplishment for Daniel. Its also great to see Sam go so far as a senior.”
Also advancing was Plainfield’s Joel Thompson, who finished an impressive sixth with a time of 16:24, just 13 seconds off first place.