By Andrew Crum
DANVILLE — Just call it twice as nice.
For the Avon girls’ and Brownsburg boys’ cross-country teams, it was just that. Both repeated last year’s feat of winning the Hendricks County cross country meet Tuesday night.
The Avon girls had four of the top five finishers, including individual champion Malyka Abramson, with her winning time of 18:14.08 and the Brownsburg boys had two of the top five finishers, including individual champion Elliott Shaw, with his winning time of 16:17.22.
Abramson, who also repeated as individual champion, bested last year’s time by nearly 30 seconds, breaking her own course record.
“The mud was definitely hard to run through, it slowed me down quite a bit but I felt good out there and I am really happy about how our team did today,” Abramson said. “We have gotten stronger and stronger as the season has gone on and we are prepared for the postseason.”
Shaw, who won his first cross-country meet, won by the slimmest of margins, just 47 hundredths of a second over second place finisher, Abiel Mogos of Plainfield (16:17.69).
“I felt good, but I didn’t have as much training (as others) and it just all comes down to mental preparation. You hang with them as long as you can, then give everything you’ve got down the home stretch no matter what,” Shaw said. “I was several spaces behind, as I got closer to (Mogos) and saw the end, I used everything I had left to finish it.”
Avon, the girls’ champion, finished with 24 points, Brownsburg (55) was second, Plainfield (69) was third followed by Danville (98) and Tri West (129).
The top five girls’ finishers were: Abramson, Courtney Kerr (Avon), Samantha Woodford (Plainfield), Megan Price (Avon) and Kelsie Mothersead (Avon).
Brownsburg, the boys’ champion, finished with 36 points, Avon (49) took second, Plainfield (61) was third, followed by Danville (111), Cascade (123) and Tri West (176).
The top five boys’ finishers were: Shaw, Mogos, Levi Musson (Cascade), Justin Hays (Brownsburg) and Ross Hughes (Avon).
Avon hopes to keep the momentum going as sectionals start next week.
“I think they ran really well and I am pleased across the board, I think everybody stepped up. We had some personal best (Kerr) and season best (Mothersead) times. It was a real team effort and we hoping to repeat as a state-qualifying team,” Avon girls’ coach Brad Rosebrock said.
Brownsburg continued to excel after a one of its best races of the season last weekend.
“I wasn’t quite sure how they would respond after Saturday’s conference meet, they ran their best race of the year by far, usually you have a letdown, especially if it is only three days later,” Brownsburg coach Brett Neylon said. “But these guys came out and worked their tails off and defended that title the way it should be.”
The top finishers for each county girls’ teams were: Abramson (18:14.18), Woodford (19:25.21), Brownsburg’s Julia Popenfoose (20:02.27), Danville’s Megan Newcomer (20:03.74), Tri West’s Carrie Chappell (20:37.49) and Cascade’s Megan Frederick (22:13.42).
The top finishers for county boys’ squads were: Shaw (16:17.22), Mogos (16:17.69), Musson (16:28.71), Hughes (16:39.01), Danville’s Brandon Siller (17:49.81) and Tri West’s Chris Wright (18:54.69).