DANVILLE – Avon left no doubt on Tuesday who is Hendricks County’s cross country powerhouse, as both the girls’ and boys’ teams placed all seven runners in the top 10 at the annual county meet.
Avon’s Malyka Abramson and Taylor Nicholson finished 1-2 on the girls’ side, as the Orioles’ low total of 18 points was 32 better than second-place Plainfield.
“We’ve had some really great wins as a team this year, but haven’t often had all seven girls firing on all cylinders on the same day,” Avon girls’ coach Brad Rosebrock said. “I feel like today all of them were on and did well.”
Plainfield was followed in the final girls’ standings by Brownsburg (81 points), Danville (113) and Tri-West (119). Cascade was one runner short of registering as a team.
It was the third-straight county individual title for Abramson, who finished in 18:12 while holding back a little due recurring knee issues.
“I knew I wasn’t going to go as hard as I had been since my knees have been hurting,” said Abramson, who is going to a doctor on Thursday to have the problem assessed. “Around this time is usually when I get injured and it’ll affect my postseason runs. (Rosebrock) told me to run fast enough to win, so that’s what I tried to do.”
Avon’s Kelsie Mothersead (fourth), Lauren Heeger (fifth), Kate Bernicke (sixth), Alissa Lustgarten (eighth) and Fiona Kelly (tenth) also placed in the top 10. Plainfield’s Samantha Woodford (third) and Sydney Simpson (ninth), and Brownsburg’s Julia Popenfoose (seventh) were the only non-Avon runners to do so.
Carrie Chappell (13th) had the best finish for Tri-West, while Melanie Foreman (14th) was tops for Danville and Tarah Thornburg (24th) led Cascade.
On the boys’ side, Avon’s Alec Scheerer, Jon Cramer, Will Anderson, Taylor Kleyn, Brandon Vu, Dawit Woldai and Presley Martin finished in order in spots 3-9 as the Orioles tallied 25 points, 22 lower than second-place Brownsburg.
“Our biggest strength this season has been our ability to run together, and we really wanted to get all seven on the all-county team, which had never been done before,” Avon boys’ coach Zach Toothman said. “They’re a close-knit group, so it’s cool that they were able to do that together.
Plainfield’s boys finished third with 83 points, followed by Danville (113), Cascade (123) and Tri-West (175).
Brownsburg’s Mark Bond finished with a time of 16:33 in claiming the boys’ individual crown, nearly five seconds ahead of Plainfield’s Joel Thompson, who placed second. It was a big goal crossed off Bond’s checklist, after he placed 11th at the event last year.
“I’ve been thinking about it since the summer,” Bond said. “I’ve been training for it and had it in my mind the whole time, so I was glad I could come out and get it done.”
Brownsburg’s Elijah Wagner came in 10th, as five Bulldogs placed in spots 10-15. Danville was led by Sam Bratton (14th), while Mac White (16th) paced Cascade and Justin Wright (29th) was tops for Tri-West.