CARMEL — The Ben Davis boys’ cross country team traveled to Carmel last Saturday morning to take part in one of the four semistates around Indiana. The Giants finished in 14th.
“We went into it and gave our best effort,” Ben Davis boys’ coach Nick Balbach said. “I was pleased with the way the guys competed and their focus and pushing through some aches and pains.”
The event featured four of the top 10 teams in the state and seven from the top 20. No. 3 Hamilton Southeastern won the event with No. 5 Carmel and No. 4 Westfield rounding out the top three.
The Giants finished with 391 points, well behind 13th place Center Grove’s 344 but just ahead of Roncalli’s 403 and Franklin Community’s 406.
“There are so many runners, so many good teams here; they competed well,” Balbach said. “Like I’ve said all year, they’re very inexperienced, got a lot of first timers out here and just getting out here and experiencing the whole atmosphere will be good for the future.”
David Behrmann and Robert Sharkey have consistently been the top two runners for the Giants. Sharkey was second in his sectional and ninth at regionals while Behrmann placed fourth at sectional and seventh at regionals.
In the semistate race they were once again the one-two punch and ran side by side. Sharkey (17:21) finished 75th and Behrmann (17:26) placed 78th.
Josh Bishop (17:37) was not far behind, finishing 94th. Rounding out the scoring for the Giants were Cameron Peck (111th) and Brandon Richey (121st).
“It was a good team effort,” Balbach said. “These guys have been working hard all year. No one individual defines our team, everybody works well together and we’ll get better going forward.”
Sharkey was the only senior to run on Saturday. The two Giants who ran but didn’t score — Amanuel Ararya and Jordan Walker — are both underclassmen.
While the girls’ team did not travel, Alis Marrero was on hand to represent the Giants. She entered the race having finished ninth at both her sectional and regional races.
Marrero (21:06) had a rough day and had little to say after her performance that netted her 83rd.
“I think it was just a great experience for Alis to qualify on her own,” Ben Davis girls’ coach Erin Toothman said. “It’s sometimes difficult to not have teammates here but she handled the pressure well and did the best that she could on the given day.”
The girls finished their season at regionals last weekend with a seventh-place showing.