PERFECTION REVISITED: EASTERN LADY COMETS SCORE A PERFECT 15 IN XC SECTIONAL

Eastern long distance runners Bethany and Brittany Neeley.

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

IHSAA LOGANSPORT GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY SECTIONAL

Days after scoring a perfect score of 15 at the Mid-Indiana Conference girls cross country meet, the sixth-ranked Eastern Lady Comets upped the ante by repeating the perfect score in an even bigger showcase – the IHSAA Logansport Girls Cross Country Sectional. Bethany Neeley captured her fourth consecutive cross country individual sectional title with a time of 18:32, while the rest of the Comet team – Brittany Neeley (19:36), Sarah Wagner (19.39), Carly Jones (19:56) and Avery Ewing (20:00) – followed across the finish line in the next four places.

In the team event, the top five teams advance to the Culver Academy Girls Cross Country Regional on Saturday: Northwestern finished second with 86 points, followed by Lewis Cass (97), Carroll (126), and Logansport (140). Western finished the race tied with Logansport but was edged out by the sixth runner tie-breaker. Kokomo finished 11th and Taylor fielded an incomplete team. The sectional team championship was the fourth consecutive for the Lady Comets.

For the runners-up Tigers, Taryn Thor (20:01) finished sixth, Kindra Gingerich was 11th (20:54), Karly Spouse was 15th (21:16) and Jensen Freeman was 23rd (22:30).

Western scored a top 10 run from Nicole Hampshire 10th (20:54), while Sam Luginbuhl crossed in 17th (21:42) and Erin Knepley was one spot back in 18th (21:53).

Kierra Bronson led Kokomo with a 57th place finish (24:46) and Ashley Nguyen (28:57) crossed in 71st place for Taylor.

IHSAA LOGANSPORT BOYS CROSS COUNTRY SECTIONAL

The Western Panthers squeaked out a 74-79 win over Logansport to capture the IHSAA Logansport Boys Cross Country Sectional championship to earn a trip to the Culver Academies Boys Cross Country Regional on Saturday. Other regional qualifiers (top five teams) included Carroll (117), Kokomo (123) and Northwestern (125). Eastern was sixth with a score of 143 and Taylor fielded an incomplete squad.

Despite the sixth place finish, the Eastern Comets advanced a pair of runners (top 15 individual finish) to the regional. Eastern’s Lewis Duke was crowned the individual champion with a time of 16:04 and teammate Adam Schaaf finished fourth (16:45).

For the Panthers, Matt Grider crossed the line in second place with a time of 16:09. Riley Worl was 14th (17:26), Jacob Bradshaw was 16th (17:38), Austin Elliott finished 19th (17:43) and Caleb Maddox finished 23rd (17:55).

For the Wildkats, Jeremy Breedlove finished sixth (17:10) and Jordan Fivecoate was 18th (17:42).

The Northwestern Tigers were led by a ninth place finish from Zach Duranto (17:16), while Charlie Neher was 20th (17:45) and Andrew Fackler was 21st (17:51)

Stephen Shotly paced Taylor with a 64th place finish of 21:36.

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