Archive for Cross country


IUK Cross Country

RICHMOND, Ind. – The Indiana University Kokomo men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the first meet of the 2013 season and the first meet as a member of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, traveling to the inaugural Regional Campus Rumble at IU East. The big story for the day was the men’s team title, the first in IU Kokomo history.

After the Cougar women finished, the Cougar men competed in the men’s 8K race. The men’s team was able to capture the first meet victory in program history, finishing ahead of IU East and Purdue Calumet. Javier Vasquez led IU Kokomo, finishing in second place overall with a time of 29:44. Vasquez was immediately followed by Jon Flory (third) and Cody Phelps (fourth), all of whom won individual awards for their performances. The Cougars were able to place five runners in the top 10 on a hot afternoon.

“After a long offseason of training the team performed well,” said senior Jeremy Gilman. “The most difficult factor that we faced today was the heat, but as the season continues with more favorable conditions our overall team performance will improve.”

Coach Dr. Jason VanAlstine was very pleased with how the men’s team performed.

“Our returning runners really stepped up today,” said the coach. “They have done the training that they needed to do since the end of last season and the results show that.”

The Cougar women finished second and were led by Alisha Hobbs and Amy McCauley who earned individual awards for finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

“Amy and Alisha have really been pushing each other at practice the past few weeks,” VanAlstine said. “As the season progresses I think they will continue to work together to improve their times and lead an inexperienced team to reach new heights for our program.”

Hobbs and McCauley both were pleased on the positive way that the team approached the adverse conditions and the impact that it will have for upcoming meets. Freshmen Breanne Robertson finished 10th in her fist college race. Overall coach VanAlstine was pleased with how both teams performed and is excited about the upcoming season.

“Today was a great learning experience that will pay dividends in October and November,” he concluded.

(Courtesy of IU Kokomo)



TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Carmel swept the boys and girls team titles in Terre Haute but Mishawaka’s Anna Rohrer was the talk of the day setting a girls state finals record while Barr-Reeve’s Connor Sorrells took the boys crown.

For the Eastern Lady Comets, it was a very respectable seventh place finish against some of the biggest schools in Indiana. Carmel won with 66 points to easily outpace second place West Lafayette (147). Columbus North finished third (158), Franklin Central fourth (160), Hamilton Southeastern fifth (173), Fort Wayne Carroll sixth (174) and Eastern seventh (206). The rest of the top 10 included Northridge (228), Fishers (300) and Westfield (320).

Individually for Eastern, Bethany Neeley stood on the podium with a fifth place finish in a time 18:04. Twin sister Brittany was 16th with a time of 18:59. The top five Lady Comet runners all finished in the top 89 as Sarah Wagner finished 45th (19:45), Carly Jones was 52nd (19:49) and Jessica Sprinkles was 89th (20:19). Also running but not scoring were Avery Ewing in 133rd (21:12) and Breann Donson in 165th (23:31).

The Lady Comets will miss its four seniors who have paced a remarkable run at Eastern – the Neeley sisters, Wagner and Donson. One year ago, the Comets finished 15th in the state. This year, the squad reached as high as fifth in the state rankings and completed four-year sweeps on the Mid-Indiana Conference and IHSAA Logansport Sectional. They posted perfect scores of 15 in this year’s MIC and sectionals en route to a repeat Culver Academies Regional title. They also finished as New Prairie Semi-State runners-up and have been part of three MIC Girls All-Sports Championships.

Girls championship race

Rohrer, just a sophomore and making her first appearance in the state finals, battled defending state champion Ashley Erba throughout but then pulled away from the Warsaw senior down the final straightaway. She crossed the line in 17:13.2 destroying the state finals record set by Erba last year in 18:05.6. Erba finished as the runner-up in 17:29.2.

West Lafayette’s Bobbie Burgess finished third in 17:51.6 and Columbus North’s Mackenzie Caldwell was fourth in 17:55.8.

It was the third consecutive state championship for the Carmel girls team coached by Mark Ellington. Gina Genco led a trio of Greyhounds in the top 10 overall finishing sixth overall in 18:31.3. Kelcy Welch was ninth in 18:38.8 and Haley Harris was 10th in 18:45.5.

Boys championship race

In the boys race, Zach Panning of Fort Wayne Concordia moved out to a sizeable lead through the first 3,000 meters but Barr-Reeve’s Connor Sorrells caught him and pulled away late to win in 15:21.3. The Barr-Reeve senior became the first runner from his school to win a cross country state title.

Panning finished as the runner-up in 15:26.5, Troy Reeder of Hamilton Southeastern was third in 15:28.8, Jackson Bertoli of Terre Haute South was fourth in 15:34.2 and Kyle Eller of Lowell ended fifth in 15:35.2.

The Carmel boys team, coached by Erhard Bell, captured the crown for the first time since 2008 ending Columbus North’s run of three straight years. Three Greyhounds finished 15-16-17 oveall to lead the way including Bobby Browning in 15:55.2, Charlie Watson in 15:56.9 and Ben Veatch in 15:58.2, respectively.

Mental Attitude Award Recipients

Following the races, Warsaw’s Ashley Erba and Carmel’s Charlie Watson were announced as the winners of the respective mental attitude awards by the IHSAA Executive Committee. Ashley is the daughter of Scott and Karen Erba of Winona Lake and Charlie is the son of Andrew and Gretchen Watson of Carmel. The Committee annually presents the awards to the seniors determined best demonstrated mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.


Eastern long distance runners Bethany and Brittany Neeley.



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.


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.