By Nick Gonnella Daily News
Greensburg Daily News
---- — Three individual runners from Decatur County qualified for the Semi-State cross country meet after their performances at the Greensburg Regional meet Saturday.
Greensburg sophomores Peyton Buening and Shelby Pake, along with North Decatur sophomore Megan Hoover, will compete Saturday at Carmel.
Ten teams, including 99 male runners and 90 female runners, competed in a steady rain and windy conditions.
After qualifying for the regional meet, the Greensburg boys placed seventh with 165 points in team competition and the Greensburg girls (200) placed eighth.
It was a bittersweet morning for a pair of South Decatur runners, both sophomores who were racing against seasoned seniors. Justyn Clark, who took runner-up at the County Meet and 10th at sectionals, was 27th overall Saturday. Not only did Clark miss the Semi-State cut by one spot, he fell short by less than a half-second. Eight out of the top 10 individuals were seniors, but Clark is sure to chase a new goal next season.
South’s Ashley Hamilton, who was fifth at the County Meet and 19th at sectionals, took 37th in 21:05.65 and fell short by one spot.
Teams and individuals that qualified from the Franklin Community and South Dearborn sectionals competed at Greensburg. Franklin Community’s boys won the team title with 59 points. The Oldenburg Academy girls won their first cross country regional title in school history, scoring 42 points. Clayton Bowie of Southport was the individual boys champion, covering the 5,000 meters in a time of 15:37.
In the girls’ competition, OA senior Sarah Billingsley defended her individual title and won the race in 18:08.
The top 15 runners in each race earned All-Regional status, while the top 10 individuals not on an advancing team qualified for Semi-State.
North’s Megan Hoover placed fourth overall (second individually), clocking a 19:18.64.
Greensburg’s Shelby Pake placed 19th overall (eighth individually), running in 20:08.51. The mark earned her All-Regional recognition for the second straight year.
Peyton Buening paced the Pirates to their best performance of the season. Buening finished 23rd in 17:22 and ninth individually to qualify for the Semi-State.
Freshmen Greg Schroeder broke 18:00 for the first time as he placed 35th in 17:53. Reid McClintic earned 43rd in 18:05, with teammate Ethan Sebastian taking 46th in a season-best time of 18:09.
Junior Jonathan Richards also had his best time of the season for 5 km. He crossed the finish line 19:03 and was 67th overall.
Kevin Johnson and Louis Moore ended their freshman seasons with personal bests. Johnson ran 19:15 and took 77th, while Moore’s time was 19:35 and he placed 82nd.
The Pirate boys concluded their season with a record of 57-60.
“I was really proud of the boys’ performances this morning,” said Greensburg head coach Troy Davis. “We competed at a very high level and beat Batesville and Oldenburg for the first time this season.”
For the Greensburg girls, freshman Allie Reisman finished in 52nd place with a time of 21:58. Freshman April Morrow was the next finisher for Greensburg, placing 57th in 22:18. Freshman Ellie Burkhart ran a personal best of 22:23 to earn 59th. Sophomore Mary Kate Porter also ran her best time ever for 5 km. She broke 23:00 for the first time ever, finishing in 22:57 and 73rd overall.
Senior Erin Hamilton ended her cross country career running 22:58 and placing 74th. Junior Cara Zeigler lowered her personal best time to 23:48 and crossed the finish line in 83rd.
The Lady Pirates finish the season with a record of 75-36.
“I would like to thank our senior captains for their time, effort, and dedication over the last four years,” said Coach Davis. Ethan and Erin have been a big part of the program’s success since they were freshmen.”
Competing in the final meets of the season were North Decatur senior Brady Holloway and sophomore Arek Holloway. They placed sixth and seventh in the County Meet, respectively, and 31st and 35th in the sectional. Brady Holloway took 69th in 19:06.75, while Arek was 74th in 19:11.64. The brothers ran within two places of each other for most of the meet.
The runners will compete at Carmel at 10:30 a.m. Saturday against schools from feeder regionals Ben Davis, Brebeuf Jesuit and Rushville.
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.