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County runners fare well at Maconaquah Invitational

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

The largest Miami County cross country meet of the year took place Saturday morning as 18 high school teams and 15 middle school teams took part in the Maconaquah Invitational.

In the high school ranks, the Braves finished third overall in the girls’ race behind winners Twin Lakes and Hamilton Heights.

On the boys’ side, the hosts finished sixth overall while Peru finished 10th and North Miami 15th as Lapel ran away with the team race.

Maconaquah also fielded a JV boys’ team that finished second to Lewis Cass in a tight three-team race which also included Delta.

In the middle school races, the Braves finished second in the boys’ race to Hamilton Heights with Peru finishing 12th overall.

Maconaquah added a third-place finish in the girls’ middle school race as Roosevelt Middle School narrowly edged out Lewis Cass. North Miami finished eighth and Peru 12th overall.

Madison Winegardner finished third in the girls’ varsity race in 19:46 with North Miami’s Nicky Scher not far behind, crossing the line in seventh at 20:14.

Karli Miller was next in for the Braves in 12th place at 20:51, followed by Haley Wimmer in 25th at 21:50. Bailey Hays crossed in 28th place at 21:57 and Hailey Salinas was two spots back in 30th at 22:15.

Abby Bourne finished the race in 24:19 with Jeana Friedersdorf in at 24:37 and Betsy Powell crossing at 25:29.

Kaylee Lane finished in 36th for the Warriors at 22:34 with Allie Smith crossing the line at 24:23 and Alyssa Ramsell coming in at 25:07.

Jaelin Richardson finished 15th overall for Peru in 21:14 with Mya Lancaster coming in at 23:07, Sadie Carter crossing at 23:49 and Jazzmyan Bayless in at 24:02.

Tiger girls’ head coach Mike Herrell noted that the girls had been changing up their training regimen, which other coaches noted as well, adding the girls ran well despite the change in practice.

“This past week we transitioned into doing more intense interval training to focus more on racing rather than running fast,” Herrell wrote. “The girls were a bit tired, sore and leg heavy from the change.

“On top of that, they had three races over eight days. We knew going into the Mac Invite that they may not feel sharp, but they all ran well; there was no drop off from earlier performances.”

In the boys’ varsity race, Peru’s Adam Garner was the top county runner, crossing the line in 16th place at 18:07 with Maconaquah’s Caleb Winegardner two spots back in 18th at 18:20.

Winegardner was followed by teammate Sam Bourne in 23rd place at 18:35 with Evan Baldwin coming across in 36th place at 18:51, Jordan Edgington finishing at 19:04 and Fletcher Williams crossing in 19:13.

Jacob Edwards completed the course in 19:23 with Billy Miles close behind in 19:41. Feenix Kile finished in 20:02 with Zach Alvarado crossing at 20:19 and Josh Edgington finishing in 20:30.

Behind Garner was Braxton Jimenez, who placed 38th in 18:58. Jacob Black crossed in 19:42 with Alex Legg finishing at 20:35 and Colton Ressett crossing in 20:15. Treydon Curtis finished the course in 21:55 while Nathan Moore crossed in 22:45 and Ben McCain finished in 23:07.

North Miami was paced by Malachi Sanderson in 40th place at 19:03, followed by Ethan Butcher at 19:38, Auston Hileman in 20:00 flat, Kasey Deardorff in 20:43, Daniel Madden in 21:234 and Kenny Wilkinson in 22:04.

Warrior head coach Danielle Eccles said the event was one of the largest ones for the team and that the runners performed well on the day.

“This is a bigger race and we see some pretty good competition, which is great,” Eccles wrote. “It was a beautiful morning to run and our athletes took advantage of that to run well.

“On the boys’ side, we had two PRs and two season best times and the girls had two PRs and another season best time.  I was pretty pleased as I know the times will only continue to drop as they are supposed to.”

Kolson Silcox and Aaron Nice finished third and fourth in the JV boys’ race in 20:38 and 20:51 respectively with Noah Edgington finishing eighth in 21:24. Dalton Farnell 12th in 21:46 and Caleb Kauffman crossing in 24th at 23:35. Tyler Archer finished in 24:59 with Jeremiah Moore crossing in 26:51 and Steven Ramer finishing in 27:17.

Peru also had three runners in the JV race with David Schulte coming in 14th in 21:54, Braydon Thomas finishing 19th in 22:59 and Nick Albers crossing the line in 28:49.

For Peru and Maconaquah, the next high school race will be the New Prairie Invitational, one of the largest high school athletic events in the entire state.

The race takes place at the semi-state cross country course with Maconaquah girls head coach Allen Sayger noting that teams had been preparing for the race to get an idea of the level of competition runners would see during the state series.

“We have been training rather hard that last couple of weeks specifically to run at New Prairie,” Sayger wrote. “The veteran girls do enjoy running there for the most part, and the new girls will enjoy the day.

“While New Prairie’s course is famous for Agony Hill, the majority of the course is flat and fast. The girls that run the course well know how to change gears at the right places and I think we will run well.”

In the girls’ middle school race, North Miami’s Shyloe Hunt paced the county runners with a fourth-place finish in 12:38 with Maconaquah’s Lauryn Merritt also in the top-10, finishing seventh in 12:54.

Laci Winegardner was next in for the Braves in 13th place at 13:10 with Nevy Sebastian crossing in 20th place a 13:28. Alex Merritt and Kayla Bell finished 24th and 25th at 13:38 and 13:39 respectively. Kenzie Lawhorn crossed in 15:05 and Abby Heath finished in 15:16.

Ally Bowman was next in for the Warriors in 29th at 13:47 followed by Callie France in 40th at 14:27. Aricyn Hunt finished in 15:33 and Josalyn Simmons crossed in 18:36.

Chloe Holler was the top finished for Peru, crossing in 28th at 13:43. Bri Housouer came in at 15:49, followed by Aubrie Ressett in 17:41, Kaylene Kirk at 18:14, Natalie Fishback in 18:23, Madison Ross in 22:30 and Samantha May at 22:43.

The boys’ middle school race saw Luke Stage and Isaiah Wittenberg finish four-five for the hosts in 11:12 and 11:20 respectively, followed by Kaden Miller in 15th at 11:51. Brandon Smitley finished in 12:28 with Quinn Richard crossing in 34th at 12:35.

Oakley Reeser finished at 12:51 with Jonah Loshnowsky shortly behind in 12:53. Ethan Zeiser crossed in 13:18 and Jacob Sayger finished in 15:57.

Landon Caldwell was the top finisher for Peru, crossing in 37th at 12:46 with Conner Shaffer not far behind at 13:03. Caleb Decker finished in 13:45, followed by Logan Gatliff in 14:07, Aiden Stewart in 14:16, Brodie Wright in 14:41, Jackson Rogers in 15:03, Elijah Goshert in 15:18, Nick Snyder in 15:57, Tobin Blong in 16:17 and Cody Legg in 16:17.

Trevor Simons paced North Miami with a 14th-palce finish in 11:51, followed by Cory Brault in 14:05 and Andy Lane in 14:09.