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Cross country wins first meet in more than a decade

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By Kristin Beck

For the first time in more than 10 years, the Carroll County cross country team came home from a meet victorious.

The boys team won first place at Switzerland County Wednesday, Aug. 28, beating Southwestern, Rising Sun and the home team. The girls – composed of mostly freshmen – finished in third place.

Head coach Brian Crank said he did not realize it had been that long since cross country had won a meet until he returned to the high school.

“I really feel tremendous for the athletes,” he said. “Cross country is a tough sport to get students to come out for and for those students who did come out, I am extremely happy that they have experienced some success. Hopefully, this early success will drive them to become better runners, and who knows, maybe more students will come out next year.”

Senior Cody Cruz finished fifth in 21:33, with senior Michael Burns right on his heels, finishing in sixth in 21:34. Sophomore Austin Crank finished eighth in 22:08, freshman Wesley Sewell finished 11th in 22:25, junior Avery Franklin finished 13th in 23:11, senior Michael Hall finished 14th in 24:16 and junior Taylor Schirmer finished 16th in 25:35. Wyatt Boswell, Evan McMahan, Matthew Beach, Dillon Ellis, Tristan Stahl and Clark Willhoite all had personal bests.  

Crank said the boys kept saying they thought they had won the meet, but he wanted everyone to focus on the girls’ race, which was about to start.

Once the girls finished running, he went to receive the team envelope for the individual runners’ ribbons and saw the blue ribbons inside.

“Once the boys were told they had won, they were ecstatic!” Crank said. “The rest of the evening, the conversations that we carried on were about how they could get even better as the season went along. It is a nice bus ride home when, as a coach, you can sit up front and listen to the enjoyment in the students voices and realize how happy and excited that they are.”

Crank said the girls team also showed early season improvement. Freshman Haley Dermon had a top 10 finish with a time of 27:38. Freshman Jenna Richmond finished 17th in 30:13, freshman Gianna Butcher finished 21st in 33:08, senior Sarah Hawkins finished 22nd in 34:31, and freshman Mallory Wilkerson finished 23rd in 34:37.

The cross country team traveled to Lexington Saturday, Sept. 1, for the Henry Clay Invitational. Unfortunately, the meet was canceled due to severe storms.

The team will travel to Grant County Saturday, Sept. 7. They will race at home at 5 p.m. on Sept. 17.