On a beautiful fall day at Angel Mounds, the expectations were high for fast times and a very competitive IHSAA Sectional. Spectators were not disappointed!
Mt. Vernon was led by Junior Braden Dike who ran with the front of the pack all race long! He would go on to finish 8th overall in a personal best time for the course: 17:00. This was one minute and 48 seconds faster than he ran a year ago. To put into perspective the strength of the field, this 17 minute time a year ago would have been a 2nd place finish. Braden secured his opportunity to return to the IHSAA Regional as a result of his race today.
His running mate, senior Tommy Kelley, was also competing to return to Prides Creek for another crack at the regional course. Tommy went out strong and battled the entire race. He finished 27th overall in 18:11, which is faster than his race one year ago while the place was lower. Again, this is just another example of how strong the field was today at Sectional #32. Because of his gutsy performance, he also advances to the IHSAA Regional meet next Saturday at Prides Creek Park in Petersburg, IN.
In another heated competition, two of our freshman battled to the very end of the race with the difference between their finishes being a mere two-tenths of a second. It was literally the last 10 feet of the race in which the places would be decided. Carson Tucker ran a 19:55.74 while Ethan Sutfin also broke the twenty minute barrier in 19:55.94. Both runners ran faster than they did a week ago at the Big 8 Conference championships (3 mile course)!
Sophomore Lane Branson, competing in his first cross country sectional finished the course in 21:59, his second fastest of the season. Freshman Micah Luckett completed the course in 23:21 and Junior Blake Morris crossed the finish line in 23:44. As a team, we lowered our race average by over one minute!
I am very, very proud of these young men! All of them have worked hard and improved immensely this year. We are looking forward to having them back next year to see what a difference a year can make.
In the meantime, we are also extremely proud of Braden and Tommy who both advance as individuals to the next round. Best of Luck guys! Let’s keep on rolling!