TERRE HAUTE -- It only took Andy Weatherford of Greencastle High School 15:44 to cap off an exceptional cross country season.
Weatherford finished 10th in the Indiana High School Athletic Association Cross Country State Championship at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course on Saturday.
One hundred seventy-six boys competed in the state finals on Saturday and Weatherford finished in the top 10. Pendleton Heights' Brock Hagerman won the race with a time of 15:13, while Warren Central won the team competition. Although Weatherford did well, he wanted more Saturday.
"I wanted to finish in the Top five in this race, and their were a couple of guys who finished ahead of me that beat me in the semistate, and I wanted to redeem myself by beating them, but I didn't. But 10th isn't bad," Weatherford said.
Weatherford has won nearly every race this season, including his third-straight sectional championship. At the regional he finished second and then fifth at the semistate and finally 10th at the state meet.
"The sectional win was nice and the regional and semistate finishes were good," he said after he chugged down some water out of his bottle.
This isn't the first time that Weatherford has been in a state meet. Earlier in the year, Weatherford was crowned champion in the 1,600 meter, as he won his first state title in the IHSAA track and field state championships in Bloomington. So he knew how intense the meet would be.
"It wasn't anything new to be in a meet like this after the state finals last spring, and I have ran this course before. I just had to get prepared mentally for it,"Weatherford said. "This course is difficult, but it's more mental because you finish the race going up a hill and in the middle of the course they put these little hills in that aren't hard to run over, they just gets you mentally.
"In reality this course is just as hard as South Putnam's course, it's just getting past the mental blocks of it," he said.
Just behind the fence, Weatherford's coach Mike Schimpf looked on to Weatherford as he was taking in his last moments of his cross country season.
"Andy has had a great season and it has been a season that many people wish they could have and he is only a junior," Schimpf said. "Andy has nothing to be ashamed of. He finished 10th in the state out of 176 of the fastest runners in the state, and that's pretty good."
Athletes might change their practice schedule to train hard if they know there is a big meet approaching, but not Weatherford.
"Coach just kept me stretched and we ran little more, but he made sure that I came in here with fresh legs and I did. It was just getting mentally prepared for this meet and how tough it was going to be," Weatherford said.
"We always aim our goals higher and think that we are going to win the race and there is nothing wrong with that, and as long as you do the best you can do, then that's all you can ask for," Schimpf said. "And that is exactly what Andy did today. He ran as hard as he can and finished the race strong. He even beat his old time for this course (Saturday), so he has nothing to ashamed of. He ran a good race."
At Terre Haute
IHSAA Boys Cross Country State Championship
Top 15 -- Brock Hagerman (Pendleton Heights) 15:13; 2. De'Sean Turner (Warren Central) 15:25; 3. Adam Martin (Chesterton) 15:31; 4. Adam Green (Franklin Central) 15:36; 5. Michael Pabody (Southport) 15:37; 6. Michael Disher (Southport) 15:41; 7. Ondraius Richardson (Warren Central) 15:41.8; 8. Robert Moldovan (Fort Wayne Northrop) 15:43; 9. Stephen Hein (Crown Point) 15:43.5; 10. Andy Weatherford (Greencastle) 15:44; 11. Andrew Poore (Indianapolis Bishop Chatard) 15:44.4; 12. Adrien Dannemiller (Martinsville) 15:45.7; 13. Loren Spirito (Northridge) 15:46.4; 14. Ryan Chastain (Mitchell) 15:50.2; 15. Isaac Davis (Brownsburg) 15:50.6