Saturday was also the end of the line for all but one Putnam County runner at the Ben Davis regional cross country meet.
Colleen Weatherford placed fourth in the girls' race, but the full Greencastle squad could only place sixth, one short of moving on to the semi-state. The boys' team also concluded its season by placing eighth, with Ryan Stevens nearly joining Weatherford but finishing two places out of the top 15.
Greencastle coaches Garry Anderson and Craig Callahan both shared some mixed reaction about the day.
"I'm somewhat disappointed. I thought there was a spot where we could have made some gains. But again, we're in the regionals, and the best we'd ever finished was eighth place and now we've finished sixth. It's one more step. But today we could have made one big giant step and we just didn't make it," Anderson said after the results were announced.
On Weatherford, Anderson was more upbeat. "This is great for her. My god, this is fantastic. She ran a tremendous race, and the place where she placed was good for her. That's great.
"She looked sharp the entire race. She was battling back and forth between third, fourth, fifth and sixth the entire race, so she was in command. She did a good job.
"Obviously, we're leaving here in a bittersweet mood because we did really well in terms of PR'ing today. And that was our goal today, to show up, to PR, to finish strong and finish the year knowing we did everything we could to just finish on a good note. And we're walking away with that feeling," Callahan said after the race.
"We walk away, why I say a little bittersweet is, that we were really hoping to get Ryan [Stevens] into semi-state. He needed a top 15 finish and he finished 17th.
"But I have so much respect for Ryan and all of these guys for the way they came out and performed today because there is nothing they should be disappointed about. Our season is over but we ran our hearts out today," Callahan added.
Cloverdale and North Putnam were also represented in the girls' regional race. Claudia Monnett finished 22nd while Katie Douglas powered in for a 43rd place finishing, getting edged at the line by Greencastle's Kayla Cash.
With both Monnett and Douglas being sophomores, both Katie Mosley of Cloverdale and Kevin Lutes of North Putnam have building blocks for the next couple of years.
"I felt pretty good, but it was just different. It felt shorter because there wasn't as many hills. It was kind of scary at first but you kind of get used to it. It was shocking for me to be this far, but I did it," Douglas said post-race.
Lutes harped on about his regional runner.
"I'm extremely proud of her having the patience in races to get through and taking it all in as she has. As natural as running is to her, she should experience a lot more success and hopefully get used to it and gain confidence as time goes by. I'm thrilled to have her get this far.
"I'm just thrilled that we have her stepping up. I try to keep a laid back approach to kids coming up. Having Paxton [Stephenson] around during one of my first years of coaching really helped lay a foundation so that we do have some girls in long distance and Katie is a great example of that," Lutes added.
Mosley raved about Monnett's performance.
"She ran a fantastic race. She PRd, so that was amazing. She was a little nervous, which was to be expected. She did everything I asked and far exceeded any expectation I had."
"The kids are really starting to bond together. It helps for team unity because it makes other people want to be a part of it. For our girls, we need a couple more in there so we can compete as a team.
"Last year, the cross country was the only program at Cloverdale to have someone advance to a regional. We've gotten someone to the regional two years in a row, and I think that speaks volumes for the program," Mosley mentioned.
At Ben Davis High School
Boys -- Greencastle 222 (8th)
Girls -- Greencastle 158 (6th)
Boys -- 17. Ryan Stevens (16:49); 48. Nathan Eubank (17:46); 53. Tyler Hudson (17:58); 56. Hunter Mitchell (18:07); 63. Erik Norlina (18:26) 64. Paul Bryan (18:32); 70. Matthew White (19:38)
Girls -- 4. Colleen Weatherford (19:23); 22. Claudia Monnett (CL) (20:26); 28. Emily Gill (20:52); 42. Kayla Cash (21:24); 43. Katie Douglas (NP) (21:25); 45. Paige Pickens (21:35); 49. Abigail Wilson (21:54); 50. Megan Haynes (21:58); 69. Cheyenne Fauvergue (23:58)
Next meet -- Greencastle's Colleen Weatherford will take part in the Carmel semi-state next Saturday.