Greencastle was up against some of the top ranked state teams in Hamilton Southeastern, not to mention some of their sectional and regional rivals.
The GHS squad was not intimidated by the top schools as they elbowed for positioning up front throughout the race.
The Tiger Cubs improved big on last year's sixth place finish by placing three of their four pairs in the top 25. GHS coach Craig Callahan was excited with the results.
"I'm very proud of my guys," he said. "They finished the race a little disappointed, but there was nothing to be disappointed about. I like that they are not satisfied, but each guy raced well and the overall score showed that. To finish just behind Hamilton Southeastern and Lawrence North, two 5A schools, is a great day for any small school like us."
The Tiger Cubs scored big by placing in front of Perry Meridian and Plainfield, two of their regional rivals.
Callahan was optimistic but reluctant to celebrate.
"We were able to knock off some of the big schools like Perry Meridian and Plainfield, which are both in our regional," Callahan said. "(It's) Very exciting to see we're in front of them right now, but we're reminding the guys it's not even September yet. We have to keep pushing"
Running up front for the Tiger Cubs all day and placing seventh was the tandem of Tyler Hudson and Ryan Stevens, who finished with an overall time of 30:53. Hudson had the best mile average of the day, setting a blistering 5:06 pace.
"Tyler was moving out there today," Callahan said. "All three of his splits were faster than last year and much more consistent. He's running very strong at this point in the season."
Stevens' average of 5:11 was also a bright note according to coach Callahan.
"Ryan is not a Hokem Karem kind of runner. Short, fast races aren't necessarily his forte." Callahan continued, "His long legs are much more to his advantage on a normal 5k course, but for him to come out and run like he did today is phenomenal."
The second fastest mile average for the day came from senior Nathan Eubank. Eubank finished with freshman Elijah Brattain for an overall 12th place.
Eubank's average of 5:09 caught coach Callahan's attention.
"Eubank ran one of his best races out here today. This kind of race is suited for him." Callahan said, "Maybe during track season we should consider running him in the mile instead of the 800 and 400. Very impressive time today." Brattain's 5:21 average aided Eubank for a total time of 31:33.
The third pair for the GHS runners was junior Paul Bryan and senior Hunter Mitchell. They finished the relay with a total time of 32:48, which was good enough for a 21st place finish. Bryan's mile average was a 5:26, with Mitchell not far behind with a 5:30. Callahan made note of their effort.
"Paul and Hunter really pushed themselves today and it's amazing to look at their times from past years and what they accomplished today," he said.
Bringing up the rear for the Tiger Cubs was junior Matthew White and freshman Taylor Secrest. White ran a 5:46 average which was 30 seconds faster than last year. Secrest was impressive with an average time of 5:25.
"Matt has come so far over the past three years," Callahan said. "I'm very proud of him and all the hard work he puts in every day to improve himself for this team. We put Secrest in the last pair mostly to take pressure off of him since he has been nursing an injury, but looking at his times today I wish I would have placed him in the third pair. He ran the fifth fastest average today behind Brattain. That's incredible. My hope is that he stays healthy, because he's a huge part of the success we're having right now."
With two meets down, the Tiger Cubs feel good about their results. Both meets were big improvements from last year. "The guys are starting to buy into what we're doing," Callahan said. You can see it in our results. But like their initial response to today's outcome, we're not satisfied."