The Tiger Cubs edged Pike by two team points for the final team spot, with Brownsburg winning the Ben Davis regional. The hosts placed second, followed by No. 22 Avon and Perry Meridian.
Tyler Hudson was the top finisher on the day for Greencastle, placing 17th with a time of 16:56. Normally running aside Hudson, Ryan Stevens came in at 17:13, sandwiched by fellow teammates Paul Bryan (17:10) and Nathan Eubank (17:15).
The surprise run of the day came from Elijah Brattain. The highest-placing freshman at the regional finished in 20th with a time of 17:02.
The pack of Bryan, Stevens and Eubank finished 27th through 29th. Taylor Secrest placed thirty-sixth, with Hunter Mitchell rounding out the squad in 43rd.
Tensions ran high as the announcements were made for the team scores, but when Pike was announced as the sixth place finisher, the Greencastle contingent breathed a big sigh of relief.
None was bigger than that of the Greencastle coaching staff and head coach Craig Callahan.
"We are so excited to be moving on. This is something that has never been done in our school history, being able to move an entire cross country team onto the next round, the semi-state," Callahan said.
"We couldn't be more happy or proud. This was an expectation of ours this year and we achieved that. This was one of our goals from day one."
"The top three guys didn't run so well today, sort of an off day. They know that, but that's OK. The great thing was that our four through seven runners picked up the slack today and that is what has gotten us to where we are today, our strong team," Callahan said.
"Because of our strong team, we were able to advance. We're not sure if this has been done before, not having a top 25 runner but still advancing."
Advancing to the Carmel semi-state was no sure thing, Callahan pointed out.
"We were really nervous when we were done with our race today because we noticed with our times, we didn't run well, but our four through seven ran exceptionally well. All of those four PR'd," Callahan said.
"We had tallied it up, and we saw that we were close to Perry (Meridian). We also realized that Pike was right on our heels, so we weren't sure if they would overtake us. We were sweating it out, for sure," Callahan said with a laugh."
"We knew it was going to be tough to get out of this regional with big schools like Ben Davis, Perry Meridian, Avon, Brownsburg, Plainfield, Southport and Pike here. For a school of our size to, to knock off any of them is impressive," Callahan added.
With a week to rest before the Carmel semi-state, Callahan said the squad would get a chance to relax after a tough stretch of races.
"I think we will be regrouping on Monday and refocusing. We're going to have a team meeting to prioritize our new goals going into the semi-state. We've accomplished our main goal of the year, which was to get to the semi-state," Callahan said.
"Now that we're there, we're going to sit down; we're going to look at times of other guys and other teams coming. The way we want to finish this season at Carmel is to try to get all of our guys to PR. I think that's the goal, to PR for the last race."
At Ben Davis High School
IHSAA Ben Davis Boys' Cross Country Regional
Brownsburg 54, Ben Davis 62, No. 22 Avon 99, Perry Meridian 102, Greencastle 121, Pike 123, Cascade 155, Plainfield 206, Southport 237, Speedway 257
Individual Winner: Luke Brahm (BD) 15:44
Hudson 16:56 (17); Brattain 17:02 (20); Bryan 17:10 (27); Stevens 17:13 (28); Eubank 17:15 (29); Secrest 17:36 (36); Mitchell 17:46 (43)
Next Meet: Greencastle will compete in the Carmel semi-state next Saturday.