Barr held his ground in 12th place with a time of 16:36 to advance. South Putnam head coach Brandon Welti was obviously excited following the meet.
"It was nearly a 20 second personal best," Welti said. "He had me really nervous on here. He was hovering around 12th or 13th with a couple guys right on his heels. He pulled it together when he needed to, made a strong move the last 400, moved up and open a gap. It was great to see."
Barr occupied a spot just outside the top 10 for much of the race, and even as a pack began to challenge, he was able to hold his spot and advance.
Greencastle entered the regional as a team after placing fifth at Tuesday's sectional, but the Tiger Cubs struggled at Ben Davis. Greencastle finished ninth on the day as a team and failed to have a runner finish inside the top 15, the cutoff for individual runners to advance.
Sophomore Elijah Brattain paced the Tiger Cubs with a 23rd place finish in a time of 16:57. Senior Tyler Hudson followed in 28th place with a time of 17:01.
Taylor Secrest ended the day in 45th place after posting a time of 17:48, while Matthew White finished 62nd in a time of 18:33. Jacob Lewis was 68th in a time of 19:17, Peyton Jones was 69th in a time of 19:29 and Levi Lewis was 71st in a time of 19:39.
"I thought the race started off fast and I thought the other runners would come back to us because we hit our marks for the 1K and were really where we needed to be. It just didn't happen," GHS head coach Art Dwigans said. "The other teams held their places and we weren't able to make up any time, so if we put our team place on anybody it would be me for not getting them out fast enough.
"I think the kids raced hard. They're just tired right now. It's a tough season when you get the end. We have a lot or races and it's really tough. They raced hard, they raced strong -- we just came up short."
Looking ahead to next season, Dwigans said one thing his team will need to focus on picking up some speed.
"They're really young," Dwigans said. "Five of our top seven are sophomores and freshmen. Our team seniors, Matthew and Tyler, showed good leadership. The boys coming back know they have some endurance they need to work on and we have to get that speed in there.
"That's what I saw today, they were just faster than us through each split. We just have to work on keeping consistent pace and bring those splits down a little from 3:00 to 2:55 to be competitive in this regional."
At the Carmel Semi-state, Welti said Barr will focus more on lowering his time instead of racing for a spot.
"We are so excited about that," Welti said of Barr advancing. "It's not going to be as much pressure at Carmel because semi-state is so strong, so it's going to allow him the chance to focus more on racing and going for improving his time instead of going out and hang on to a certain space.
"The goal would be to get as close as we can to lowering his PR some more and see if we can get it under 16:30, maybe."
Barr will compete at the Carmel Semi-state Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
At Ben Davis
Boys' Cross Country Regional
1. Brownsburg 61, 2. Zionsville 71, 3. Avon 78, 4. Ben Davis 109, 5. Plainfield 134, 9. Greencastle 206
1. Tebeje (Pike) 15:57, 2. Mogos (P) 16:10, 3. Hughes (A) 16:17, 4. Musson (CAS) 16:18, 5. Thompson (P) 16:22, 6. Shaw (B) 16:25, 7. Behrmann (BD) 16:26, 8. Corya (Z) 16:27, 9. Sharkey (BD) 16:29, 10. Hays (B) 16:33, 11. Warren (Speedway) 16:36, 12. Barr (SP) 16:36, 13. Chabraja (IHI) 16:38, 14. Cramer (A) 16:40, 15. Minkis (B) 16:41
Greencastle -- 23. Brattain 16:57, 28. Hudson 17:01, 45. Secrest 17:48, 62. White 18:33, 68. J. Lewis 19:17, 69. Peyton Jones 19:29, 71. L. Lewis 19:39