GHS runners place 11th at Ben Davis

Sunday, September 11, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- On Saturday, the Greencastle boys' cross country team traveled to Ben Davis High School for the annual Regional Preview and placed 11th out of 20 teams.

"We are really happy with where we placed today overall." Callahan said. "If you take out the teams who are not in our regional that competed here today, we were actually fourth. As a team, we are not necessarily concerned about competing with Zionsville, Franklin Central, Lawrence North, or even Center Grove because we will not face them in our regional."

As for the regional teams, Ben Davis and Avon were up front setting an extremely fast pace for the rest of the runners. Southport finished behind Avon, followed by Greencastle

"We were able to beat Perry, Pike, and Plainfield today, so we're pretty excited, but we know these teams will continue to get stronger as the season unfolds," said Callahan.

Individually the GHS runners ran extremely fast on Saturday with five of the seven varsity runners setting personal records. Helping the Tiger Cubs place 11th was senior Nathan Eubank finishing 33rd and junior Tyler Hudson finishing 34th, both with personal bests of 16:43. The teammates virtually tied, but the senior found a way to edge out his teammate at the line.

"Nathan ran a fantastic race today. I think we were all a little surprised with his time. We know he is capable of running sub-17, but I didn't think it would come today in the fashion it did. I'm very happy for him to break through that barrier." Callahan said.

"The great thing about Nathan's finish is that it shows we can push him even harder in practice. If he can finish first for our team with that kind of a time, we're going to have to find new ways of challenging him."

For Eubank and Hudson it was the first time they finished under 17 minutes. However, for senior Ryan Stevens, who finished 17th at last year's regional with a time of 16:49, it wasn't anything new. Saturday he was only six seconds off his personal best finishing 45th with a total time of 16:55.

"Ryan is such a fighter out there. He has been experiencing some pain in his calf that we are trying to work through. For our captain to finish under 17 minutes while in pain demonstrates the heart that this team has."

In a wild finish that became physical as runners pushed and shoved for positioning, junior Paul Bryan placed 65th overall with a personal best of 17:23.

Bryan continued his progress from last weekend's state preview, where he finished with a time of 18:25.

"Paul ran great today and again set a new personal record. Even though this is a fast course, I'm very excited to see him dropping time like this," Callahan said. "If he can continue running this well he is really going to help this team when it counts in October."

Rounding out the scorers for the Tiger Cubs was freshman Elijah Brattain. Brattain finished with a personal best of 18:05 and placed 94th overall.

"I think Elijah walked away from today's course a little disappointed with his result," Callahan said. "To me, however, I find this is uplifting in a way because he set a personal record on a course he's never run on before and yet is still not satisfied. As a coach, I love it when my runners continue to challenge themselves, especially after performing so well."

Finishing up on the fast regional course for Greencastle was senior Hunter Mitchell who finished 97th overall with a time of 18:13, and freshman Taylor Secrest who finished 103rd with a personal best of 18:32.

"Hunter is making big gains just as we expected, and so is Taylor." Callahan said. "They are really turning it on as of late. We look for them to continue pushing their teammates in front of them in practice, which makes everyone better."

In the JV meet junior Matthew White shattered his previous personal record of 19:38 with a time of 18:53. White, the eighth varsity man, ran as though he had something to prove according to Coach Callahan.

"Matthew is truly one of the varsity runners and he knows that. The exciting part about Matthew's race today was that he didn't let the fact he was running in the JV race get to him. Instead he ran a blistering race. He's finding out what he's capable of. It's fun to watch. I'm very proud of him."

Rounding out the J.V. race and setting personal records were freshmen Levi Lewis and Nathan Grzesiek, who ran times of 20:27 and 21:43, junior Kade Fauber at 21:58, sophomore Alex Dozier at 22:10, freshman Ichiro Mozawa at 22:19, and sophomore Josh Mitchell with a time of 24:37.

Coach Callahan summed up Saturday's results in the same manner with all races thus far.

"Once again, we walk away from another meet feeling victorious. We're dropping time, setting new personal records, and beating teams we need to in order to reach our team goals. However, we realize what we're up against with our sectional and regional rivals. We definitely have our work cut out for us and we will continue to push ourselves."