County athletes run at Semistate, Wilson advances to State Championship in Terre Haute
INDIANAPOLIS -- The IHSAA cross country semistate featured five Putnam County runners and Emma Wilson in her first Semistate as a freshman finished third and will be advancing to the State Championship race in Terre Haute on the Laverne Gibson course.
"Emma was out front from the very start of the girls race when the gun fired," GHS Garry Anderson said. "We had discussed this earlier regarding this move and she felt better doing this for the Semi-State as she has done for many races this season. She and I talked about several of the runners she would have to be concerned about and how they would most likely run their races."
Wilson was the sole female for the GHS team as Arianna Pershing who qualified for the meet discovered a stress fracture in her left leg. Wilson has been competing with the fastest runners in the State all season and she was anticipating how to compete with the opposition during this meet.
"Taylor Nicholson, from Avon, has been battling it out with Emma since the IHSAA series started. So she was a concern," Anderson said. "The others were going to be up front with her immediately. She said she expected six to eight of the best in the state to be right there with her. Emma and the two girls from Carmel and Cathedral started making their move just before the 1st K and continued for the remainder of the race."
As unfortunate as Pershing's injury is, it did allow Alysha Nichols who finished just behind her teammate Julianna DeLano in the Ben Davis Regional and missed the cut, to compete Saturday.
DeLano finished at 120 with a time of 21:50. Nichols finished with a time of 22:50 in 145th place.
"For Ally it was a great experience that will hopefully allow her to come back and really compete next season," Eagle coach Brandon Welti said. "For Julianna it was a great last race. She's been aiming for this meet her entire carre and I'm thrilled that she made it and was able to end with a great race."
The boys' race featured South Putnam's top runner Kieffer Vittetow who was returning to Carmel after running her last year. The junior finished 60th with a time of 16:49.
"Kieffer ran really strong in the second half of the race," Welti said. "It was one of his best all year."
Clayton Wilson was running for Greencastle in the boys' race and his time of 17:06 earned him 81st.
"Clayton started out in very good position. He was racing very hard and smart. Several runners around him began moving up in position and he got caught in the middle of a large pack," Anderson said. "He did manage to get to the front of the large pack which divided up into three smaller ones and remained there almost to the end. Clayton was able to pass several as he was nearing the approach to the finish line but wasn't able to finish as he had hoped so he could advance."
Anderson said the Tiger Cub runners were supported all week by their teammates and he was proud of both his runners.
"I can't say enough or thank them enough about how they worked knowing that they were done with their season. They wanted to help Clayton," Anderson said. " I know he was really pleased to have them help and work with him. These guys came to the Semi-State also to support both Clayton and Emma. I was very pleased to see Ben Gellman and Coach Mark Jedele warm up with Clayton to get him ready for the race. Like Clayton, Emma has had some teammates with her all week. They encouraged her and talked with her throughout the workouts all week. It is very nice to have your teammates around you to encourage and assist you as you prepare for the up coming meet like the Semi-State."
IHSAA Cross Country Semi State
Boys' Individual Results
60 Vittetow SOUTH PUTNAM 11 16:49
81 Clayton Wilson GREENCASTLE 11 17:06
Girls' Individual Results
3 Emma Wilson GREENCASTLE 9 18:13 5:53 I
120 Julianna Delano SOUTH PUTNAM 12 21:50
145 Alysha Nichols SOUTH PUTNAM 10 22:50