Wilson earns return trip to state
SHELBYVILLE — The weather was perfect and the times were fast on Saturday at the Shelbyville IHSAA cross country semistate meet.
Greencastle’s Emma Wilson finished seventh to earn her second straight trip to Saturday’s state finals at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course east of Terre Haute.
Wilson had a time of 17:59.3, less than three seconds behind sixth-place Lulu Black of Hamilton Southeastern.
Teammate Shelby Kallem finished 82nd overall with a time of 20:00.7.
Other Putnam County competitors in the girls’ race were South Putnam’s Maddie McHugh (123rd in 20:49.1) and Chelsie Edwards of Cloverdale (142nd in 21:31.4).
South Putnam coach Brandon Welti thought McHugh ran an “interesting” race.
“She ran her fastest mile ever on her way to her second best 5K ever,” he said. “It was impressive seeing her split a mile that fast without really falling apart afterwards. It was only her second time going sub-21 and her first time at a meet like this.”
Welti was pleased with the performance of his junior standout.
“Really, it was a solid showing and a good race,” he said. “Not a bad way for her to end her first full, healthy season.”
Edwards, a sophomore, was running at the highest level of her career.
Cloverdale coach Andy Tyler thinks it was a good experience from which she can draw upon in the future.
“It was great for Chelsie to have this opportunity to run at semistate,” he said. “She has represented Cloverdale well all season long.”
Carmel dominated the team competition, placing the first five runners across the finish line. Defending state champion Sarah Leinheiser won with a time of 17:19.2.
South Putnam’s Kieffer Vittetow entered the day as one of the other top local contenders to advance, besides Wilson, and finished 30th with a personal-best time of 15:56.3.
Welti thought his boys’ team had a “solid” day, as well.
“Kieffer was obviously disappointed with not qualifying for state, but he still went sub-16 for the first time in his career,” Welti said. “This is hands-down the most difficult semistate, and he did a great job of getting himself in a position to qualify for state despite the incredible depth of competition (34 people went sub-16). It didn’t work out that way in the end, but we really can’t be disappointed with his effort or time.”
Welti thinks this season will motivate Vittetow even more in the future.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the bad taste in his mouth from this race causes him to really come out strong in track,” he said. “He’ll be even more motivated for qualifying for state in track, and I’m sure he’ll be putting in a lot of work this winter to prepare for a great spring.”
Fellow senior Logan Vandermark placed 110th in 17:02.5, as the Eagles finished 19th in the team competition.
“For all of the other guys on the team, this was the longest season they’ve ever had,” Welti said. “Trying to maintain the physical and mental edge for this long is tough, and they did that fairly well.”
Karl Egold finished 152nd for the Eagles, while teammate Michael Crossman was 154th, Dru Bottorff was 160th, Eric Hinkle was 173rd and Adair Bock was 177th.
“Everyone ran their second best times of the year, and a few still hit PRs,” Welti added. “We had a freshman and a sophomore [Egold and Hinkle] participating in FFA activities, which means they were either meeting coach Pruitt at 6 a.m. for a workout or running alone on hotel treadmills in order to get in mileage.
“The commitment to preparing for one more race was impressive, and they had good performances to show for it.”
Welti said his team was disappointed with how the semistate turned out.
“The only reason they are disappointed is that they are comparing it to the regional meet,” he said. “In all reality, this was one of our best meets of the season in terms of times.
“All things considered, we never really expected to be here as a team, so that makes their performances even more impressive,” Welti added. “For both Maddie and for the guys’ team, we are really pleased with this meet and the season as a whole.”
Greencastle’s Clayton Wilson finished 76th individually, while teammate Cameron Lewis was 87th.
Carmel also won the boys’ team competition.
Team scores (top six advance) — Carmel 15, Fishers 96, Noblesville 100, Zionsville 12, Westfield 146, Guerin Catholic 173, Center Grove 199, Franklin Central 248, Brownsburg 249, Avon 307, Southport 316, Batesville 316, Pike 332, Plainfield 401, East Central 401, Rushville 436, Franklin 465, Union County 514, Roncalli 539, Warren Central 581.
Top 10 overall individuals — 1. Sarah Leinheiser (Carmel) 17:19.2, 2. Maddie Dalton (Carmel) 17:44.0, 3. Phoebe Bates (Carmel) 17:45.2, 4. Rachel Anderson (Carmel) 17:47.8, 5. Christina Geisler (Carmel) 17:48.4, 6. Lulu Black (Hamilton SE) 17:56.4, 7. Emma Wilson (Greencastle) 17:59.3, 8. Abi Little (Noblesville) 18:11.4, 9. Megan Slamkowski (Guerin Catholic) 18:14.3, 10. Miya Wai (Fishers) 18:20.4.
Top 10 individuals on non-advancing teams (all advance to state) — 6. Lulu Black (Hamilton SE), 7. Emma Wilson (Greencastle) 17:59.3, 12. Sabrina Bippus (Hamilton SE) 18:22.6, 13. Jenna Barker (Seton Catholic) 18:23.3, 15. Valerie Clark (Center Grove) 18:35.1, 17. Mary Ann Wehrle (Indianapolis Ritter) 18:38.0, 19. Jada Reedus (Franklin Central) 18:41.8, 21. Allison Lampert (Pike) 18:44.6, 24. Grace Dean (Lawrence North) 18:51.9, 27. Kendall Blake (Indianapolis Ritter) 18:56.8.
Other Greencastle runner — 82. Shelby Kallem 20:00.7.
Cloverdale runner — 142. Chelsie Edwards 21:31.4.
South Putnam runner — 123. Maddie McHugh 20:49.1.
Team scores (top six advance) — Carmel 53, Hamilton SE 77, Fishers 95, Brebeuf Prep 139, Avon 167, Zionsville 182, Cathedral 242, New Palestine 281, Franklin 302, Greenfield-Central 302, Danville 322, Center Grove 350, Southport 359, Franklin Central 361, Brownsburg 400, Greenwood 415, Hagerstown 426, Roncalli 438, South Putnam 448, Batesville 489.
Top 10 overall individuals — 1. Curtis Eckstein (Oldenburg Academy) 14:34.4, 2. Gabe Fendel (Hamilton SE) 14:46.3, 3. Cole Hocker (Cathedral) 15:20.9, 4. Ben Miller (Carmel) 15:21.7, 5. Quinn Gallagher (Guerin Catholic) 15:23.6, 6. Colin Murphy (Carmel) 15:24.6, 7. Sam Kuhn (Fishers) 15:32.8, 8. Ian Hunter (Indianapolis North Central) 15:32.8, 9. Aaron Bennett (Westfield) 15:36.7, 10. Josh Roth (Fishers) 15:39.1.
Top 10 individuals on non-advancing teams (all advance to state) — 1. Curtis Eckstein (Oldenburg Academy) 14:34.4, 3. Cole Hocker (Cathedral) 15:20.9, 5. Quinn Gallagher (Guerin Catholic) 15:23.6, 8. Ian Hunter (North Central) 15:32.8, 9. Aaron Bennett (Westfield) 15:36.7, 13. Daniel Gerber (Danville) 15:43.1, 14. Nicholas Leahy (Westfield) 15:43.4, 15. Austin Scott (Decatur Central) 15:44.3, 18. Jacob Hansen (Greenfield-Central) 15:46.3, 19. Levi Neuzerling (Noblesville) 15:47.2.
Greencastle runners — 76. Clayton Wilson 16:38.1, 87. Cameron Lewis 16:44.2.
South Putnam runners — 30. Kieffer Vittetow 15:56.6, 110. Logan Vandermark 17:02.5, 154. Michael Crossman 17:49.5, 160. Dru Bottorff 18:02.0, 173. Eric HInkle 18:33.0, 177. Adair Bock 19:16.3.