County runners set to vie for WIC honors on Saturday

Friday, September 28, 2018

Putnam County’s eight cross country teams will return to South Putnam on Saturday for the Western Indiana Conference meet, just four days after competing for the county title.

North Putnam will be looking to repeat its two county titles against several other strong opponents, while the other schools will be looking to unseat the Cougars for supremacy.

Greencastle’s Emma Wilson won her fourth straight county title, and will be looking to equal that streak tomorrow.

One of her top competitors looks to be sophomore Annalyssa Crain of Edgewood, a state finalist last year.

South Putnam’s Austin Rumley won his second straight boys’ county title, and will be looking to unseat defending champion Austin Hackett of Edgewood.

Greencastle coach Craig Jordan’s squad is getting healthier, and he was pleased with the results from the county meet.

“The county race was exciting from start to finish and the ladies competed very well,” he said. ”They had their first run through of the course, which will benefit us greatly the next two weeks as we contest conference and sectionals on it.

“We had a few concerns in regard to slippery areas, black walnuts and mole holes on the course, but we were fortunate to all finish safely.”

Jordan noted that Wilson and Sydney Kallem both ran well to earn all-county honors.

“It was Sydney’s first race of the season and she was phenomenal,” he said. “Olivia Headley dropped 43 seconds from her best while Allison Fajt dropped 31 seconds. We’re excited to come back and contest conference this weekend as the competition and weather will be conducive to faster performances.”

South Putnam coach Brandon Welti noted the county meet was a “wet and rough affair,” but he also liked how his team ran.

“With mud and puddles spread throughout the course, the SP runners had a challenging evening of racing that end with some strong performances,” he said. “The girls’ team got the meet started and were led by senior Samara Young. Throughout the race, Samara did a great job of working her way up the pack. With a strong last mile, she was able to solidify her all-county spot by moving up to third place, edging out the fourth-place finisher by just three seconds. “

Welti noted the girls’ team tied with Cloverdale for third place, but finished fourth due to the tiebreaker.

“The boys’ race was a thrilling one which came down to the wire for team scores.

Besides Rumley, two other Eagles earned all-county honors in Eric Hinkle and Karl Egold.

“Both put in solid races, battling within the top seven the entire time and finishing fourth and seventh, respectively.”

As a team, the Eagles came up just short of the win, missing North Putnam by just two points.

The WIC meet starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday with the girls’ race, followed by the boys’ varsity and JV race at approximately 10:30 a.m.

Edgewood is the defending girls’ team champion, and Brown County won the boys’ title last year.