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Cross country teams race at St. Henry

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By The Staff

When Grant County and Williamstown’s cross country teams take the course on Nov. 7 at the regional meet, a trip to state will be on the line for the teams.

To prepare for the most important race of their season, both teams competed at the St. Henry Invitational Oct. 24, their last race before the regional meet.

In the boys’ varsity race, the Braves fielded four runners as junior Michael Schultz, who sprained his knee in practice last week, sat out the race.

The Braves were led by junior Jordan Cummins, who finished 25th. Sophomore Chris Ellis was right behind him, as he finished 26th. Sophomore Tyler Edmondson followed in 66th and senior Shannon Fabela finished 76th.

“Right now, it is important that we nurse any ailments or injuries anyone is experiencing so we can be at full strength come region,” coach Marlon Kinsey said. “We are continuing to work hard during our ‘key workouts’, but are now lowering the total volume as the regional meet nears.”

“Michael is a big part of this team and we need him,” Fabela said. “We have to keep our pack together and, as the fifth runner, I need to be up there with Tyler and Michael. We’re going to work hard to prepare, but make sure we also rest some injuries.”

With the top five set for the Braves, the remaining two spots on the regional team are up for grabs as freshman Dakota Whalen, junior Brandon Gouge, junior Michael Haubner, freshman Jarred Baker and junior Dylan Jackson battle to represent Grant County.

For Williamstown, they were led again by junior Steven Bradford, who finished 29th. He was followed by eighth grader Drew Harris (84th), junior Derrick King (133rd), freshman Chris Brann (142nd), junior William May (152nd) and junior Matt Lillard (153rd), as the team finished 16th.

“Considering the mud that they had to run through, I think everyone did well,” coach Michelle Whaley said. “We know who is going to be part of the regional team, but it’s coming down to the wire and they know it. Everyone is pushing and motivating each other towards the region meet.”

“We’re a few teams away from qualifying,” Bradford said. “We’ve seen how we compare against the other region runners and we have to step it up in practice to make sure we’re our best at the regional meet.”

The Lady Braves also had four runners compete in the girls’ varsity race, as senior Jackie Roche was sick. Senior Emily Thomes came in first for Grant County, finishing 49th. She was followed by seventh grader Elizabeth Robinson (64th), senior Kara Pennington (88th) and junior Rebekah Brewer (93rd).

“In our region, the top three teams have been solid all year (Notre Dame, Dixie and Ryle),” Kinsey said. “The rest of the region is a toss-up. It will be important for us to run our very best on Nov. 7 to capture one of the top five spots and qualify for the state meet.”

“We’re using our practices to get stronger,” Thomes said. “We also want to get healthy. State has been our goal all season and we’re still pushing towards that goal.”

Williamstown sophomore Katie Butler is working to get back to state as an individual, finishing eighth in the junior varsity race at St. Henry.

“Katie’s going to have to stay on track this week and then get rested the week before regionals,” Whaley said. “She’s been getting better each week and this past weekend motivated her because she’s seen how well she’s done.”

“I’m going to have to train hard and improve my time a lot if I want to make it to state,” Butler said. “I’m hoping to get my times in the 22-minute range, at least. It helps me a lot to see I need to improve.”

St. Henry Invitational Results:

Girls' Elementary - Haley leach (first), Kaylie Ezell (ninth), Serena Purnell (13th) and Abbi Baxter (22nd)

Girls' Middle School - Katelyn Simons (13th), Destiny Simons (24th), Olivia Dezarn (49th), Isabella Ridder (59th), Paige Young (68th), Ariana Yerbatria (72nd), Amber Perkins (102nd), Megan Perkins (104th), Tabitha Jordan (105th), Amber Tien (110th), Madison Helton (116th) and Bryce Tucker (117th)

Boys' Middle School - Hunter Trenary (fourth), Justin McGough (ninth), Jordan Rose (14th), Austin Haubner (16th), Zack Brinker (22nd), Tucker Trenary (23rd), Kyle Kinmon (27th), Jacob Martin (30th), Brett Smith (38th), James Simons (43rd), Andrew Daniels (46th), Jayden Cummins (51st), Austin Beach (55th), Cole Simpson (59th), Tyler Jackson (61st), Brent Young (67th), Chase Good (73rd), Daniel Gillum (78th), Travis Horton (91st), Robby Nelson (92nd), Jordyn Barnes (109th), Chance Jordan (124th), Jonas Alger (131st), Josh Reaves (135th), Jackson Reaves (137th) and Cory Hess (139th)

Girls' Junior Varsity - Katie Butler (eighth), Rebekah Stanley (58th) and Christina Haubner (59th)

Boys' Junior Varsity - Dakota Whalen (25th), Brandon Gouge (31st), Michael Haubner (32nd), Jarred Baker (36th), Dylan Jackson (39th), Kevin Offett (103rd) and Justin Perkins (112th)

Girls' Varsity - Emily Thomes (49th), Elizabeth Robinson (64th), Kara Pennington (88th) and Rebekah Brewer (93rd)

Boys' Varsity - Jordan Cummins (25th), Chris Ellis (26th), Steven Bradford (29th), Tyler Edmondson (66th), Shannon Fabela (73rd), Drew Harris (84th), Derrick King (133rd), Chris Brann (142nd), William May (152nd) and Matt Lillard (153rd)