Men’s cross country advances to Semi-State, Heldt advances for the girls

Spindler continues to lead the Titans, placing fourth overall in the Regional

Sean DeLong, Reporter

Saturday morning, both the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams competed at Prides Creek for the IHSAA Regional 16. The boys’ team placed fourth and advanced to the Semi-State. Junior Alex Spindler finished first for the Titans and fourth overall with a time of 16:13. Junior Hayden Pennington finished 18th, junior Lucas Kissel finished 29th, junior Cooper Maurer finished 31st, junior Isaac Pohl finished 35th, senior Ethan Spindler finished 38th and junior Eli Maikranz rounded out the team with a 68th place finish.

Last year the boys missed advancing to Semi-State as a team by only six points. This year a big goal the guys had was to make the cut and compete in Brown County together.

“I was not surprised [they made it],” head coach Jermey Aydt said. “They worked hard all summer and during the season. They’ve been a top four team all season, and we knew we just had to run our race and we would be competitive in the Regional meet.” 

The Prides Creek course is a bit shorter than other courses, but the layout can be challenging to runners. Pennington is glad to have run there in previous invitationals, Regional tournaments and practices.

“Running at Prides Creek has helped because we get to see the hilly terrain, as well as being able to get a feel for the best spots to make surges throughout the race,” Pennington said.

Throughout the season Maurer has finished second for the Titans but had difficulty at the Regional.

“I cramped up halfway through the race,” he said. “When I was running down the hills, I couldn’t breathe. I was struggling, but I wanted to finish to help the team move on.” 

The Lady Titans also competed at Prides Creek. One girl separated herself from the rest of the team, being the only runner advancing. Junior Courtney Heldt finished 17th with a time of 20:12. Sophomore Elizabeth Steckler was next to finish, coming in at 35th with a time of 21:37. Others running for the Lady Titans included junior Aleks Parmer in 55th, sophomore Aleah Rexing in 68th, freshman Lilly Spindler in 79th, junior Kennedy Ping in 84th and senior Keelyn Wilkerson in 85th.

Ping and Wilkerson ran for the Titans for the first time in two weeks when both sophomores Payton Stocker and Bailey Baker were unable to compete in the Regional.

This is Heldts third year advancing to Semi-State. She is strategizing to run the best she can at the Brown County course and understands the competition will be harder. 

“At the Semi-State, there are so many teams there,” Heldt said. “I haven’t run against these people, so my goal is to get with a new group that I think is faster so my pace is faster.” 

The Sectional race occured Saturday, October 8, at South Knox. The boys’ team finished second in the Sectional, only two points from Sectional Champion South Knox. Alex Spindler was runner up, finishing only 13.6 seconds behind junior Calvin Crabtree of South Knox. Maurer placed fourth and Pennington placed fifth. Then Kissel finished 10th and Pohl finished 13th.

For the girls’ Sectional, the ladies placed fifth of nine teams with Princeton Community School winning the race. Heldt Placed sixth, Steckler placed 21st, Parmer placed 28th, Baker placed 30th, Stocker placed 34th and Rexing placed 35th.

The boys team and Heldt will run the Brown County cross country course this Saturday. The girls’ race starts at 11:30 a.m. EST and the boys run at 12:15 p.m. EST.