FC runners claim regional crown PDF Print E-mail

By Alan Stewart
Special Correspondent

A week after finishing fourth on the same course during the girls sectional race, last year’s regional runner-up claimed the top spot Saturday at the Crawford County Regional cross country meet in Marengo, leading her team to the overall title.


In the final 300 meters, Floyd Central senior Kyley Sorg out-kicked junior Claire Mehling of Forest Park, who had led by a sizeable margin throughout the race, to score the regional crown in 19:27.9, which is two seconds quicker than her sectional time (19:29.8) the previous week.

Last year Sorg finished second to McKenna Cavanaugh of Christian Academy of Indiana in a time of 19:29.58.

To start the 5,000-meter race, Mehling left the pack in her footprints, leading by double-digit seconds by the halfway point. Meanwhile, Sorg kept pace with a group that included sophomore teammates Sydney Liddle and Chloe Loftus, junior Caitlin Luecken of Heritage Hills and sophomore Marcie Stewart of Corydon Central.

“Honestly, I didn’t even know she was in front. I thought that our pack was the first pack and I heard people saying (we) were in second or third,” Sorg said.

On the second lap around the course, Sorg and Liddle picked up their pace at the two-mile mark, with the senior passing Mehling on the final turn for home.

The difference between last week, when she finished fourth, and the regional race, Sorg said, was tapering down her mileage.

“I told my coach, ‘I cannot have a race like (sectional) again.’ It hurt and my legs were heavy,” Sorg said. “Last week we kind of went all out and of course the two Corydon girls (Stewart and classmate Sarah Bailey) led at the start last time and I kind of tried to pass them and get into the first spot. This week I tried staying back a little bit and let someone else take the pace. Our mile was still about the same time, but I didn’t have to do all of the work.”

After Sorg, Mehling was second in 19:31, Liddle, who sat out last week, was third (19:33), Luecken was fourth (19:41) and Stewart crossed the line in fifth (19:45).

As a team, Floyd Central cruised to its 17 regional championship and fifth in six years with all seven runners crossing in the top 13 spots for 25 points, 51 points better than runner-up Forest Park. Corydon Central was third in the team standings with 97 points, followed by Jasper (119) and Heritage Hills (150).

Scoring for the Lady Highlanders were Loftus in sixth, Sydney Baxter in eighth and Faith Barba in ninth. Jacqueline Owlings was 10th for Floyd, and Natalie Clare was 13th.

Looking ahead to Saturday, Sorg noted that Floyd had multiple personal-best times when the team raced at the Eagle Classic earlier this season, so she expects big things from the Lady Highlanders.

“Going forward we’ll probably taper our workouts a little bit and have fresher legs,” Sorg said, adding that teammate Erica Batliner sat out the race and may have an extra boost for semistate.

“Hopefully we’ll have a great race there.”

North Harrison was sixth in the team standings, missing qualifying for Saturday’s Brown County Semistate by 12 points. Individually, Sadie Rothrock, who finished in 25th place in 22:03 and Cassidy Thompson was 27th (22:11), and will advance as individuals to the next round. Madgalena Tillquist was 37th (23:14), Kerstin Cox was 57th (24:36) and Shelby Kondovski was 58th (24:45) for North.

Other individual semistate qualifiers from the girls race included Cavahaugh (7th in 20:11) and Providence’s Natalie Boesing (18th in 21:24).

In the boys race, Christian Academy senior Skylar Stidam cruised to a win in 15:43, which was 15 seconds faster than runner-up Mitchell Hopf (16:00). Stidam’s Warrior teammate Caleb Futter was third in 16:02, but it wasn’t enough to push CAI to the overall team win.

Instead, Tell City nipped the Warriors by a single point, 53-54, powered by a 5-6-7 finish from Leo Simpson (16:21), Thomas Simpson (16:23) and Nate Kaiser (16:24).

Floyd Central’s boys were third with 116 points and advance to Brown County’s race Saturday.

The Highlander scorers were sophomore David Heinemann in 10th in 16:57, followed by sophomore Luke Heinemann in 19th (17:18), junior Ross Ellis (24th in 17:36), Justin Williams in 37th (18:07) and Wes Jenkins (40th, 18:12). Hunter Griffin was 52nd in 18:35 and Connor Reichel was 79th (19:46).

North Harrison senior Noah Rothrock advanced to semistate action with a 14th place finish in 17:00, along with Corydon Central senior Blaze Abner, who was one spot back of Rothrock and crossing the line as the only Panther to advance in 17:13.

Saturday’s Brown County Semistate is held at Eagle Park in Nashville, with the boys race set to begin at 11 a.m., followed by the girls race at 12:15. The top six teams in each race, along with the top 10 individuals from non-qualifying teams in each race, will advance to the state final in Terre Haute on October 28th. The cost of admission is $5 per person.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 October 2017 10:52