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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos by Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Carroll's Connor Goetz and Snider's Jesse Hamlin lead the pack at the 2-kilometer mark of Saturday's Northrop boys cross country sectional. Goetz won the race, and Hamlin finished finished third. Carroll took the team title.

  • Carroll’s Zoe Duffus won the girls sectional championship Saturday at Northrop. Duffus and her teammates finished in the top five sports.

Sunday, October 08, 2017 1:00 am

Cross Country sectionals

Team titles belong to Chargers

Carroll girls take top 5 spots for perfect score

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

Be healthy, advance and win.

Those were the goals for Carroll boys and girls cross country teams as they swept the Northrop Sectional on Saturday.

Connor Goetz won the boys race in 15 minutes, 58.8 seconds, to lead the Chargers to a team championship with 55 points, and the girls finished with a perfect score of 15 points, led by freshman Zoe Duffus' time of 19:36.6.

“We're certainly getting healthy, we definitely advanced, and we're pleased with how the seven guys performed,” boys coach David Brooks said. “I'm very pleased with how they competed. Today was 100 percent of the focus, it's not the ultimate focus, but we want to be hungry today. By in large, the team hasn't had a great year, cumulatively, as a team in competition. It was good to have that today.”

With warm and windy conditions for both races, the competition was tactical as opposed to speed.

“I knew that (Concordia's) Reece (Gibson) and (Snider's) Jesse (Hamlin) would go out,” Goetz said, “and I was hoping I could pace with them and maybe run with them a little conservatively with the wind and the heat. I ended up having to pull (at the front) a little bit, which is OK, too.

“I knew since we went out conservatively, the end of the race was going to come down to a sit and kick, who could finish the last 200 the quickest. That's what ended up happening with Reece and I.”

Gibson finished second in 15:59.3, and Hamlin was third in 16:41.1.

The Chargers had 55 points to runner-up Homestead's 75. Snider was third (76), Concordia fourth (79) and Northrop fifth (110).

Advancing individually were Bishop Dwenger's Emmett Delaney, Carson Pocock, John Garcia, Isaiah Wiseman and Collin Cahill; Columbia City's Landon Wakeman and Nathan Mills; Garrett's Micah Malcolm; and Leo's Cordell Neuhouser and Hunter Diamond.

The Carroll girls team's top five remained in a pack with Homestead's Julia Dvorak and Skylar Wieskittle and Bishop Dwenger's Kathryn Nix until the two-mile marker when the Chargers started pulling away.

At the finish, Duffus was followed by teammates Meagan Hathaway (19:45.5), Mallory Clements (19:45.6), Leah Metzger (19:48.8) and Margaret Falater (19:49.5).

“It was really comforting to have our teammates all by each other,” Duffus said. “I think we communicated a little bit, and when we finally made our move coming out of the woods, it wasn't too hard. We had a little bit of a tough week of training. It was a fun race, overall.”

With the level of competition only getting better as each week goes by, the hardest part will be keeping the team healthy.

“We have three more weeks of training to do. Meagan's coming back, today was a great step forward,” girls coach Phil Yoder said, “keeping everybody healthy, doing some more speed work and getting ready for each round. The competition gets better and better so we have to get better and better.”

Homestead finished second with 58 points, Bishop Dwenger (66) third, Concordia fourth (89) and Columbia City fifth (165).

Advancing to regionals as individuals were North Side's Chae-lynn Wilchar; Snider's Marci Wallace, Alexandra Galassini, Emmaline Shoemaker and Kelsey Peck; Garrett's Sydney Weaver and Madilyn Malcom; Blackhawk Christian's Aubree Kline; and Northrop's Summer Silver-Barone and Hayley Jensen.

areichel@jg.net