Senior staff writer
Franklin Central, after completing its first season in the tough Hoosier Crossroads Conference, captured its 20th girls cross-country sectional championship at New Palestine, and Center Grove won the girls sectional at Franklin.
Roncalli’s Nick Perkins was the medalist at New Palestine with a time of 16 minutes, 34.042 seconds, finishing 42 seconds ahead of his closest competitor.
The Flashes dominated by finishing first through fourth and 10th. Sophomore Brianna Lawson posted the winning time of 19:41.0, followed by senior Jada Reedus (19:52.6), sophomore Brenna Shaw (20:02.4), senior Sydney Welch (20:17.7) and 10th-place finisher and junior Audrey Comastri (21:29.4). The final count was Franklin Central 22, New Palestine 42.
Beech Grove was eighth, led by regional qualifier Robynn Warrner, a freshman, who finished 32nd with a time of 24:27.5.
At Franklin, Center Grove ran to a decisive title with its five runners among the top nine with Whiteland a distant second, 26-69. The Trojans were paced by runner-up Sadie Schemmel (20:51.9), Gabrielle Harrell, third; Hudson Gilstorf, fifth; Samantha Rasmussen, seventh; and Rebecca Stockman, ninth.
“This is maybe one of the most dominating sectional performances we’ve ever had,” said Wes Dodson, who’s in his 18th year with the Trojans. “We told them to go out together, and they know they are similar in ability and to help each other. And they did.”
Greenwood, led by Julia Arruda, 15th, was sixth. Also qualifying for regional action for the Woodmen were Ava Leininger and Mallory Watson.
Paced by Nicole Manning (ninth, 20:54.2), Southport finished third at Ben Davis. Cardinal runners who scored points were Adrianna Frederick, Kayden Casey, Bella Green and Cecilia Dunn. Perry Meridian was fifth, one point behind the last regional qualifier Ben Davis, 120-121. Triniti Spurgeon was 15th (21:20.7).
At New Palestine, Franklin Central placed five underclass runners among the top 21 and finished only 18 points behind the host champions, 48-66. The Flashes were led by sixth-place sophomore Jackson Andry (17:28.60) with William Hackler 10th, Samuel Mash 14th, Justin Healy 15th, and Spencer McKinney (21st). Fifth-place Roncalli missed qualifying for the regional by placing four points behind fourth-place Greenfield, 83-87. Beech Grove, led by sophomore Ronald Stone (19th, 18:16.4) was ninth.
At Franklin, Center Grove’s boys were second to the champion hosts, 29-50. The Trojans placed five runners among the top 17 with points scored by Archit Malik (third, 16:59.9), Raef Sauer fifth, Sebastian Martin 12th, Nick Wilson 13th and Aidan Galt 17th.
Greenwood was sixth, led by Conner Watson 16th; Greenwood Christian Academy was eighth, paced by Anna Subris, 29th, and Aiden Sloan, 42nd.
Southport was fourth at Ben Davis with runners Nick Frank (17:50.1) and Malachi Hampshire in the top 20 and Blake Kottlowski, Jackson Meier and Bryan Martinez. Perry Meridian, led by Andrew Haggerty (13th, 17.53.5), was a distant fifth.