By Will Willems Sports Editor
Zionsville Times Sentinel
---- — Girls place second to advance as well
INDIANAPOLIS — The Zionsville boys cross country team made history Saturday, Oct. 19, winning the school’s first regional title at Ben Davis.
The Eagles scored 47 points, topping second-place Avon by four.
“We had a race plan and strategy coming into the state tournament,” Zionsville head coach Gabe Porras said. “They did really well Tuesday (Oct. 15) in the sectional, winning our second title in a row. We were trying to focus in on things that we thought would put us in a good position for the semi-state in terms of attacking today’s race. They did a really good job of that. We still have some things to improve on, but we are really happy to get that championship. That is a nice added bonus for following a race plan that we think will put us in a nice position next week.”
Porras said there were benefits from racing on the same course as the sectional.
“It helps from the standpoint that they are familiar with the course,” he said. “We have a regular season meet here as well; so this is a place they have run a lot. So when we say ‘at this point we want to do this’ they can visualize that on the course. So that definitely helps.”
Oliver Rigg had the top finish for Zionsville, placing third in a time of 16:16.
Ryan Cash was fifth in a time of 16:21, and Adam Corya was seventh in a time of 16:26.
Logan Winters placed 11th in a time of 16:33 and Patrick Stuff rounded out the scoring Eagles with a 23rd place finish in a time of 16:55.
Rounding out the top-7 were Kyle Munz (25th, 16:59) and Andrew Brake (26th, 17:00).
“We had a few guys really run well,” Porras said. “Logan Winters, our fourth-guy, really ran well. Patrick Stuff had an awesome race as well. He was a guy who ran the JV race at Ben Davis earlier this season. So he has really stepped up. Andrew Brake ran really well today; he really moved up during the race. All of our guys ran well, but those guys I was really excited for.”
The Eagles now go to the tough Carmel Semi-State on Saturday, Oct. 26. The top-6 teams advance to the state finals.
Zionsville is one of seven-ranked teams that will be participating.
“The goal is to get a lot of rest this week,” Porras said. “We are going to do some fine tuning for the race. Go through different parts of the course. Northview (Carmel’s course location) is a place we have ran twice this year; so we are familiar there as well. Make sure we all feel ready to go.”
Girls place second to advance
The Zionsville girls cross country team ran well Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Ben Davis Regional, placing second to Avon.
The Orioles finished the race with 28 points, 12 ahead of the Eagles.
“I am really pleased with the way the girls ran,” Zionsville head coach Suzanne Rigg said. “We wanted to do our usual effort and get through today. If we would have won, I would have been really pleased, but that wasn’t our main goal. Our main goal was to have a good race and advance to the next stage.”
It was a rare occurrence for the Eagles in the fact that they usually don’t have multiple races in a week (they ran the sectional on Tuesday, Oct. 15).
But Rigg said the girls were able to look at it similarly to the way they would approach any week.
“We train hard during the week, and they are used to a couple hard sessions a week; so it wasn’t much different,” Rigg said. “Tuesday was a great race for us; we had some of the top girls hold back a little since we new Saturday was there. The girls handled it well.”
Just as Coach Porras said, Rigg said the fact the girls were familiar with the Ben Davis course helped.
“The girls know the course like the back of their hands,” Rigg said. “They like it because it is flat and fast. It isn’t the most exciting course, but it is good for them.”
Becca Uebele, who won the individual sectional title on Tuesday, was the Eagles top finisher Saturday.
She placed third in a time of 18:39.
“She has done a fantastic job this year,” Rigg said. “We had her doing some 1,600s in track last season, and that was a step up for her and now has gone from strength to strength. She is a hard-trainer and hard-worker, and she is showing that in her races.”
Two Eagles finished right behind Uebele.
Sydney Meyers placed fourth in a time of 18:48 and Samantha Mitchell placed fifth in a time of 18:51.
Angelina Ellis placed 14th in a time of 19:53, two places and five seconds ahead of teammate Marianna Kastberg-Leonard.
Lizzie Torrance placed 19th in a time of 20:08, and Cally Sampson was 22nd in a time of 20:38.
The Eagles advance to the semi-state Saturday, Oct. 26, at Carmel, looking to advance to the state finals for the first time.
“We have to be top-6, and I told the girls that nothing is different than any other week,” Rigg said. “We have been doing it week in and week out. There is no magic that is going to happen next week. They have to go out there and do the same things they have been doing every week. They work hard, race hard, and that is what we expect next week. Then hopefully on to state and doing the same thing there.”