Terre Haute — The Zionsville girls cross country team made their debut at the IHSAA State Finals Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Lavern A. Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute.
Zionsville placed ninth in their first appearance at the state finals, scoring 289 team points. Carmel was the overall champion, with 76 points.
“They really worked hard,” Zionsville head coach Suzanne Rigg said. “This is a hard course; it is a course that really breaks up your rhythm. This is a course they haven’t experienced before; so they coped well with it, and they found it pretty tough. This is was a great experience for us, and this is something that we can really build on.”
With three girls that ran in the state meet Saturday returning and another line-up regular returning next season, Rigg said the next time the girls run at the state meet they will be better prepared for what they will see.
“You have to experience it once,” Rigg said. “The seniors, unfortunately, they can’t come back and do it again, but this is really a building thing for us. This is the start of years to come where we can come to the state meet and get up on that podium.”
Samantha Mitchell was the top Eagle finisher on the day, placing 55th in a time of 19:17.0. That was one spot and 0.2 seconds ahead of teammate Becca Uebele.
Sydney Meyers placed 60th in a time of 19:20.4.
The final two scoring runners were Marianna Kastberg-Leonard (106th, 19:56.3) and Lizzie Torrance (142nd, 20:34.8).
Cristina Guerra ran for the injured Angelina Ellis and placed 179th in a time of 21:12.4 and Cally Sampson placed 184th in a time of 21:18.4.
“They all did well,” Rigg said. “They worked as hard as they could; they put in everything they had. They finished pretty much as they have all year; there weren’t any real surprises from that standpoint. The girls did a great job and worked really hard.”