Jesus Garcia

Jesus Garcia battles for the lead at the HCC Meet on Saturday. Garcia won the race in a course record time.

BROWNSBURG – Jesus Garcia is finding his groove at the right time this cross country season.

The Zionsville junior became the first Eagle since Dylan Sorenson in 2008 to win the individual HCC title on Saturday, winning in a course record time of 15:26.2.

“He is training really well,” Zionsville head coach Gabe Porras said. “He is gaining confidence every week. He had a strong run last week, and he continued to step up this week.”

Garcia was fourth in the State Preview and against the loaded field at FlashRock last week.

Porras said that he is gaining confidence as the season goes on.

“It’s big for him,” Porras said. “This was his first cross country win, and he is running with confidence. That’s what we want to see as the season goes on.”

Overall as a team, the Eagles placed fourth with 86 points in a bunched field where the top four teams were separated by 20 points.

Noblesville won with 66, with Brownsburg scoring 72 and Fishers 80.

“We made some good progress today,” Porras said. “I thought last week was a good step in the right direction and today continued that. I thought the back-end of our scoring stepped up well and I was really happy with that.”

Robby Pratt placed 11th with a time of 16:01.3, and Logan Cole came in 15th in 16:10.1.

Jack Sampson and Decatur Dell rounded out the scoring Eagles in 29th and 30th in Times of 16:35.9 and 16:37.7.

Will Pitts was 32nd in a time of 16:40.3.

The Eagles next four runners were all freshmen, with Ryan Handy placing 33rd in 16:42.1, Matthew Helton placing 39th in 16:48.9, C.J. Davidson placing 42nd in 16:54.6 and Will Nobbe placing 56th in 17:10.1.

Rounding out the Eagle runners was Ben Larsen in 77th in a time of 17:40.8 and Billy Busse in a time of 18:06.0.

“In the workouts, they are getting more experience and confidence,” Porras said. “There are a lot of new varsity guys in that group and they are stepping up.”

The Eagles will run in the Nike Twilight Meet In Terre Haute on Saturday.

Then it is time for the postseason.

“We still have some regular season goals to accomplish, and then we will start looking at postseason goals,” Porras said. “But I like where we are trending right now.”

Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Zionsville Times Sentinel and Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.

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