Switzerland County freshman Claire Rogers won her first sectional championship and all four local teams qualified for the regional after strong performances in the IHSAA Cross Country Sectional at Hardy Lake on Saturday.
Rogers, who won the Ohio River Valley Conference championship a week earlier, ran away from the field and was never challenged as she posted the easy win. Her winning time of 20:10.7 was nearly nine seconds faster than runner-up Jessica McCoy of Charlestown (20:19.2) and 35 seconds ahead of defending champion Calli Alderman of Shawe, who crossed in 20:45.3.
Switzerland County finished second as a team with 79 points, 12 points behind winner Charlestown. Madison, which won the crown last year, finished sixth with 105 points and did not qualify for the regional but had three runners, Ava Spencer, Isabel Wilber and Cadence Traylor, advance as individuals. Southwestern’s Kirsten Geary qualified for the regional as well.
On the boys side, Austin and Jennings County staged a duel that saw Austin come out on top 24-31 to win the sectional crown. Madison (118 points), Southwestern (144) and Switzerland County (157) each earned regional berths. Shawe’s Sam Fewell and Wyatt Lundergan both punched their ticket to the regional as individuals.
“This marks the first time since 2014 the boys have had a full team advance. Only four other boys teams have placed 3rd at sectionals in the history of our program,” Madison boys coach Kris Sandlin said. “This was a sweet moment for the boys after missing out last year by five points. This was a total team effort.”
Other times for the Switzerland County girls were: Alisha Detmer, 21st, 23:11.3; Amber Detmer, 24th, 23:30.7; Carlee Boggs, 25th, 23:55.1; Ashlyn Covington, 27th, 23:58.4; Gracie White, 31st, 25:18.7; Brianna Stow, 50th, 34:15.7.
Times and finishes for Madison’s girls were: Spencer, 11th, 21:57.3; Wilber, 19th, 23:00.0; Traylor, 22nd, 23:12.7; Madalyn Flowers, 36th, 27:01.9; Adison Nott, 41st, 27:56.5.
Times and finishes for Southwestern’s girls were: Geary, 23rd, 23:14.4; Patricia Smith, 34th, 25:39.7; and Fabiana Orioli, 40th, 27:43.9.
Shawe’s Katie Jacobs placed 54th in 36:41.9.
Times and finishes for the Madison boys were: Logan Ferris, 17th, 19:04.8; Colton Copeland, 24th, 19:27.5; Neel Mistry, 28th, 19:43.8; Leighton Wielgoszinski, 32nd, 19:56.2; Travis Hoffman, 36th, 20:08.8; Daniel Johnson, 41st, 20:21.8; and Lane Brawner, 42nd, 20:28.8.
Times and finishes for the Southwestern boys were: Joe Drossart, 18th, 19:09.9; Brandon Smith, 22nd, 19:20.6; Keegan Gross, 27th, 19:40.8; Landon Higgins, 47th, 21:28.6; Braylin Miller, 48th, 21:28.7; Ashton Crumley, 63rd, 24:15.8; and Alex Hitchcock, 64th, 24:20.5.
Times and finishes for the Switzerland County boys were: Nathan Furnish, 16th, 19:03.2; Cooper Hon, 21st, 19:15.5; Derek Hoskins, 44th, 21:00.6; Dylan Sullivan, 45th, 21:02.2; Kadyn Riley, 50th, 21:45.2; and Jackson Sparks, 56th, 23:00.9.
Shawe’s Fewell led all local runners, coming in 14th in 18:31.5 while teammate Lundergan was 23rd in 19:27.1.
The IHSAA Regional will be run at Ceraland Park near Columbus on Saturday.