BY GREG FLINT
OXFORD, Ind. —
Seeger won its first cross county sectional title by defeating Twin Lakes in the girls’ race by the score of 43 to 52. The Indians managed to take the first two places, but the Patriot depth was enough to take the championship.
Becca Haussin and Cara Fowler took third and fourth for the Patriots while Bobby Jo Edwards, Lydia Collins and Meghan Hennessey swept 11th through 13th for the 43 points.
Courtney Million took 16th and Brenna Beard, running for an injured Erin Kay, came in 25th.
“Becca ran an amazing race,” said Patriot head coach Miles Stuckey. “She cut 40 seconds off her best time.”
Asked about it, Haussin said, “Coach told us that a lot of guys drop their times at meets like this, but girls usually don’t. Well, I decided I was going to do it, too.”
Haussin, like her coach, gave credit to Edwards, Collins and Hennessey for the title.
“Our three, four and five girls won this for us. They ran great and gave us the first ever sectional title for Seeger. If they don’t beat the Twin Lakes girls, we don’t win.”
It was a chilly day with a strong wind, but Haussin said that helped her do as well as she did.
“My coach told me to open up my stride and keep my head up,” Haussin said. “When you do that with the wind in your face, then when you get a tail wind, you keep on striding out.”
The top five teams and top 15 individuals advance to the West Lafayette Harrison regional on Saturday. Joining Seeger will be the girl’s team from Fountain Central who took fourth, led by a fifth place finish from Morgan Grubb.
On boys’ side, things was not as rosy as no area team advanced with Seeger coming in seventh, Attica eighth, North Vermillion 10th and Fountain Central 11th.
The news was not all bleak as three area runners qualified as individuals to advance. Top among them was Conner Million of Seeger, who took sixth.
Asked if he were bothered being a freshman in such a big meet, Million responded with a vehement negative.
“No, your age doesn’t really matter,” Million said. “It’s not about how old you are but how you go after it.”
He said he ran his race, saying he stayed with his teammates at the start and then moved up.
“My teammates are a real help, knowing they are there with me the whole time,” Million said. “That lets me go for it and I PR’d.” he said.
Attica saw Kenny Little move on to the regional with a 12th-place finish. It was a rough week for the Red Ramblers, who were without their number three runner last week at the WRC meet and, while they got him back for sectional, they lost their second best runner for the sectional.
“We did okay,” said Attica coach Sarah Mattern. “We had [five] personal bests and no one ran way slow, but it’s frustrating not to have everybody.”
The third area runner to advance was Jon Flanary, who took 11th for North Vermillion. He cut better than a minute off his time from the WRC, but his coach, Lori Turchi, said there was a reason.
Flanary will be finishing school at the end of the semester and then joining the Marine Corps. Every Wednesday, he goes to a training session with the Marines and last week — a day before the WRC — he did so well he was punished.
“I aced a test,” he said, “so I had to do 500 pushups. I was a little worn out the next day, but today I was fresh.”
Turchi said that was an understatement as Flanary had only run in the 19’s once or twice this year, but turned in an 18:13.66 at the sectional.
“Wow, you’re kidding,” was his reaction when Turchi told him his time. “That’s way better than I ever thought I could do. I guess my Marine training is paying off.”