ELKHART – Spirits and expectations were high for both the Wawasee boys and girls cross country teams Saturday morning as the pair competed in the Elkhart Central Regional at Ox Bow Park.
Both squads came up just short with sixth-place finishes, one spot from earning a semi state berth.
The Warriors, on the bright side though, will be well represented at semi state by both Reid Stichter and Breanna Robinson who both advanced with individual times.
The girls had finished in fourth place in last week’s sectional, also held at Ox Bow, right behind Northern Lakes Conference rival Goshen by a mere two point differential. On Saturday, the Lady Redskins and Lady Warriors would again be close but it was Goshen that had its name called to advance to semi state by finishing fifth overall with a team score of 154 points, besting Wawasee’s sixth place finish at 172.Sophomore Breanna Robinson led the way for Wawasee with a 13th place finish in a time of 19:42, which bested her 20:08 sectional time last week. By finishing in the top 15, Robinson advances to next Saturday’s semi state meet at New Haven High School.
Courtney Linnemeier also improved her time from sectionals (20:42) as she clocked a time of 20:17, finishing 23rd overall. Madison Miller finished 35th with a 20:38, besting her sectional time of 20:58.
The surprising finish of the day for Wawasee was that of Jen Slabaugh. Last week Slabaugh was the second Lady Warrior to cross the finish line with a time of 20:41. This week she looked to improve on her sectional time but took a fall while running in the last half of the meet and would finish with a final time of 21:34, giving her a 53rd place finish.
Wawasee’s Morgan Eryman (22:53), Taylor Busse (22:58), and Becky Snavely (23:03) would all finish within a spot of each other. The Lady Warriors finished with a total team time of 1:45:04.
In what came as no surprise in the team results the Northridge Lady Raiders ran away with the regional title placing three runners in the top 10 and four in the top 15. The Lady Raiders finished with 39 points and a total team time of 1:37:29. The top individual performance was also no surprise as Mishawaka’s Anna Rohrer finished well ahead of her competitors with a time of 17:24.
The boys meet was nearly identical to the girls for Wawasee. The Warriors ran well but not well enough to advance as they finished in sixth place, only 17 points behind South Bend Riley (130).
Wawasee placed six of its seven runners in the top 50 but that still was not enough to slip into semi-state. There were no real surprises for Wawasee as Reid Stichter led all Warriors with a time 16:18, good enough for eighth place. Stichter, who had been stuck in regionals the past two years, was happy to advance but the moment was not as sweet as he had hoped.
“I’m happy, but I wish my team could be with me,” Stichter stated.
The boys’ team had its set back when Adam Doll fell back a few spots after experiencing pain in his shins. Doll, who ran an impressive 17:01 at sectionals, would finish with a 17:28 Saturday. Doll would finish 42nd overall.
Zach Cockrill was the second fastest Warrior today, finish with a time of 17:12, which gave him a 33rd place finish. Austin Yoder (17:25), Austin Krizman (17:31), and Joey Bornman (17:38) would all finish in the top 50 for Wawasee. Troy Carolus barely missed the top 50 with a final time of 17:46. Wawasee finished with a total team time of 1:25:54.
The Northridge boys also brought a regional title back to Middlebury finishing with 45 points and a total team time of 1:22:05. The Raiders placed six in the top 35 and four in the top 25. Two of those runners, Blake O’Dell (16:00) and James Bradberry (16:06), finished in the top three. Elkhart Christian’s Joel Hartman took first place in the boys race with a final time of 15:53.
Wawasee head coach Jerid Stoffel expressed his thoughts from both of his team’s performances.
“Disappointment, obviously,” Stoffel stated briefly. “We really wanted to move on. I mean overall, the team ran well. We ran what we were supposed to but we had a couple of key people end up having some bad races.”
Though disappointed for the teams, Stoffel was happy for Stichter and Robinson, “I am pumped for those two. New Haven is a fun course, it is fast, and I’m really excited for both of them to get the chance to run there.”
The top 15 runners and top five teams advance to next week’s semi-state meet in New Haven. The girls will run at 1:00 while the boys are slated to start at 1:45.
2. Penn 65
3. Mishawaka 77
4. Elkhart Memorial 100
5. Goshen 154
6. Wawasee 172
1. Anna Rohrer, Mishawaka, 17:24
2. Maddie Woods, Penn, 18:22
3. Amanda Farrough, S.B. Clay, 18:40
4. Jennifer Schrock, Northridge, 19:10
5. Lauren Pottschmidt, Penn, 19:17
6. Olivia Golden, Northridge, 19:18
7. Sierre Moore, Elkhart Memorial, 19:25.1
8. Jenn Priebe, Penn, 19:25.8
9. Corinne Cominator, Northridge, 19:32
10. Michaela Lewis, S.B. Adams, 19:38.5
11. Kayla Casletto, Elkhart Christian, 19:38.8
12. Mandy Campbell, Northridge, 19:40
13. Breanna Robinson, Wawasee, 19:42
14. Taylor Stidham, Fairfield, 19:43
15. Jessica Duvall, Mishawaka, 19:44
2. Goshen 72
3. Mishawaka 90
4. Penn 118
5. S.B. Riley 130
6. Wawasee 147
1. Joel Hartman, Elkhart Christian, 15:53
2. Blake O’Dell, Northridge, 16:00
3. James Bradberry, Northridge, 16:06
4. Andrew Timmons, S.B. Adams, 16:12
5. Austin Ganger, Mishawaka, 16:13
6. Jacob Frost, Northridge, 16:16.0
7. Jacob Timmons, S.B. Adams, 16:16.9
8. Reid Stichter, Wawasee, 16:18
9. Jordan Annis, Mishawaka, 16:21
10. Luke Runyan, John Glenn, 16:27
11. Patrick Wagner, Mishawaka, 16:31
12. Reid Zimmerman, Goshen, 16:32
13. Luke Kaufman, Goshen, 16:33
14. Travis Kulzhar, S.B. Riley, 16:34
15. Bruce Bragg, S.B. Riley, 16:40