CULVER – Allison Miller epitomizes the Warsaw girls cross country team.
Young, talented and unselfish.
Those qualities carried Miller to individual glory and her team to another regional championship Saturday.
The rain didn’t slow down the reign of the No. 7 Warsaw ladies as they dominated the field for the second straight year in the Culver Academies Regional.
Miller, a stellar sophomore, toured the slick and muddy course in a dominating victory, 27 seconds ahead of runner-up Adrianna Dague of Caston.
Coach Matt Campbell shuffled his deep and strong lineup again Saturday and came up with another winning hand for the Tigers. Warsaw has now won regional titles in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
Warsaw had five runners cross the finish line in the top 10 and all seven finish in the top 16 in posting a team score of 24. Host Culver Academies was a distant second with 95.
Miller, who also won the sectional title at Culver Academies a week ago, will lead her team into the New Prairie Semistate next Saturday.
“I was pretty nervous because there are a lot of good competitors here,” said the humble and soft-spoken Miller. “It’s really humbling to win today and means a lot to me because there are so many good runners here.
“I just wanted to do well for the team and it feels good that we put in all the hard work and it pays off. Our team is super excited to be going to semi state because we have so much potential. We are all so close. No one person leads this team. We have great group leadership by the whole team.”
Sophomore Anna Craig was fourth overall in a time of 19:57 as the second Tiger to cross the finish line. Junior Emma Hayward finished in sixth (20:06), with junior Hannah Dawson seventh (20:12) and junior Claire Kehler 10th (20:37) for the top five for the champions. Senior Hannah Thompson placed 15th overall for the Tigers in 20:56 and sophomore Lauren Orr was 16th in 21:01.
“They ran great today,” said Warsaw coach Matt Campbell. “To have five in the top 10 and all seven in the top 16 is awesome. The course was muddy and slow, so times don’t matter today. It was all about positioning.
“All of the girls who ran today stepped it up. Allison was excellent. This, along with the race here at the Culver Invitational, was one of her best races of the season. She looked really good today. She kept it going and brought it in with no one around her. It’s good momentum for her for semi state.
“I was impressed with Anna (Craig) today, a first-year runner for us. Claire was in the top 10 and Hannah Thompson ran well.”
Warsaw will be joined by teams from Culver Academies, Western (118), Maconaquah (118) and Plymouth (127) as the top five Saturday to move on to semi state.
Rochester was sixth in the final team standings at 136. Winamac was seventh at 138, followed by Logansport (163), Manchester (243) and Northwestern (272).
Triton had a pair of runners compete in the field Saturday. Freshman Baylee MvIntire placed 27th overall in a time of 21:41 and senior Makayla Musilli was 71st in 24:01 for the Trojans.
Tippecanoe Valley had a trio of competitors in the field of 87 regional runners. Junior Karly Kitch was 57th overall in a time of 22:56, with senior Courtney Burns 61st in 23:34 and sophomore Sierra Rudd 76th in 24:20.
Senior Libby Reed led Plymouth to the fifth and final team spot in the semi state. She placed 14th overall in 20:55. Senior Abby Patrick was 17th in a time of 21:07 for the Pilgrims with freshman Lexi Ramirez 31st (21:51), sophomore Emory Smith 38th (22:16) and junior Brooke Wagner 45th (22:32).