Cockrill, a senior, dealt with an injury that he could not overcome, finishing well off the pace at 18:14 and 112th overall. Cockrill was seeking his first state appearance after making the semi-state for the second consecutive year, the first coming as a junior with the Wawasee team. Cockrill missed state by two seconds last fall. There was no such trial this time around.
“(This) was a rough ending to a good cross country career. Zach now needs to rest and heal up and get ready to attack the track,” stated Wawasee head coach Doug Slabaugh.
New Haven was not, however, the end of the road for several other area cross country teams. The boys race saw West Noble, Goshen and East Noble all qualify teams for state, along with Mount Vernon Fortville and champion Fort Wayne Carroll, who had the individual champion in Cameron Clements, who posted a brisk 15:30 to win it.
Northridge missed out on qualifying its boys team, placing ninth. Conner Sandt, who won the sectional and regional title in Elkhart, did qualify for state with a 12th place time of 16:24.
The Northridge girls earned the sixth and final qualifying spot for a trip to State.
Penn won the girls title, followed by Fort Wayne Carroll, Pendleton Heights, Homestead, Huntington North and Northridge.
Goshen’s girls finished 13th after a fine season.
Locals were at the top of the girls leaderboard. Mishawaka’s Anna Rohrer made a statement heading into the state finals, winning handily at 17:34, followed by Penn’s Madi Woods at 18:05 and Elkhart Memorial’s Brooke Moore at 18:27 to solidify the top three. Elkhart Christian Academy’s Kayla Casaletto also made the cut, taking 10th overall at 19:03.
The IHSAA Cross Country State Finals will take place Saturday, Nov. 1, at the LaVern Gibson course in Terre Haute.