GOSHEN — The Goshen boys and the Northridge girls cross country teams captured Sectional 10 titles Saturday at Ox Bow County Park.
The boy’s race was a close call with Goshen and Northridge fighting for both first place and for the team win. While each individual inside the top ten was close in overall times, the battle between Northridge’s Jack Moore (15:32.56) and Goshen’s Drew Hogan (15:32.58) for the first place spot drew the most attention. Both runners sprinted across the finish line within .02 seconds of each other.
While Moore captured first place, Hogan was mere millimeters behind in second place and was followed closely by a pair of Goshen runners in Cole Johnston (15:53) and Tommy Claxton (16:07) in third and fourth place, respectively.
The remainder of the Goshen squad finished within the top 30, as Luis Loera (16:51) grabbed the 10th place spot and Adrian Mora closed out the top five in 19th place, helping Goshen to the win with 38 points.
“We did well.” Said Goshen head coach Mike Wynn just moments after handing off the sectional championship trophy to his team. “We ran a nice race today, continued to do what we’ve been doing. The whole boy’s teams did well.”
The win was a return to form for Goshen, who lost two of their top three runners shortly before sectionals in 2020, which led to them capturing second place behind Northridge. While Wynn was happy with the victory, the team has its eyes set on much loftier goals.
“It feels great, but our focus really isn’t on sectionals, regionals, or semi-state," Wynn said. "We’re going to put all of our eggs in the big basket, granted we need to qualify for each round, but our focus right now is on state.”
For Northridge, the race featured consistency, as four of their final six runners finished between 11th and 17th place. Outside of Moore, Jaxson Miller (16:13) was the second Raider to finish, grabbing the fifth-place spot.
Northridge head coach Ryan McClane was ecstatic about how his team finished, despite falling to second-place after last year’s sectional victory.
“The boys were fun today,” McClane said. “We had some kids step up and really try to do some special things; it was fun to see. We had our number six man try and battle his way up to the fifth spot all day today, so it was really fun to see.”
While McClane was happy to boost his own players, he also noted that Goshen put up excellent competition.
“I appreciate everything they’ve (Goshen) done, those guys are so fun to watch," McClane said. "It just drives our team, it drives Jack (Moore). I don’t know how many times I’ve told him how lucky he is to be racing with kids who should be top 15 in the state. It’s going to be battle after battle. Next week could be a whole another case.”
While changes are expected to be made over the next few weeks, McClane is happy with where his team is heading.
“The boys are on the right track," McClane said. "We’re hoping to keep getting faster, get a little fresher, and have a great tournament.”
The girl’s race was a much more one-sided affair, as Northridge raced past the competition with ease. The Raiders were led by a 1-3-6-7 finishing combo from Tame Baylis (19:30), Claire Ritchie (19:54), Haylee Hile (20:18) and Emma Long (20:22), followed by a 14th place finish to round out the top five from Delaney Lopez Martinez (21:57), giving Northridge a total score of 31 points.
Despite the big win, McClane noted that there was still a lot of work to be done, and just like Wynn, has his team’s eyes trained on higher goals down the stretch.
“We were much flatter than we were last week," McClane said. "There are definitely some good spots, but we need to realize that there’s work to be done if we want to reach our goals. Winning sectionals was certainly one of those goals, but we’ve got some bigger goals that we want to go after.”
The Raider mindset following the victory was summed up in one sentence for McClane.
“We’re not even close satisfied, we’ve got some work to do," the coach said.
The Goshen girls also qualified for next Saturday’s Regional round as well, finishing in the fifth-place spot with a score of 134. All Goshen runners finished inside the top 50 and were led by Nataly Esqueda (20:49), who captured Goshen’s only top-ten finish at eighth-place.
Wynn was blunt with his estimation of how the Goshen girls performed, despite moving on to regionals.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do with the girls," Wynn said. "Our intensity on the girl’s side isn’t where it needs to be yet.”
Wynn did go on to highlight individual performances that stuck out to him and pointed them out as what he expected to see more of as the season goes on.
“Micaela Corbin ran a great race from last week, going from 24-25 minutes to into the 22’s today," Wynn said. "That was the kind of performance and improvement we’re looking for.”
2021 IHSAA CROSS COUNTRY SECTIONAL 10 - RESULTS
Top five teams and top ten individuals on non-advancing teams qualify for regionals next Saturday at Ox Bow Park.
1. Goshen, 38 points - Drew Hogan 15:32 (2nd), Cole Johnston 15:53 (3rd), Tommy Claxton 16:07 (4th), Luis Loera 16:51 (10th), Adrian Mora 17:35, Oliver Biek 17:45, Brady Abney 18:13
2. Northridge, 46 points - Jack Moore 15:32 (1st), Jaxon Miller 16:13 (5th), David Gingerich 16:54, Nathan Perez 17:07, Jonathan Spicher 17:15, Will Knox 17:17, Nolan Bales 17:27
3. NorthWood, 77 points - Brady Hunsberger 16:50 (9th), Jordan Burden 16:55, Owen Allen 16:57, Cole Davies 17:40, Daniel Medina 17:41, Grady Stevenson 17:52, Jonathan Towler 18:11
4. Concord, 114 points - Anthony Roberts 16:30 (6th), Reid Sollars 17:36, Anthony Claudio-Rivera 17:47, Colyn Chris 18:18, Ethan Smith 18:29, Matthew Godzisz 18:53, Chadwick Kennedy 19:35
5. Elkhart, 115 points - Teagen Rodriguez 16:37 (7th), Maxwell Malloy 16:44 (8th), Aaron Richter 17:32, Francisco Rosales Cano 18:35, Logan Mann 19:28, Connor Willis 19:37, David Stansbury 19:57
6. Elkhart Christian Academy, 179 points - Trenton Conrad 18:09, Luke Schramm 18:31, Tony Maxwell 18:49, Isaac Leeper 19:02, Devyn Clements 19:06, Benjamin Leeper 19:17.28, Daniel Burch 19:17.82
7. Bethany Christian, 185 points - Sam Klopfenstein 17:42, Jesse Bontrager 18:02, Eliott Borden 18:41, Caleb Mast 19:06, Simon Moshier 20:13, Nico Brenneman-Ocha 20:36
8. Wawasee, 244 points - Cade Beer 18:57, Harry Doss 19:16, Joseph Mikel 19:44, Brady McDonald 19:51, Josiah Boyer 19:57, Senate Shaw 20:04, Weston Hoffert 20:17
9. Fairfield, 269 points - Luke Mast 18:44, Aiden Bender 19:35, Kaden Decker 20:16, Noah Troup 20:27, Jenson Long 20:43, Joshua Moreland 20:58, Carson Miller 21:51
10. Jimtown, 277 points - Aaron DeLaLuz-Macilla 19:21, Cameron Nickerson 19:23, Tyler Borders 19:41, Alex Moyer 21:16, Nathan Leighton 22:47, Brandon Doan 25:33, Steven Pendell 27:08
1. Northridge, 31 points - Tame Baylis 19:30 (1st), Claire Ritchie 19:54 (3rd), Haylee Hile 20:18 (6th), Emma Long 20:22 (7th), Delany Lopez Martinez 21:57, Ella Hoefer 22:25, Kylie Mcmann 22:35
2. Elkhart, 53 points - Emma Hodges 19:56 (4th) Adley Keim 21:00 (9th), Ashlyn Anderson 21:41, Alaina Dibley 21:56, Aaliyah Vaught 22:00, Lyla Boecher 23:07, Valeria Cruz-Portillo 23:37
3. NorthWood, 79 points - Kaitlin Burden 19:51 (2nd), Emilie Allen 21:31(10th), MacKenzie Brewer 22:25, Savannah Slone 22:46, Sydney Prenkert 22:46, Emma Davidhizar 23:43, Cassie Hunsberger 23:52
4. Concord, 121 points - Zoe Roberts 20:15 (5th), Ava Plank 22:52, Margaret Weldy 22:57, Alexandra Brunswick 23:03, Samia Latif 23:07, Charity Donis 24:04, Mia Meija 26:15
5. Goshen, 134 points - Nataly Esqueda 20:49 (8th), Micaela Corbin 22:36, Marisol Diaz 23:01, Sophia Yordy 23:24, Jackie Sixtos 23:50, Mara Schrock 24:06, Carly Yoder 24:58
6. Wawasee, 160 points - Jasmine Hernandez 22:21, Lily Tyler 22:31, Trinity LaJoice 22:51, Mariah Hurst 24:12, Jordan Gibbs 27:20
7. Fairfield, 163 points - Kaitlyn Kuhn 22:10, Delana Geiger 23:11, Ashley Bechtel 23:12, Makayla Culp 23:25, Ava Bontrager 24:48, Annelise Green 25:25, Tatum McCauley 25:54
8. Elkhart Christian Academy, 173 - Emma Gruet 21:32, Hannah Schramm 22:26, Adaline Russell 25:13, Moriah Fox 25:21, Chloe Smith 25:48, Brianna Marshall 26:26
- Bethany Christian