GOSHEN — The Goshen boys cross country team entered the sectional meet Saturday at Ox Bow Park shorthanded. Northridge was there to take advantage of it.
The Raiders had four runners place in the top eight, bringing home the sectional championship with 37 points. Goshen finished second at 61 points, including the top-two finishers in junior Drew Hogan (16:28) and senior Ryan Diaz (16:33).
Goshen was without its No. 2 and No. 3 runners in sophomore Tommy Claxton and junior Cole Johnston. The former was out for an undisclosed reason, while the latter was out via COVID-19 contact tracing forcing Johnston into quarantine.
“My heart goes out to (Goshen): it could happen to any of us on any day,” Northridge coach Ryan McClane said. “We kind of hurt that through the grapevine with the boys and thought, ‘You know what? Here’s a chance for us to put some numbers on our banner.’ … Somebody’s got to win. We know that Goshen is by far the best team out there, but because of unfortunate events, somebody’s still got to win. We said, ‘Let’s make it us.’”
On the girls side, Northridge repeated as sectional champions, winning with 32 points. Raiders sophomore Haylee Hile was the individual champion with a time of 19:50.
“That was our plan: to win this,” said McClane of the girls title. “We’ve been playing second fiddle to Warsaw this year in the conference, and we felt like sectionals was our turn to win something and get a sectional championship from them.”
The top five teams at the sectional, plus 10 individuals from non-advancing teams move on to next Saturday’s regional race at Ox Bow. The advancing boys teams are Northridge, Goshen, NorthWood, Concord and Elkhart. The advancing girls teams are Northridge, Elkhart, NorthWood, Goshen and Fairfield.
Hile built an early lead and never relinquished it.
“I realized that I haven’t been starting fast enough, so I felt it was really important to start off faster and try to keep the pace,” Hile said. “… It’s pretty exciting for me. I really wanted to win.”
McClane said there was strategy in both races to run the first 1K of the 5K race at a faster pace.
“We were going to focus on the first 1K and at least give us a feeling of what the first ‘K’ is going to be like in these bigger, faster meets,” McClane said. “Both our lead runners in both races went out in their fastest ‘K’ of the season. We knew we weren’t going to maintain it, but our goal was to feel it.”
NorthWood junior Kaitlin Burden finished second with a time of 20:03, and Goshen junior Sophia Yordy was right behind her in third at 20:04.
Like the boys team, the Raiders girls also had four runners place in the top eight. Along with Hile, sophomore Tamenech Baylis finished fourth with a time of 20:17, junior Clare Ritchie fifth at 20:35 and sophomore Emma Long eighth at 21:07. Junior Ella Hoefer rounded out the scoring for Northridge with a time of 21:59, good for 14th place.
It was the second-straight year Hogan has won the sectional title.
“It’s awesome,” Hogan said. “It feels really good. I couldn’t do it without coach Mike (Wynn) and our other runners pushing me every day in practice.”
Diaz and Concord’s Anthony Roberts were in a sprint to the finish. Roberts was in second, but Diaz caught him at the final moment to finish ahead of Roberts. Both runners are listed with times of 16:33, with Diaz finishing second and Roberts third.
“That was our goal,” Hogan said. “We needed (Diaz) to finish second. We were missing some guys, so we were just pushing. He needed a great race and he had a great race.”
Northridge had four of the next five finishers in the race. Sophomore Jaxon Miller was fourth with a time of 16:37, senior Bryce McMann sixth at 17:13, freshman Trevin Schlabach seventh at 17:13 and junior Jack Moore eight at 17:16. Sophomore Jon Spicer rounded out the scoring for the Raiders with a 12th place finish at a time of 17:24.
“We got one of our top runners back in today for the boys, which was Jack Moore,” McClane said. “We held him back a little bit; he was coming off some hip injuries that he had. It was good to see him go out today and back in there.”
2020 ELKHART BOYS AND GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY SECTIONAL RESULTS
Top five teams and top 10 individuals from non-advancing teams move on to next week’s regionals. Advancing teams/individuals in bold. Top five times for each team goes towards scoring
1. Northridge, 37 points — Jaxon Miller 16:37 (4th), Bryce McMann 17:13 (6th), Trevin Schlabach 17:13 (7th), Jack Moore 17:16 (8th), Jon Spicer 17:24, Austin Abelseth 17:54, Jovi Martin 18:25
2. Goshen, 61 points — Drew Hogan 16:28 (1st), Ryan Diaz 16:33 (2nd), Oliver Biek 17:27 (15th), Tyler Wiese 17:29 (17th), Adrian Mora 18:11 (26th), Logan Harkenrider 18:34, Michael Smith 19:01
3. NorthWood, 74 points — Brady Hunsberger 16:55 (5th), Grady Stevenson 12:23 (11th), Jordan Burden 17:40 (18th), Owen Allen 17:46 (19th), Eric Hochstetler 17:50 (21st), Sam Schlatter 17:52, Owen Miller 18:08
4. Concord, 97 points — Anthony Roberts 16:33 (3rd), Ethan Smith 17:30 (16th), Colyn Chris 17:51 (22nd), Gadiel Montiel 18:12 (27th), Bryce Cook 18:18 (30th), William Nicoson 18:38, Kevin Ruiz-Cruz 19:17
5. Elkhart, 106 points — Luis Cruz-Portillo 17:20 (9th), Jose Quinones 17:25 (13th), Teagen Rodriguez 17:25 (14th), Henry Castro 18:27 (32nd), Willy Zaldivar 18:51 (38th), Jacob Windy 18:59, David Stansbury 19:31
6. Elkhart Christian Academy, 195 points — Tony Maxwell 18:19, Luke Schramm 18:45, Luis Bueno 18:46, Ben Lester 18:55, Jude Reynolds 19:35, Daniel Burch 19:47, Isaac Leeper 20:55
7. Wawasee, 197 points — Karlson Hand 17:22 (10th), Camden Powell 18:18, Josiah Boyer 19:28, Landon Kessler 19:45, Senate Shaw 20:04, Ian Kaase 20:21, Dominic Speybroeck 20:26
8. Bethany Christian, 214 points — Jesse Bontrager 17:47, Sam Klopfenstein 18:37, Caleb Mast 19:29, Aaron Yeakey 19:45, Eliott Borden 20:07, Simon Moshier 20:50, Gabe Clark 22:12
9. Fairfield, 243 points — Zachariah Miller 18:54, Luke Mast 19:09, Jenson Long 19:25, Stevan Plett 19:28, Josh Moreland 21:29, Noah Troup 22:09, Bryson Moser 25:03
10. Jimtown, 269 points — Nathan Leighton 18:59, Aaron DeLaLuz-Mancilla 19:18, Cameron Nickerson 20:08, Brandon Doan 20:32, Tyler Borders 20:49, Alex Moyer 21:36, Taylor Goff 22:02
1. Northridge, 32 points — Haylee Hile 19:50 (1st), Tamenech Baylis 20:17 (4th), Clare Ritchie 20:35 (5th), Emma Long 21:07 (8th), Ella Hoefer 21:59 (14th), Kylie McMann 23:02, Brianna Jones 23:10
2. Elkhart, 60 points — Adley Keim 20:54 (6th), Emma Hodges 21:18 (10th), Rachel Terrell 21:39 (11th), Irie Roll 21:52 (13th), Ashlyn Anderson 22:05 (21st), Elise Walker 22:28
3. NorthWood, 90 points — Kaitlin Burden 20:03 (2nd), Reese Barhydt 22:05 (19th), Emilie Allen 22:05 (20th), Jenna Markham 22:39 (25th), Sydney Prenkert 22:55 (28th), Riley Price 23:10, Britton Jesse 24:06
4. Goshen, 101 points — Sophia Yordy 20:04 (3rd), Jackie Sixtos 21:59 (15th), Nataly Esqueda 22:02 (17th), Mara Schrock 23:08 (32nd), Sophia Koshmider 23:39 (37th), Rylee Weishaupt 23:53, Kassidy Bestul 24:11
5. Fairfield, 117 points — Madelyn Yoder 21:13 (9th), Kaitlyn Kuhn 22:09 (22nd), Makayla Culp 22:17 (23rd), Chynzie Howell 22:49 (27th), Abigail Shearer 23:59 (40th), Delana Geiger 24:16, Ava Bontrager 24:32
6. Concord, 121 points — Stephany Claudio 20:59 (7th), Leslee Sierra 22:04, Daniela Pena Perez 22:56, Zoie Neterer 23:20, Alonna Howard 23:36, Carina Bollero 24:01, Joyce Odhiambo 25:27
7. Wawasee, 182 points — Lily Tyler 22:45, Emma Ebright 23:07, Mariah Hurst 23:59, Alyssa Smith 24:04, Autumn Turner 25:04, Jordan Gibbs 30:36
8. Bethany Christian, 226 points — Teresa Richer 21:42, Ana Yoder 24:51, Alina Bergstresser 27:27, Risa Bohn 28:09, Lucca Kauffman 31:01
9. Jimtown, 252 points — Kolby Gluchowski 24:57, Charlotte Pendell 25:17, Carly Landon 25:50, Madison Long 26:58, Haylee Young 27:01, Caitlynn Track 28:21, Brianna Burkhart 29:54
Elkhart Christian’s Emma Gruet also advanced as an individual. ECA did not have enough runners to field a team to qualify for the team standings.