There’s a tradition that continues to run for Northeastern.
Last Tuesday, the boys cross country team defeated Winchester 25-30, marking the Knights’ 17th straight win in dual meets.
The Knights have not lost a dual meet since the current senior core of Eric Yandl, Andy Scripture, Chase Brookshear and Stephen Scruggs was in its freshman year in 2009.
“I think it says a lot about our kids and how hard they work and that type of deal,” Knights coach Mark Kerkhoff said. “They were freshmen, and I don’t believe any of them were full-time varsity runners that year.”
Yandl won the boys race in Winchester, finishing in a time of 18:50, and he was third at the season-opening Richmond Invitational in 18:06 on the tough Hare and Hound challenge.
The three-year success also includes three straight TEC boys team titles and a pair of Wayne County championships.
This year’s Wayne County challenge will be Thursday at the IU East cross country course and the TEC is scheduled for Oct. 4 at Union City.
“(The TEC) is one of our goals,” Kerkhoff said. “It’s not going to be easy. Union County’s running pretty well so far. We can make a run at it. It’ll be something I don’t think any sport at Northeastern — boys or girls — has won four TECs in a row.
Curtis Hieger, Patrick Smith, Caleb King, Jessie Yandl, Dylan Newman, Dustin Rice and Bryson Stevens have all graduated for the Knights, but contributed to the success of the past three years. Tim Harris and William Hillyer have also run for the Knights.
Kessler Fisher, Jake Austerman, Nick Dale and Zach Wolfe round out this year’s roster.
“None of (the current seniors) earned a varsity letter their freshmen year, so this group of seniors hasn’t always been the lead dogs, but they haven’t tasted a whole lot of defeat,” Kerkhoff said. “Almost a complete transition of your varsity roster and still continuing.”
The Knights look to reach 20 straight wins as they have three dual meets left, including Sept. 17 at home against Blue River.