Runners pursue times, spots in semistate races

Runners pursue times, spots in semistate races

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Runners pursue times, spots in semistate races

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When Sarah Hornak made Seton Catholic High School history on Tuesday, it didn’t take long for Jacob Stamm to join her.

Hornak became the first Cardinal girl to qualify for a cross country regional with an eighth-place finish at Tuesday’s Connersville sectional, and about 30 minutes later, Stamm became the second boy in school history to do so with an eighth-place finish of his own.

The Cardinals are just two of 50 area runners competing in Saturday’s cross country regionals after strong performances in Tuesday’s sectionals.

“I’m just hoping I can get a PR and hopefully get a good placing,” Hornak said. “I’m not really sure what to expect, because I’ve never had any experience at regionals with cross country.”

Union County and Northeastern will have both boys and girls teams participating at Rushville, while Hagerstown and Centerville girls teams both advanced.

“The other teams coming into our regional are tough,” Northeastern coach Mark Kerkhoff said. ” … If they run well another day, anything can happen. I know Eric (Yandl) was really happy with his fourth-place finish (at Tuesday’s sectional), Ashley (Mosley) was pretty happy with her fifth … to know that we’ve got individual kids that represent us well too and could have a chance to move on is a pretty cool thing too.”

Clay Clark of Hagerstown and Houston Cornett of Lincoln both advanced as individuals, while Kayli Burke also moves on in the girls race.

Alexi Bocanegra of Union City, Morgan Stanley and Sophia Wickersham of Winchester and Tess Wise of Randolph Southern had top-15 finishes at the Delta sectional and return there for the Delta regional, along with Union’s Jacob Hiatt, who had a top-15 finish in the boys race.

The top five teams and top 15 individuals advance to the Oct. 20 semistates. Rushville feeds into Carmel, while Delta runners move on to New Haven.

Hagerstown’s Hayley Rogers is reigning Rushville regional champion and hopes to lead the Tigers to a third straight semistate appearance.

“My goal is to go to regionals and run with the Franklin Central girls and stay with them and hopefully run a better time,” she said on Tuesday after winning the sectional.

Cornett, a junior, knows nothing less. He has advanced to the regional every year he’s run, but is coming off a tough season after dealing with two offseason surgeries.

“I’ve been able to run in all of them (the races this season). I was out of shape. I didn’t start running until late August, so I haven’t been in shape for a while,” he said. “It would be nice to advance, but this year’s just my rebuilding year for me.”

He’ll be joined by fellow Golden Eagle Burke, a senior who is making her third trip in four years.

“I’m looking forward to this weekend, maybe try to break 21 timewise,” she said. “I probably won’t advance to semistate, but I’m going to go for a good time.”

Cornett, Bocanegra, Jake Goecke of Union County and Emily Vance of Centerville advanced to semistate as individuals a year ago.

Vance’s teammate, Shelby Short, advanced to last year’s regional too and looks to move further for the first time.

“I went last year, it’s really awesome,” she said. “I really enjoy the experience and I’m hoping to do good in the regionals and hope to get to semistate.

“I’ve never been to semistate, so I’m really hoping to get something new this year and finally move on to semistate.”

“I definitely would like to move on individually,” Goecke said, “but if the team can pull it together, I really think that we could — even though we made it close (Tuesday) — we do have a chance of pulling it together and moving on to semistate as well.”

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Runners pursue times, spots in semistate races
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