With the North Central Conference meet coming up next week and the IHSAA Tournament beginning the week after, Logansport’s cross country teams are rounding into form at just the right time.
On Tuesday at the Berry Patch course, the Logansport boys won the Logan Invite for the first time ever according to coach Chuck LaDow. Meanwhile the girls squad finished runner-up, which was also its best-ever finish at the event according to coach Brian Morrill.
Logansport won the boys event with 52 points, topping Huntington North by eight points. The two squads also finished 1-2 at the NCC meet last year, and the Berries will be looking for revenge at the event next Tuesday in Marion.
“We knew we had a good shot coming in,” LaDow said. “We trained hard this week. We didn’t want to give up our training, because really this is a great victory, but our goals are to win the conference and win the sectional. And our main adversaries in both of those were here [Tuesday]. We knew it was close coming down with Huntington, and at the finish we talk about every point counting. Travis [Palmer] passed four Huntington kids right at the finish and put us over the top.”
Logan’s girls team, meanwhile, continued to take huge strides in its season, as the Berries (113 points) finished runner-up to Huntington North (42).
“We were looking to make a statement for sectional,” Morrill said. “We knew we had five teams here that we were going to be going up against, and they just outperformed every one of them. I don’t know if we’ve ever finished second in the Logan Invite. There were some good teams here. We made up a lot of ground on Huntington. They’re still several points ahead of us, but this program’s starting to get going in the right direction.”
In the boys event, Logan’s Tate Gellinger placed second overall in 17:16 behind champion Cordell Lewis (17:08) of Huntington North.
“I think Tate’s finally coming on form,” LaDow said. “He finally broke out and had a good race. So much of running is the mental aspect, and he’s trained so hard this summer and was really looking to be a kind of guy who could contend for a title. That happened at Culver [last Saturday], he had a breakout meet, a PR, and [Tuesday] he ran fantastic given the difficult conditions. He’s got his sights set, he told me after he finished, he said, ‘I have a week to catch that kid,’ the kid from Huntington North.”
Also for Logan, Jon Flory placed eighth (17:52), Chris Espinoza was 10th (17:55), Palmer was 12th (18:02) and Kyle Jordan was 20th (18:14).
In the girls race, Bailey McIntire paced the Berries with a 14th-place finish in 22:12.
“Bailey McIntire, just an unbelievable performance to run like she did,” Morrill said. “She set a PR by 45 seconds on a wet, sloppy course that most people are going to say was a minute slow. And she sets her PR by 50 seconds, just unbelievable.”
Also for the Berries, Kelsey Hosler placed 20th (22:31), Megan Martin was 22nd (22:40), Carina Lange was 25th (22:48) and Maddi Zartman was 36th (23:21).
“They’ve got a lot of heart,” Morrill said of his squad. “There’s a lot of teamwork, team camaraderie, senior leadership. It’s just everything is gelling at the right time. ... We’re going to Marion next week for conference and we may have girls down in the 21 minute range, and that was unheard of a couple weeks ago.”
Also in the boys race, Western, which edged Logan by sixth-score tie-breaker at last year’s sectional, placed third with 107 points. Caston placed 13th (326), Winamac was 14th (333), Cass was 16th (383) and Pioneer had an incomplete.
For Caston, Seth Cousins placed 32nd (18:44), Nate Cousins was 50th (19:30), Zach Smith was 85th (20:55), Matt Moss was 101st (22:11) and Andrew Smith was 104th (22:25).
Caleb Schmicker led Winamac with a 38th-place finish (18:57), followed by Ralph Thomas (61st, 19:52), Bryant Larkin (67th, 20:08), Joshua Tankersley (99th, 21:46) and Garrett Pesaresi (117th, 24:18).
A.J. Soloway led Cass with a 42nd-place finish (19:03). He was followed by Josh Rankert (76th, 20:40), Levi Grimm (95th, 21:42), Austin Hoch (110th, 22:50) and Nathaniel Abney (120th, 30:55).
Dylan Bice led Pioneer with a 22nd-place finish (18:16). He was followed by Jonathan Phillips (66th, 20:04), Cameron Cover (82nd, 20:52) and Jordan Robinson (114th, 24:00).
In the girls event, Cass placed fourth (141), Winamac was 11th (251), Pioneer was 14th (352) and Caston was 15th (411).
Cass’ Jenna Yeakley finished second overall in 21:14. Hamilton Heights’ Sydney Chapman was the overall winner in 20:11.
Also for the Kings, Sharaya Woodmansee placed seventh (21:52), Gabi Carney was 13th (22:11), Breanne Robertson was 41st (23:32) and Cami Weaver was 92nd (26:23).
Danyell Bailey led Winamac with a 31st-place finish (23:07), followed by Missy Bailey (42nd, 23:39), Dagney Zupin (46th, 23:47), Julia Foster (71st, 25:07) and Micha Sabec (76th, 25:30).
Kaitlyn Cover paced Pioneer with a 64th-place finish (24:33), followed by Sydney Young (65th, 24:33), Madison VonTobel (74th, 25:23), Melissa Baker (95th, 27:05) and Kayla Miller (96th, 27:35).
Kara Smith led Caston with a 70th-place finish (24:38), followed by Maggie Daily (86th, 26:08), Marli Leazenby (100th, 27:58), Andrea Mangelsdorf (106th, 29:44) and Jordan Moss (110th, 31:34).