WEST LAFAYETTE – West Lafayette runners took the first seven spots in Tuesday’s Harrison Sectional, not leaving much room for runners to place in the top-15 and advance to Saturday’s regional.
But three area runners – Rossville freshman Lauren Bright, Frankfort freshman Elizabeth Warwick and Clinton Central junior Leilah Miller – all placed in the top-15, and Warwick helped her Hot Dog squad advanced to the regional as a team.
Bright was the area’s top finisher in 11 th (20 minutes, 25 seconds) while Warwick was 14 th (20:39) and Miller 15 th (20:46).
Frankfort finished with 124 points to place third. Following West Lafayette, which scored a perfect 15 points, were Harrison (67), Frankfort, Lafayette Jefferson (144) and McCutcheon (158).
“(Coach Tim) Galati always tallies up where he thinks we’ll come in and so we always shoot for that or try to aim better,” Warwick said. “He marked us down as third so we put it all on the course and just tried to get that.”
Clinton Central barely missed out on advancing to the regional. Placing sixth with 160 points. Rossville was seventh (173) and Clinton Prairie had an incomplete team score.
Another Frankfort freshman, Kaylee Arthur, placed 23 rd (22:00). Sophomore Cassidy Dubree was 26 th (22:10), junior Hannah Calvert 32 nd (22:30) and senior Alyssa Shirar 35 th (22:35).
“We knew that was going to happen with West Lafayette,” Galati said. “We had a lot of season-bests and PRs. We ran tough and we ran what we knew we could. We knew if we could run like we did all season we should definitely be third and that’s how it worked out.”
Warwick is the younger sister of former Frankfort standout Graham Warwick, who also holds the school record with a time of 19:42. Elizabeth Warwick’s time on Tuesday was a personal record and less than a minute behind her older sister. It’s a record the younger Warwick hopes to break eventually.
Warwick’s 20:39 was also more than a minute better than her previous PR.
“It helps me push harder to get my sister’s record,” Warwick said. “It feels awesome being a freshman knowing I’m going to regional, not just as team but (qualifying) as an individual. I’ll probably be 10 times more nervous Saturday than I was today. I just try to stay positive and think about the bright side.
“My teammates told me that people play rough here so I thought I’d get spiked or something like that.”
Said Galati: “Quite honestly, she could drop more time at regionals. We usually do better at regionals than we do at a weekday meet. We’ll see if she can get there. A freshman running this well, it bodes well for the future.”
For Central, Kelly Fox was 29 th (22:21), Katelyn Ellis 31 st (22:25), Emily Wyrick 42 nd (22:52) and Anna Scott 52 nd (23:37). For Rossville, Hannah Alling was 21 st (21:31), Rena Gascho 33 rd (22:32), Kaitlyn Mills 59 th (24:09) and Candace Waldron 62 nd (24:40). For Prairie, Stephanie Schrock was 34 th (22:32), Emma Tolley 45 th (22:54), Paige Schoonveld 67 th (27:54) and Abby Gingerich 70 th (31:43).
West Lafayette senior Bobbie Burgess won the race with a time of 17 minutes, 36 seconds, setting a course record at the Tippecanoe Amphitheatre.