By Bill Cross
For The Herald Bulletin
---- — MUNCIE — In a repeat of Tuesday's sectional, the Pendleton Heights boys cross country team came up one spot short of winning after finishing second to Mt. Vernon in the Delta Regional on Saturday at Muncie Sportsplex.
“Second place, that’s where we’ve been, and that’s the way it looks like it’s going to be,” Pendleton Heights coach Alan Holden said. “We just need to get our fourth and fifth runners a little stronger. When we get them a little stronger, we’re going to be a little more competitive.”
The field spent nearly the entire race trying to catch Mt. Vernon’s Christian Noble, who ran the course in a time of 16:34.09. Noble’s teammate, Aaron Rush, finished second in a time of 16:46.75. Pendleton Heights' top finisher was Tyler Flood, who came in sixth. Parker Jones was seventh, Tony Flood was 12th, Steven Winn was 37th, Gage Cook was 39th, Matt Tolbot was 47th and Eli Young was 72nd for the Arabian contingent. The second-place finish guarantees the team a spot in the semistate next Saturday at New Haven.
Individually, a few Madison County runners will be competing in the semistate after finishing in the top 10 individual spots for non-advancing teams. Frankton’s Garrett Allen (13th) and Dylan Doan (14th) will join Lapel’s Noah Hendershot (18th) and Logan Bradley (21st) next week.
Lapel finished ninth in team competition while Shenandoah was 10th.
“We just didn’t run very well today,” Lapel coach Darrell Richardson said. “We’re just not cold-weather runners I guess.”
On the bright side, two Bulldog will have a shot at advancing to the state finals.
“Next week is going to be fun,” Richardson said. “There will be a lot of good runners up there (at New Haven), but we’ll go up and have some fun.”
For Holden’s Arabians, it will be another chance to beat Mt Vernon along with a strong contingent of teams from up north.
“Fort Wayne has a ton of schools that are very competitive,” Holden said. “It’s going to be tough, but it will be a race where we will learn from and gain experience.”
Lapel’s finishers included Danny George (45th), Jon Ross Richardson (77th), Mitchell Richardson (85th), A.J. Handwork (86th) and Hunter Loller (87th).
Shenandoah’s top finisher was Kyle Demick in 29th. Rounding out the Raider contingent was Terick Warner (58th), Eric Demick (66th), Lucas Bolander (67th), Mitchell Humphrey (70th), Ashton Lane (71st) and Brayden Crow was 84th.
Other individual finishes included Hayden Fleming (Daleville) 50th, Jason Kabir (Anderson) 55th, Patrick Spillman (Frankton) 57th, Benjamin Gray (Anderson) 63rd, Mark Simmons (Daleville) 64th and Leyton Peavler (Alexandria) 74th.
Other teams advancing out of the Delta Regional to the semistate next Saturday include Wes-Del, Yorktown and Wapahani. Competition is slated to get underway at 1 p.m.