TERRE HAUTE, Ind. —
“The hard work is really what has changed over the years” Hinton said. “Every year we work harder and harder for our goals.” For the five remaining runners, the trip to the finals is a stepping stone and a chance to build a solid foundation for the program. Buck and Monica Dudley (115th) are sophomores, while Alli McCarty (42nd), Emma Hall (81st) and Faith Baer (151st) are freshmen.
“Fourteenth is great, we maintained our place in the semi-state” Arabians coach Melissa Hagerman said, referring to finishing behind Fort Wayne Carroll and Penn for the second straight week. “We proved we are the real deal and I know the girls are anxious to come back next year. I feel like we crossed a big hurdle, but I expect us to be back and I expect it to be better.”
For Buck, it was an exciting experience, but also a chance to take some mental notes for next year. “It was definitely a neat experience” Buck said. “I loved being able to run with so many other talented girls and a blast to run here as a team. All of us realize what our strengths and weaknesses are with the course here, so I think next year we are going to come back and be even tougher.”
Overall, Hagerman was happy with the season. “It’s a nice graduation gift for two really special seniors,” Hagerman said in reference to Blackwell and Hinton. “It’s kind of what I expected, I knew they were capable of it. This team met what I expected.”
The races took their toll on the runners as several collapsed after crossing the finish line and needed extra medical attention. Baer sat in an ambulance for a while following the awards ceremony, trying to get hydrated after a tough run.
Carmel swept the day as the boys won the team event. Jackson Bertoli of Terre Haute South was the individual winner.