By Bill Cross
For The Herald Bulletin
---- — PENDLETON — Pendleton Heights completed a sweep of the Madison County cross country meets by winning the girls event for the second straight year.
In the girls’ race, Pendleton bunched eight runners up front early and held on to have seven of the top eight finishers.
Alex Buck finished first with a time of 19:27.9, defeating teammate Alli McCarty by 35 seconds to win going away. “It was fun” Buck said of the run. “I’m so proud of our teammates. Our goal was to get as many in the top 10 as possible.”
Emma Hall and Maddi Hinton completed the top four sweep for Pendleton while Faith Baer (sixth), Chelsea Blackwell (seventh) and Monica Dudley (eighth) put an impressive stamp on the event for the Arabians.
Lapel’s Mandie Flora broke up the Arabian domination with a solid fifth place finish. “Not a bad day,” Pendleton Heights coach Melissa Hagerman said. “I would like to have seen a perfect score (top 1-5 finish), I know it sounds greedy but I would have liked to have seen it.”
The Arabians were close to perfection as Flora beat Baer to the line by just a shade over a second. Michaela McCurdy of Liberty Christian finished ninth while Lapel’s Sierra Ratzlaff rounded out the top 10.
Lapel finished second with 51 points, Frankton was third with 102, Alexandria was fourth with 112, Elwood was fifth with 133 and Anderson was sixth with 140.
For Lapel, Micah Bryan was 11th, Plensah Tay Sakeuh finished 12th and Lilly Ratzlaff ran 14th. Katie Quick was Frankton’s top finisher, coming home in 13th. Sherrie Riser was 18th, Sammie Kilgore was 21st, Naomi Gollmer was 23rd and Shania Ray was 27th.
Alexandria was led by Courtney Skinner’s 15th place finish, Kaitlyn Davis was 19th, Macy Hood was 24th, Alisha Paddock was 25th and Antonia Ruiz was 29th. Kim Cole came home in 10th for Elwood’s top finish. Jamie Harris was 26th, Taylor Bogard was 28th, Grace Arbuckle was 33rd and Savanna Jones was 36th.
Taryn Harvey ran to a 17th place finish to pace Anderson. Olivia Landes was 22nd, Elizabeth Diaz was 32nd, Kiarica Summers was 34th and Katia Molina was 35th.
Hagerman was most pleased with Buck’s time of 19:27.9 but with the team. “Alex did a great job, this is a hard course” Hagerman said. “She ran a 19.28, that’s a pretty solid time for this course. We just need to keep pushing that pack in a little closer”.