PENDLETON, Ind. —
Perhaps the surprise of the event was when Shenandoah’s Brayden Crow and Mitchell Humphrey took 29th and 33rd places respectively to secure a fifth-place finish for the Raiders with 129 points.
Raiders coach Danielle Crowthers credits the turn around of her team, which had two sixth-place finishes and a seventh-place showing since 2008, to team members rising to the occasion when in the past they failed to do so.
“We had a lot of the upperclassmen that didn’t do 100 percent last year, really step it up this year,” she said. “One of our kids went from our seventh runner to our second. We always have our leader, Kyle Demick, who just comes out every week and runs his heart out.”
Demick led the way for the Raiders with a 16th place time of 18:29.66.
“I wasn’t in a pack too much, I was off in no man’s land, which I did not enjoy,” Demick said of his race. “Just go for green — Pendleton and Yorktown, and of course Mount Vernon.”
Yorktown (91) and Lapel (124) were the other teams to earn a top-five finish and advance to the Delta regional on Saturday.
Indiana High School Athletic Association rules allow the top-10 runners from non-advancing teams to move on to the regionals as individual entrants.
Frankton, last year’s sectional champions, will send three runners. The Eagles were led by senior Dylan Doan’s sixth-place finish.
His performance seemed more impressive after Frankton coach Valerie Williams said he ran the final two-and-a-half miles with one shoe after losing the other around 800-meters into the race.
Garrett Allen and Patrick Spillman will join Doan in the regional meet.
“We lost seven seniors,” Williams said of her team’s down season. “That affected the boys mentally. Hopefully, it is a building year and we will get some eighth-graders moving up and try to build the program again.”