MUNCIE — On a cold, rainy, windy day that featured less than desirable conditions for spectators, the girls cross country runners from Pendleton Heights found success in the Delta Regional on Saturday at the Muncie Sportsplex.
Following up its sectional win on Tuesday, the Pendleton Heights Arabians took the crown by a wide margin, 28-97, over the Delta Eagles.
Alex Buck, the Madison County champion and sectional winner, paced her way to a regional win in a time of 18:53.89, 36 seconds ahead of Muncie Burris runner Michelle Kent.
Pendleton Heights placed five runners in the top 10, and Faith Baer came home 13th to round out a strong run for the Arabians.
“It was right where I expected them to be,” Pendleton Heights coach Melissa Hagerman said.
Buck led nearly from wire to wire to qualify for the semistate at New Haven next weekend.
“It’s really exciting,” Buck said of her win. “It’s a lot of fun to represent our cross country team, and I am really excited to see what we’re going to do next week.”
The weather did no favors for the large crowd of spectators on hand, but the course held up well.
“The course was good, it’s a fast course” said Buck. “It was a little muddy in spots, but it was good for the most part.”
Madison County was well represented at the regional with teams from Lapel and Shenandoah as well as individual runners from Anderson, Elwood, Frankton and Liberty Christian joining the Arabians.
Lapel finished eighth, while Shenandoah came in 10th.
Pendleton Heights' Alli McCarty finished third, Monica Dudley was fifth, Emma Hall was ninth and Maddi Hinton rounded out the scoring with a 10th-place finish. Baer was 13th for the Arabians while Chelsea Blackwell was 23rd.
Lapel advanced one runner to next week’s semistate as Mandie Flora finished 26th for the Bulldogs. Sierra Ratzlaff finished 32nd, one spot shy of advancing as an individual. Rounding out the Bulldog lineup was Micah Bryan (56th), Lilly Ratzlaff (62nd), Plensah Sakeuh (69th), Grace Rusche (73rd) and Brianna Miller (77th).