NORTH VERNON – Bedford North Lawrence’s Autumn Spence set a new career time record and finished third overall during the Ray Gerkin Invitational Girls cross country race at Jennings County on Saturday.
The Stars finished sixth in the field with a score of 111. Corydon claimed the team title with 61 points, while Seymour was second with 65.
Spence toured the 5K course in 19:37, her second time under the 20-minute barrier this season. Ritter’s Jenna Gruber was the individual champion in 18:37, while teammate Hannah Wells was second in 19:08.
BNL’s Grace Tanksley was 13th in 20:36, also clocking her career-best time.
“I’m obviously really proud of Autumn and Grace,” BNL coach Jill Vance said. “They both ran outstanding races, and we’re also seeing improvement in their mile splits, which is a good sign of future time drops.”
Mya Roberts was 35th in 23:00, Kaitlyn Phillips was 39th in 23:12, and Ella Peak was 56th in 24:50 to complete BNL’s scoring.
“It was a good opportunity to preview the course, since we’ll be back in two weeks for the conference,” Vance said. “They’ll have more confidence in how it’s set up.”
In the boys race, the Stars finished 7th in the 14-team field with 160 points. Jennings County won the team trophy with 57, edging rival Seymour by one point for the top prize.
Cole Baker paced the Stars, crossing 25th in 17:31. Colton Sons was 27th in 17:47, and Cameron Haste was 29th in 17:51.
“Our times and racing keep improving each race across the entire team,” BNL coach Jonathan Calhoun said. “It is great seeing a formation of a group of 3-4 packing up for us up front. This is going to be very important as we head into the sectional.
“Cole came out of nowhere. I knew he had it in him to run that because of the work he has been putting in, but this is his breakout performance of the season. I am pumped to see where this team is heading. We have some important meets coming up that will push us physically and mentally.”
Ritter’s Paul Stamm was the individual winner in 15:20.
BNL will host the annual Ted Fox Invitational on Sept. 26.
Ray Gerkin Invitational
Saturday at Jennings County
Team scores – Jennings County 57, Seymour 58, Indianapolis Ritter 107, New Albany 126, Roncalli 137, Corydon 146, BNL 160, South Central 192, Brownstown 267, Greenwood Christian 277, Columbus East 304, Madison 318, Scottsburg 388, Borden 420
Top performances – 1. Paul Stamm, Ritter 15:20; 2. Will Stamm, Ritter 15:29; 3. Camden Marshall, Corydon 15:49; 4. Aaron Lord, New Albany 16:14; 5. Ethan Dippold, Seymour 16:19
BNL – 25. Cole Baker 17:31; 27. Colton Sons 17:47; 29. Cameron Haste 17:51; 39. Isaac Williams 18:09; 59. Brayden Lanham 18:49; 87. Zane Thompson 19:31; 89. Ryan Wright 19:37
Team scores – Corydon 61, Seymour 65, Madison 75, Columbus East 79, Jennings County 98, BNL 111, Scottsburg 205, Brownstown 210
Top performances – 1. Jenna Gruber, Ritter 18:37; 2. Hannah Wells, Ritter 19:08; 3. Autumn Spence, BNL 19:37; 4. Kaylyn Holman, Crothersville 19:39; 5. Kinsley Folsom, Seymour 20:01
BNL – 13. Grace Tanksley 20:36; 35. Myra Roberts 23:00; 39. Kaitlyn Phillips 23:12; 56. Ella Peek 24:50; 62. Emily Bartlett 26:18; 67. Emma Baumgart 27:22