NORTH VERNON – Bedford North Lawrence’s Grace Tanksley finished fourth in the 55th annual Ray Gerkin Invitational during girls high school cross country action on Saturday at Jennings County.
Tanksley crossed the line in 20:42.04. Seymour’s Vivienne Siefker won the individual title in 19:32.60, followed by Jennings County’s Halle Franks (20:14.24) and Seymour’s Hayley Harpe (20:38.75) in the field of 82 runners.
The Stars finished sixth in the team competition with 143 points. Seymour won the title with 45, edging Columbus East by one point.
Other finishers for BNL included Francesca Orozco (41st in 25:25.71), Ella Peek (49th in 26:41.83), Emma Baumgart (58th in 27:49.01) and Tracey Hanners (63rd in 29:06.11).
In the boys race, BNL finished fifth with 134 points. Jennings County claimed the top prize with 30 points in the 12-team field.
BNL freshman Jonah Bailey, for the second straight race, paced the Stars, crossing 16th in 17:53.54. Cole Baker was 19th in 18:09.14.
“Overall I am really pleased with the efforts today,” BNL coach Jon Calhoun said. “Again, we got a humid morning, which caused times to not be where we want them to be, but our finishing and going after others in a racing mindset caused us to come in fifth.
“Coming into the meet, I was placing us sixth, so coming ahead in fifth by four points shows the importance of racing every runner in front of you. Every spot counts. Our packing was a little off today, but on a narrow course that you have to get out, we did a pretty good job staying up. We know we have to keep on getting stronger and faster as we head toward the postseason, but this race was a good indication what our strengths and weaknesses are, both as a team as well as individually.”
Other finishers for the Stars included Colton Sons (31st in 18:46.47), Cameron Haste (33rd in 18:50.94) and Zane Thompson (41st in 19:17.27).
South Central’s Maddox Baker was the individual winner in 16:19.37.
BNL will host the Ted Fox Invitational on Sept. 25.
ROY GERKIN INVITATIONAL
Saturday at Jennings County