EVANSVILLE – Bedford North Lawrence’s cross country seasons concluded during the IHSAA regional races at Angel Mounds on Saturday.
The Stars finished 18th in the girls race, while the boys settled for 23rd. The top five teams, plus the top 15 individuals who are not members of advancing teams, qualified for the state championships.
In the girls race, BNL totaled 478 points. No.17 Bloomington South won the event with 70, followed by No.15 Columbus North (94), Jasper (148), Corydon (160) and Edgewood (164).
Elise Williams paced the Stars, crossing the line in 65th place in 21:26.4. Other top BNL finishers included Evija Buike (108th in a PR of 22:28.5) and Madison Chandler (130th in 22:57.3).
“Thankful the girls got to experience their first regional meet,” BNL co-coach Danielle Garrison said. “I think we learned a lot about how to race amongst these impressive teams. They were a little overwhelmed, but now we have an idea of what it takes to be state caliber competitors. We’re looking forward to returning next year and growing as a team through the summer.”
Floyd Central’s Kaitlyn Stewart win the individual winner in 18:28.5 (topping a field of 241 runners).
“Experience is the best teacher and we learned a lot today,” BNL co-coach Amy Spence said. “Our girls ran against 24 tough teams and 75 really talented individuals. They are hungry for more and have a new foundation to build on for next year. It’s been a great season overall.”
In the boys race, BNL totaled 527 points in the 25-team field. No.5 Bloomington North won the title with 88, followed by state qualifiers No.9 Floyd Central (94), No.7 Columbus North (101), No.10 Evansville Reitz (133) and No.15 Bloomington South (159).
BNL’s Jonah Bailey, a two-time semistate qualifier under the old state tournament series format, was the frontrunner for the Stars, finishing 44th in 16:39.6. Other top finishers for BNL included Nick Lindley (72nd in 17:16.5) and Alex Nicholson (131st in 18:03.0).
“We gained a lot of experience running at Angel Mounds,’ BNL coach Nick Boyd said. “This was a new structure to the IHSAA cross country tournament, and we had the opportunity to compete alongside some excellent teams. We now know what it will take to make it to the state finals, and will use this to our advantage as we look to the future.
“We will need some consistent, strong running and can’t just skitter our way there. We will enjoy the season’s conclusion, and continue to stay consistent. We had some good days, Nick and Jonah ran well and saw some PRs. We will take some time to rest but I think we are excited for what is to come.”
Floyd Central’s Will Conway won the overall title in 15:23.9 (among a field of 245 runners).
The IHSAA will host the state finals at the Lavern Gibson Course in Terre Haute on Oct. 28.