The Western Boone H.S. cross country team competed at the IHSAA Sectional meet on Saturday. Running at their new sectional location in Noblesville, the Stars had a very strong showing.
In the girls’ race, the Lady Stars were 7th as a team with 167 points. Carmel, ranked #2 in the state, won with 27 points, followed by #8-ranked Noblesville with 42 points.
Audrey Knoper ran with confidence alongside many of the best girls in the state and achieved a new school record of 19:47, breaking her previous record of 19:48. Her impressive 7th-place finish overall was the school’s highest-ever individual finish by a girl at a sectional meet. The previous best finish was 9th by Alexis Goglia in 2015. Sydney Haag also competed strongly and finished 29th in 21:37. Jordan Randolph ran with determination and, moving up steadily throughout the race, finished 41st in 23:40. Knoper, Haag, and Randolph each qualified for next weekend’s IHSAA Regional meet as individuals by virtue of being among the top 10 finishers from non-advancing teams. Advancing for the third year in a row, Randolph ties the most number of regional qualifications for a WeBo girl with three. Narrowly missing a regional-qualifier spot by just one place was Naomi Reid, who finished 46th in 24:23. Jenna Mahin rounded out the scoring team in 48th in 24:51. Bekah Truby also ran well for the Lady Stars, finishing 53rd in 26:34. And senior Krisha Griffith finished her high school cross country career in 28:19 in 58th.
In the boys’ race, despite the strong competition, the Stars qualified as a team to the IHSAA Regional meet for the second year in a row, making it the first WeBo boys team to advance to regionals in back-to-back years, and only the fifth team ever. In cross country, the top five teams at sectionals qualify for regionals, and the WeBo boys finished 5th with 157 points. The state’s #1-ranked team, Carmel, won with 27 points, followed by #24-ranked Noblesville with 55, #23-ranked Westfield with 66, and Guerin Catholic with 97.
Colton Collier led the way for the Stars in a personal best time of 17:14, which moves him from #27 to #16 on the school’s all-time list. Collier started conservatively and moved up throughout the race, getting as high as 9th at one point before finally finishing a very respectable 11th among some of the state’s best runners. Blake Dukes arrived ready to compete and ran a season-best time of 17:59 to finish 25th. Caden Baird ran strongly for the first two miles and finished 41st in 20:13. Jacob Imbus was close behind in 43rd in 20:23. Jared Brown completed the scoring team in 45th in 21:16. Jacob Parsons also ran well to finish 48th in 21:32. Anthony Keppel was 51st in 22:04.
The Stars will return to White River Elementary in Noblesville next Saturday to compete in the IHSAA Regional meet. The girls will race at 10:30 a.m., and the boys will race at 11:15 a.m.