The Western Boone cross country team traveled to the Tippecanoe Amphitheater in West Lafayette on Saturday to compete in the IHSAA Sectional. For the first time in school history, both the Western Boone boys and girls teams qualified for Regionals in the same year. In cross country, the top five teams at Sectionals qualify for Regionals, and Western Boone’s boys and girls both finished 5th out of 12 teams to qualify. The Stars boys finished with 160 points, and the girls had 143 points. State-ranked West Lafayette won for both the boys and girls with 29 and 23 points, respectively.
In the boys’ race, the Stars came focused and ready to compete, and nearly every runner was close to or improved upon their best time. Colton Collier got into a good position early and led the way for the Stars in 20th in 17:39, just 1 second shy of his personal best. He was followed by Blake Dukes in 28th in 18:09. The strong efforts of the remaining scoring runners to get under 19:00 is what punched the boys’ ticket to Regionals: Hunter Martin (32nd) in 18:36, Timmy Coffman (39th) in 18:58, and Jacob Imbus (41st) in 18:59. Those times were personal bests for Coffman and Imbus. Nik Pierce (50th) and Caden Baird (52nd) also ran well for the Stars. This is the fourth-ever Western Boone boys cross country team to qualify for Regionals and the first boys team since Coach Lively’s own team in 1994.
In the girls’ race, Lauryn Florey led the Lady Stars with a 22nd-place finish in 22:03. Jordan Randolph (24th) and Mollie Gourley (27th) finished close together shortly thereafter in 22:33 and 22:41, respectively. Rounding out the scoring team were Katie Potter (39th), who finished in 23:39, and Jenna Mahin (41st), who, though injured, battled through to help the girls advance. Josie Mahin (52nd) and Lizzie Hendricks (54th) also ran well for the Lady Stars. This is the second year in a row that the girls team has qualified for Regionals, and it’s the first time any Western Boone cross country team, boys or girls, has qualified for Regionals in back-to-back years.
The Stars will return to the Tippecanoe Amphitheater in West Lafayette next Saturday to compete in the IHSAA Regional. The boys will race at 10:30 a.m., and the girls will run at 11:10 a.m.