By Gregg A. Sims
MONROE CITY —
The story lines at Tuesday’s South Knox Invitational were about as thick as fresh maple syrup poured on buttered covered pancakes.
They were plentiful and rather tasty.
The obvious was also the simplest.
Barr-Reeve’s Connor Sorrells ran to his fourth sectional championship. I had known that Sorrells had won each sectional title at South Knox since his freshman season. What I didn’t know until a few weeks ago was that first sectional title was the first race he won in his high school career.
Sorrell’s career will go down among the best in area high school cross country. His dominance of the local scene was easy to see Tuesday as he won that fourth title. He was not really challenged, although Pike Central’s Cain Parker, another good runner just to our south, tried early.
Mentioning Sorrells without Damon Pruett is nearly impossible. When researchers go back through time in a couple of decades, Pruett’s name will not be as easily seen.
The Barr-Reeve senior spent his time playing Robin to Sorrell’s Batman. If he had been born a few years earlier or later, that story might have been different. At the same time, if either runner had not had the other, the number of first and second place finishes by the duo would have likely been far fewer.
They have been good for each other. They realize that. Their competitive relationship has played a key role in both moving on to run at the college level on scholarships.
Washington had some very interesting story lines Tuesday as well.
On the boys side, the Hatchets were coming off a Big 8 Conference win, the first boys win in 20 years, but matters were far from settled.
Drew Brothers was named all-conference despite being unable to run. Washington did a good job of winning the conference title without him.
Brothers was also unable to make the sectional, and his recovery from summer knee surgery will likely keep him from running at Pride’s Creek Saturday.
The plot thickened a bit last weekend when Austin Gray came to practice with a boot on his left foot. He was suffering with an ailing ankle, and the boot remained until the sectional started.
He finished 17th, and that was important for a Washington team that was looking for a potential regional berth into a semistate. That will certainly be more difficult now, but still quite a performance to say the least.
Brandy White continued her rise in cross country circles with her second place finish. For a first-year runner, she’s done pretty well. Her story is somewhat similar to Madison Decker last fall. Decker made it to state. White has a good chance to do some of her own advancing.
And speaking of Decker, the sophomore ran her first race in a month to qualify for the regional with a sixth-place finish. Decker has been suffering with back and hip problems that has limited her work in that month. She was also named all-conference despite not running in the Big 8 meet.
Washington Catholic had two good stories.
Sam Baker made it to the regional with a 12th place finish in the boys race. Baker was in a similar position last fall when he collapsed within yards of the finish. He’ll be at Pride’s Creek this Saturday. It’s a feel good story for any athlete.
Cardinal Sarah Wichman will be running at Pride’s with a 14th place finish. It’s good to see her make the field.
Blaine Fuhs was 21st for the Cardinals. Not a bad performance for a guy who is soccer first.
North Daviess competed at the sectional. The Cougar family is still reeling from the tragic death of Samantha Porter, a runner and cheerleader, who died in a traffic accident. Jenna Meadows placed 22nd and McKenzie Roark 27th for the girls.
It was a fun sectional. The best part is yet to come with the regional and semistate on the horizon.