By Bobby Ellis Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — PETERSBURG — Boys and girls cross-country teams from Washington, Barr-Reeve and Washington Catholic competed in muddy conditions at the IHSAA Regional meet at Pike Central on Saturday. Washington finished ninth overall in the boys competition and 18th overall in the girls competition.
“Definitely disappointed team wise,” said Washington coach Dave Harman. “By hashing out and doing the numbers I thought we’d be fifth or sixth in the finish, but we finished ninth. I was hoping to get through today, but the competition got better.”
On the plus side for Washington, three runners on the team qualified for semistate. Seniors Austin Gray and KC Heller and junior Brandy White will run this Saturday in Brown County.
“I want to acknowledge my seniors,” said Harman. “They got the Washington program back on the map. I just want to thank them for their hard work.”
Barr-Reeve finished sixth overall in the boys competition and fifteenth overall in the girl’s competition. The Vikings will send two runners to semistate, sophomore Jarit Perkins and freshman Emily Schultheis. Perkins finished in first place in the boy’s race and Schultheis finished eighth in the girl’s race.
“Team wise, we ran about as well as we could have,” said Barr-Reeve coach JayR Perkins. “I think it was actually our best race of the season. We just came up a little short. But I can’t ask anymore from our kids.”
Washington Catholic will also be sending a runner to semistate. Senior Sam Baker finished 23rd in his race.
Runners faced a series of challenges going into the race. A cold rain turned the course into what one spectator called a “muddy mess,” with several runners falling down while crossing the finish line during the boy’s race. Officials laid down straw before the girl’s race in an attempt to sure up the footing of the runners.
“This entire course was sloppy and slick,” said Perkins. “There are so many tight turns here, there are a lot of roots and dips. So, it was a challenge for the kids.”
Both Washington and Barr-Reeve runners will spend their week preparing for the upcoming semi-state competition at Brown County.
“In reality, they should be ready now,” said Harman. “If they’re not we’ll just fine-tune some things.”
This will be Brandy White’s second trip to semi-state, an impressive feat for a girl who had no plans on even running this season.
“She contacted me before school started and she wasn’t even going to run,” said Harman. “She’d been working and was afraid she was going to be out of shape and I convinced her not to worry about it. Now look at her. Semi-state bound for the second consecutive year.”
If White is nervous, she’ll have a week to focus on the upcoming race in Brown County.