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State cross country

Ross Ochs competes at state.

Both the Huntington North High School girls’ and boys’ cross country teams finished in the top half of the pack Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Indiana High School Athletic Association state finals in Terre Haute.

The HNHS girls’ team placed a team-record 10th among 24 teams with 299 points, while the boys’ team finished 12th among 24 with 326 points. Carmel was the team champion in both races.

The Lady Vikes runners placed four girls from 40th to 66th places in the team competition to help their cause. Gretchen Spahr led the way for HNHS with 40th in 19:44 over the 5,000-meter course. Natalie Spahr was 11 seconds back for 46th, Molly King clocked 20:00 for 53rd place and Cassie Hacker ran 20:17 for 66th. Becca Goodman rounded out the HNHS scoring with 94th place in 20:43.

For the boy’s squad in the team results, junior Ross Ochs placed 17th in 16:03 to carry the flag, followed by Josh Graham placing 32nd in 16:22 and Austin Roberts finishing 43rd in 16:33. Sam Doughty placed 110th in 17:24 and Sean Lewis was 124th in 17:37 to complete the HNHS scoring.

Ochs finished 23rd overall to earn all-state honors. Top 25 finishers, counting both team and individual competitors, earn all-state designation.

Also running for the girls’ team, Heidi Blocker placed 113th in 21:03 and Olivia Eckert was 114th, also in 21:03.

Rounding out the boys’ competitors, Isaiah Laatsch placed 148th in 18:17 and Jake Crosley was 167th in 19:42.

Carmel won its 11th state championship in the 28 years of girls’ competition by placing three runners in the top 10 and four in the top 15 on its way to 55 points. Lake Central placed second with 160, Franklin Central was third with 167, Valparaiso was fourth with 172 and Westfield was fifth with 177.

Senior Sara Higgens of Center Grove won the individual title in a state finals record of 18:14.

Carmel won the boys’ title with 100 points, edging out runner-up Carroll, which had 110. The real battle was for third through fifth, with McCutcheon placing third with 153, North Central fourth with 155 and Fishers fifth with 158.

Fishers had the individual champion, Drew Shields, who edged out runner-up Futsum Zeinasellassie of North Central by five seconds with his time of 15:20.