Marshall wins semi-state
By Wade Bell, Sports Writer
Going into Saturday’s Brown County semi-state cross-country meet at Nashville, Corydon Central senior runner Camden Marshall felt he had something to prove after finishing third the weekend before in the Crawford County regional meet. He wasn’t happy with his run and wanted to use that chip on his shoulder as a propulsion system for his semi-state run.
“I knew I always had it in me,” Marshall said of his feelings going into the race. “I was just extra ticked off with how bad I ran at regionals. I was just ready to get out here and prove myself today.”
At the gun, a Martinsville runner became the rabbit running out to a 10-meter lead while Marshall led the chase pack behind. By the mile, the Martinsville runner had fallen back just behind Marshall with Columbus North’s Andy Stohr in third. South Central’s Maddox Baker looked strong at the mile with the Floyd Central pack just a little farther back led by Hunter Griffin.
“When I run relaxed, I run a lot better than I do when I’m tight or anxious,” said Marshall. “I just wanted to get out and feel smooth. For the start and the middle part, I just wanted to get out and run a hard race. I knew I wanted to finish on empty today, so I went out hard, hard first mile and hard second mile.”
At just over two miles, Marshall was still in front but Columbus North’s Reese Kilberger-Stumpff had moved up to the second position, pacing three steps behind the Corydon Central senior. Marshall and Kilberger-Stumpff continued to stay close through the final mile. On the final stretch with fans screaming on both sides of the fences, Kilberger-Stumpff made a final charge and, with 50 meters to go, the two runners were side by side. Marshall, however, had the longer legs and an extra gear pushing ahead of the Columbus North runner for a three-step win at the end in a time of 15:30.6.
“The third mile the kid from Columbus was right on me,” said Marshall. “Down that back stretch with about 50 meters left, he pulled even. I was like, ‘Oh, gosh!’ and gave it absolutely everything I had, so I’m super happy with my race today.”
“I was just trying to get myself in position until my finishing kick,” he said. “I wanted him either just behind me or me right with him. That way when it came down to it, I felt like I could sprint to the line faster. It was setting myself up and getting in position.”
Marshall said he knows he can push himself a little harder for Saturday’s state final at the LaVerne Gibson Course at Terre Haute.
“This just gives me confidence,” Marshall said. “I’m in good enough shape right now, and I’m mentally tough enough to run with anybody in the state right now. Obviously, there are guys with faster PRs on the day, but I feel like I can grit it out with just about anybody.”
The Floyd Central Highlanders had a good day, finishing second place as a team behind winner Columbus North. Griffin, who had been nursing leg problems, put in an extra effort to finish in 12th place. Justin McWilliams ran second for the Highlanders, finishing 23rd, and William Conway was 29th. Nicholas Gordon and Joseph Maier were 38th and 39th, respectively, and Adam Heitz was 49th.
“I’ve been battling with a little bit of a calf issue as of late,” Griffin said. “I did OK today, I think. Our team, Weston (Naville), he’s hurting too. We’re a little banged up right now. It was a tough day for us … For me, a 12th-place finish was not what I wanted. It’s worse than last year, but we’ve come back running pretty decent. That’s always good. I’m looking forward to next week to see if we can get top 10.”
“(Hunter) ran a tough race,” said Floyd Central boys’ coach Tim Korte. “Afterwards, his whole leg was hurting so he ran tough. Justin McWilliams ran great today. He was the one that came out. A couple of those guys ran well, but he really stepped up. Our (No.) 2 (Naville), we pulled him early. He said his ankle hurt and he was limping, so we just pulled him off of the race. So then, we’re out our two guy automatically. Our three wasn’t running well, wasn’t racing well, so Justin ran a really, really good race and helped the team a lot with that.”
Korte said he will need his team at full strength for Saturday’s state meet.
“It’s definitely not how we wanted going into the state meet,” he said. “It kind of feels like we’re hobbling into it a little bit. For a couple of guys, it will just be multiple days off. For Weston, it will be three days off, four days off, maybe Hunter too. Most everybody else are in a good mindset. We’ll just do the best we can.”
North Harrison’s Jacob Wenning cracked the top 50, finishing 46th, and teammate Oxiel Castro was 107th. South Central’s Baker was 90th.
Corydon Central finished 17th as a team with Zach Houghland 86th, Bryce Weber 128th, Trey Saulman 148th, Brian Sharp 157th, Chase Vanlaningham 167th and Bryson Rowley 173rd.
In the girls’ race that was run before the boys, the Lady Highlanders had another good day, finishing second behind Columbus North with four Floyd Central runners finishing in the top 30. Jasper’s Andi VanMeter went to the front and led through the first mile. Columbus North’s Makenzie Barnett ran second, Edgewood’s Crain Clara third and Floyd Central’s Jaydon Cirincione was fourth.
By the two-mile marker, Barnett had gone to the front with Clara second. Cirincione and VanMeter battled for the third spot with Cirincione having a slight edge. Barnett went on to win the race in a time of 18 minutes, 13 seconds. Clara was second and VanMeter moved back up to third. Northview’s Gnister Grant passed Cirincione for fourth and the Floyd Central junior was fifth in 18:39.3.
“It was hard today,” said Cirincione. “The course was not in the best condition, but I was able to keep up with girls so I had people to stick with. I did the best I could, so that’s all that matters. My strong suit is hills. We do hill workouts to make sure we’re good at that. I knew that Andi’s strength was flat courses. She did an amazing job today. She approached it where she was able to keep going after the first and second miles, so she did really good. I did the best I could, so it was an awesome race.”
Two other Superchicks made the top 15 with Savanna Liddle finishing eighth and Kaitlyn Stewart finishing 15th. Sydney Baxter was 28th, Natalie Claire 70th, Meredith Bielefeld 78th and Ella Neafus 107th.
“My goal was to get top 10, so I wanted to go out and get in the top pack and hit my mile time, which was 5:44,” said Liddle. “I was on my goal time for my first mile, and my second mile and the last mile I just tried to make that my fastest part. My goal was to keep Jaydon in sight. I tried to make sure I could see her the whole time.”
“Our first four positions were fantastic,” said Floyd Central girls’ coach Jeff Liddle. “Usually our No. 4 struggles, but today she had a decent time. But, it’s a fast course so it was about an average time for us. (Natalie Clare) looked like she’s hurting. She didn’t want to talk. Sydney Baxter had a season PR.
“Jaydon was a little bit slower than last week, but she still finished a strong fifth place. Her goal was top five today. Savanna’s goal was top 10. She was eighth. Kaitlyn Stewart’s goal was top 20 and she finished 15th. She was 19:30s, which is her season PR. Our No. 6 ran well; well, our No. 7, Meredity Bielefeld, she was our sixth today but she ran a good race. Ella struggled a little bit today but so did Natalie Clare. So, we had five run well.”
The Corydon Central Lady Panthers didn’t fare as well, finishing 16th in the team standings. Freshman Addison Applegate led the Lady Panthers, finishing 64th in a time of 20:26.3.
“I felt pretty good,” Applegate said after her run. “I’ve worked hard all season for this race, and I tried my hardest. I feel like I did pretty good. I just had to work on the people in front of me and work on getting them. I didn’t have anyone in particular.”
“It’s a good opportunity to get the experience,” she said. “There’s a lot of older kids, and I have to work harder to get a good spot. In junior high, I didn’t have much competition so now getting into high school and faster people I have competition to work towards so that helps me to become a better runner.”
Erika Valdivieso was 94th for the Lady Panthers, and Emily Armstrong finished 97th. Emily Gunther was 102nd, Morgan Adams 117th and Olivia Martin 118th.
Armstrong had a spill in the early going but quickly got up to make up the ground she lost after the fall.
“I fell on the bridge on the very first lap,” said the Corydon Central senior. “I got tripped. In semi-state, it’s really competitive and an aggressive race and elbows are throwing and you get tripped. I ended up in the mix of it. I had to get back up and fight to where I was. I’m still happy with the time that I had even though I fought back to get where I was.”
“It was my last race for high school,” she said. “I’m going to run for (University of Southern Indiana) but it was my last high school race and it was really hard but I was happy. It’s the nature of the beast. I’m glad I had the season I did. I’m just blessed that we made it this far in the season.”
Girls’ scores (Top 6 to State) – Columbus North 50, Floyd Central 109, Northview 118, Bloomington North 127, Bloomington South 166, Jasper 175, Barr-Reeve 246, South Knox 248, Terre Haute South 258, Brown County 265, Evansville Reitz 342, Forest Park 359, Edgewood 361, Seymour 363, Corydon Central 371, Gibson Southern 392, Columbus East 450, Heritage Hills 450, Jennings County 476.
Girls’ results – 1. Makenzie Barnett (CN) 18:13.0, 2. Crain Clara (Egwd) 18:20.8, 3. Andi VanMeter (Jspr) 18:26.9, 4. Gnister Grant (Nrtvw) 18:36.0, 5. Jaydon Cirincione (FC) 18:39.2, 6. Lily Baker (CN) 18:50.7, 7. Abigail Fleetwood (BC) 18:52.0, 8. Savanna Liddle (FC) 18:58.0, 9. Lily Myers (BS) 18:58.2, 10. Julie Klaus (CN) 19:07.1, 11. Hadley Gradolf (BC) 19:07.4, 12. Emma Callahan (BS) 19:08.0, 13. Ellen White (CN) 19:12.2, 14. Katie Winkler (HH) 19:16.5, 15. Kaitlyn Stewart (FC) 19:17.2.
Individual Qualifiers Not on Qualifying Teams – 2. Crain Clara (Edwd), 7. Abigail Fleetwood (BrnCty), 11. Hadley Gradolf (BrnCty), 14. Katie Winkler (HH), 19. Callie Alderman (ShwMem), 21. Maci Hoskins (Prov), 23. Heidi Meade (Prnctn Comm), 24. Kaylyn Holman (Crthrsvl), 29. Micah Peals (THS), 30. Autumn Spence (BNL).
Boys’ scores (Top 6 to State) – Columbus North 34, Floyd Central 128, Bloomington North 133, Bloomington South 179, Jasper 181, Northview 197, Seymour 226, Terre Haute South 229, Jennings County 234, Terre Haute North 280, South Knox 300, Castle 310, Evansville Reitz 339, New Albany 390, Martinsville 399, Borden 401, Corydon Central 401, Evansville Central 416, Evansville Reitz Memorial 484, Brown County 491.
Boys’ results – 1. Camden Marshall (Cory) 15:30.6, 2. Reese Milbarger-Stumff (CN) 15:31.8, 3. Abe Eckman (Jspr) 15:41.7, 4. Nolan Bailey (BN) 15:45.6, 5. Andy Stohr (CN) 15:45.9, 6. Spenser Wolf (FP) 15:46.9, 7. Matt Gambill (THS) 15:54.4, 8. Carson Heath (Mrtnsvl) 15:57.1, 9. Evan Carr (CN) 15:57.6, 10. Matthew Newell (CN) 16:00.0, 11. Austin Pulkowski (CN) 16:03.1, 12. Hunter Griffin (FC) 16:03.9, 13. Kyle Clark (BN) 16:09.4, 14. Dylan Bland (SR) 16:09.6, 15. Alex Nolan (EvRtz) 16:09.8.
Individual Qualifiers Not on Qualifying Teams – 1. Camden Marshall (Cory), 6. Spenser Wolf (FP), 7. Matt Gambil (THS), 8. Carson Heath (Mrtnsvl), 14. Dylan Bland (SR), 15. Alex Noland (EvRtz), 17. Gavin Hendrix (JC), 18. Cael Light (THS), 19. Elliott Buechein (HH), 22. Dylan Zeck (THN).