PENDLETON — The Arabians boys cross country team will advance once again to regional competition after placing third in the sectional race on their home course.
Lapel, while not advancing as a team, did place two runners high enough to represent the Bulldogs in the regional race.
Scoring 74 points, the Arabians were behind two of the top five teams in the state. No. 3 Hamilton Southeastern placed the top five positions giving them a perfect score of 15, while the No. 5 team Fishers scored 51.
Senior Avry Carpenter paced the Arabians, finishing sixth with a 17:01, while sophomore Will Coggins was eighth with a 17:22. Rounding out the Arabian scoring was junior Andrew Blake in 14th (17:44), junior Jason Lyst in 19th (18:14) and senior Gabriel Holland in 34th (19:29).
Coach Alan Holden had hoped his team could hold on and finish third.
“Our whole team was very competitive. You have to run your best, and today I think we were able to do that.”
Holden said he believed the team recorded its best times on the John Rhoades home course.
“Regional’s going to be tougher, but hopefully, we’ll be one of the top five moving on. The kids have worked hard, and it’s a reward for them.”
Carpenter was pleased with his sectional run being the first runner who wasn’t from HSE or Fishers High school.
“I tried a different tactic this time. I got out a little slow, but that last mile I really kicked it in and picked some ground up.”
Sophomores Cameron Smith and Braxton Burress of Lapel were in the top 10 runners whose team did not advance. Smith was 11th overall in the race with a time of 17:31, while Burress was 31st overall with a time of 19:19. Coach Darrell Richardson was happy for his Bulldog runners advancing.
“We’re excited about that. It’s Braxton’s first year, and Cameron is a repeat from last year. Hopefully we can get somebody out.”
Blue River Valley and Frankton were the other two teams advancing to the regional, which will be on Oct. 16 hosted by Delta High School at the Muncie Sportsplex. The race begins at 10:30 a.m.