One of the most difficult things to do in any high school sport is make it to the state finals no matter what class your in. An even harder feat would be to qualify in a sport where the classes are not divided. Two Wabash County runners did just that Saturday in cross country.
Manchester’s Matthew Fahs-Brown ran in the New Prairie semi-state as an individual Saturday, placing 10th in a time of 16:12 to advance to next Saturday’s state finals in Terra Haute. In a tough semi-state that had the top five runners finish under 16:00 and the top 46 runners being under 17:00 it was a huge accomplishment.
At New Haven the Northfield girls team, Southwood’s Emily Lehner and Northfield’s Devin Tracy, Joe Burcroff and Austin Frye would compete.
In the 20 team field the Norse girls team finished 14th, led by state qualifier Jenna Halderman. Halderman, a junior qualified for the state finals for the third time in her career with a 6th place finish in a time of 18:50. Karla Singer was 79th in 20:42, Brittany Sloan 83rd in 20:49, Caitlin Eltzroth 154th in 22:30, Olivia Thompson 161st in 22:45, Katie Stephan 169th in 23:39 and Catherine Tracy 174th in 25:27.
Southwood’s Emily Lehner finished 100th in 21:03.
In the boys race Northfield had three runners competing as individuals. Devin Tracy would finish 73rd in 17:14, Joe Burcroff 102nd in 17:34 and Austin Frye 145th in 18:08.
The race had the state favorite Zachery Panning of Ft. Wayne Concordia run 15:19 with 3 runners under 16:00 and 51 runners under 17:00.
Fahs-Brown and Halderman will compete in the state finals Saturday at Terra Haute. Fahs-Brown will run at 1:00 with Halderman following at 1:45.