Seymour’s Jude Bane entered the Brown County Sectional with hopes to beat Brown County’s Chase Austin and become sectional champion in the boys race.
Austin got off to a fast start and gapped Bane and Columbus North’s Kellen Hottell.
Once Bane realized there was no catching Austin, he did what he had to do to separate himself from Hottell.
Bane started to pull away from Hottell after the first mile en route to a comfortable runner-up finish at sectionals with a time of 16:41.3. Austin won in 16:20.8
“I’m happy with getting second place,” Bane said. “It was an OK time.”
He was one of five Owls who placed inside the top 20 to give Seymour a second-place finish as a team with 56 points. Columbus North won the sectional with 27 points.
Finishing behind Bane for Seymour was Michael Proffer in sixth place at 17:41.1. Bane and Proffer have been 1-2 for Seymour all season long.
“Michael is a relly good number two for us,” Bane said. “It always encourages me when I hear him behind me at the start, and I also think it pulls our three, four and five guys along.”
Rounding out the top 20 for Seymour was Ty Tormoehlen in 14th (18:03.1), Sam Rockey in 15th (18:04.9) and Wes Proffer in 19th (18:38.6).
Tormoehlen, Rockey and Carter Morris (19:52.3) all ran personal bests for the Owls.
“They needed to be for us to get second place,” head coach Randy Fife said. “It was kind of what we thought. For us to get second, it was kind of one of those goals we had. We’re looking forward to next week. Next week is going to be a challenge.”
As Fife alluded to, Seymour’s second-place finish advanced the Owls to regionals next week in Columbus.
Also qualifying for regionals was the Brownstown boys, who placed fifth overall with a team score of 130.
Chance Ratliff placed 17th to lead the Braves with a time of 18:19.6. It was PR for the freshman runner.
“I’m very happy,” Ratliff said. “I feel like I did a really good job. I felt pretty good coming into the race. My legs were feeling nice, this is a good course and I expected to run well.”
Other PR’s for the Braves on Saturday were Cameron Day 19:02.8 and Bradley Edwards 19:31.7.
It was goal for Brownstown to get out, and that’s exactly what the Braves did.
“I was excited,” head coach Derrick Koch said. “We had a couple of injuries, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was happy with how our guys competed.”
Much like the Brownstown boys, the Brownstown girls also got out of sectionals with a fifth-place team finish with 134 points.
Paige McKain led the Braves like she has been all season with a 14-place finish in 21:27.3
McKain said she was hoping to break 21 minutes, but she was pleased with her first-ever performance at sectionals.
“I was pretty happy with how I ran,” McKain said. “I was pretty confident going in to sectionals that I’d make it out.”
Running personal bests for the Braves were Maddy Schepman (24:48.8) and Madison Stuckwisch (28:16.9).
Braves girls head coach Maria Conklin said she was also excited her team got out and that she saw a couple PR’s today.
Just like the Brownstown girls mimicked the Brownstown boys finishing place, that was the same for Seymour as well.
The lady Owls placed second place to advance to regionals with a team score of 63. Columbus North won with a score of 30.
Head coach Spencer Sunbury wanted his team to be relaxed heading into the race.
“We talked about just being relaxed,” Sunbury said. “It was nice just for them to go out and race relaxed. They ran better than I expected and they placed better than I expected. The girls are happy.”
Vivienne Siefker led Seymour with a fourth-place finish in 20:24.6.
The Owls got two more inside the top 10 with Hayley Harpe in 8th at 20:41.6 and Kinsley Folsom in 9th at 20:43.2.
“It was good to see them smiling after the race,” Sunbury said of Harpe and Folsom.
Even though their times weren’t close to their PR’s, Harpe and Folsom felt like they ran a smart race, which is all they wanted to do.
“I felt like we ran extremely smart,” Harpe said. “This is practice to get us prepared for the semi-state.”
Harpe said Seymour was the most positive it has ever been before the race on Saturday, listening to Sunbury and staying relaxed.
“I feel like we ran calm, we didn’t stress,” Folsom said. “At the start line, all the girls were laughing. We were having a good time because we didn’t want to be stressed out for this race.”
As the postseason contiues, the pressure will mount. Seymour’s goal is to get to the state meet, but they have to take it one step at a time.
The next step comes this Saturday at Ceraland in the Columbus Regional, where Harpe and Folsom both said they love the course and expect good times.
The weekend after regionals will be semi-state back at Eagle Park in Brown County.
“This course, I feel like me and Hayley and Vivienne could’ve pushed harder than we did,” Folsom said. “But we just strategized and took it easy today because we want to be back here after regionals.”