NASHVILLE — The Seymour boys cross-country team gave coach Randy Fife a little bit of a birthday present Saturday morning.
The Owls ran to a second-place finish in the Brown County Sectional to advance to this week’s Shelbyville Regional. Seymour edged third-place Brown County 72-73, finishing behind only fourth-ranked Columbus North, which won with 19.
“We’re thrilled with that,” Fife said. “Coming over, we thought we would be third, maybe fourth, just based on how we’ve run all year. We haven’t really been a good team all year. We’ve been getting there slowly. We’ve talked a lot about getting better and being better by the end of the year, and today, I couldn’t be happier. It was a good birthday present.”
Jude Bane led the Owls with a seventh-place finish in 16:11.68. Sam Rockey and Wes Proffer took 13th and 14th in 17:29.29 and 17:44.71, while Kylan Ellerbe was 18th (17:53.91), Carter Murphy 20th (17:56.61), Micah Jablonski 28th (18:31.57) and Tyler Tormoehlen 29th (18:32.41).
“Our second group really stepped up,” Fife said. “Jude at the front ran well and PR’d, and then our two, three, four and five all ran just outstanding. That’s the best we’ve run all year.”
Brownstown Central finished fourth with 121 points to also advance to regional. Chance Ratliff and Shane Ratliff finished 11th and 12th in 17:11.38 and 17:12.01, while Traven Wellman was 23rd (18:11.44), Bradley Edwards 27th (18:28.88), Garrett Driver 49th (20:34.60), Evan Sibrel 51st (20:49.27) and Dylan Wischmeier 52nd (20:56.40).
“I was happy with how we ran,” Brownstown boys coach Derrick Koch said. “We came in seeded fourth, so I thought we could be there, and we did. We lived up to the expectations. Several guys ran pretty fast times, so I was really pleased with that. Going into regional, I’m really happy with where we stand right now.”
Seymour and Brownstown also finished second and fourth in the girls meet to qualify for regional. No. 2 Columbus North won with 15 points to 57 for the Owls, 72 for Columbus East and 104 for the Braves.
Vivienne Siefker led the Seymour girls with an eighth-place finish in 19:20.94. Gracie Adams was 14th (21:01.07), AnnMarie Shuler 15th (21:16.05), Kinsley Folsom 16th (21:32.61), Kelly Beavers 18th (21:41.17), Lyndsey Greenawalt 22nd (22:06.35) and Grace Lewis 25th (22:24.81).
“We’re excited,” Seymour girls coach Spencer Sunbury said. “We had some really good runs today, so it was good to see them get focused and go out, and I think they were able to run relaxed today and try some things a little bit different than they normally do with their approach to the race. But we had some good times and good (time) drops, consistent runs from some others, so they’re excited to move on. We have a couple veterans on there, but we have a pretty young group, too, so it’s good for them to get this experience. Everybody is excited and ready to move on.”
Kelsey Schneider and Trinity Cody finished 19th and 20th in 21:59.36 and 22:02.99 to lead Brownstown. Cambell Shasteen was 23rd (22:20.90), Maddy Schepman 31st (23:24.94), Tori Lokey 33rd (24:19.82), Madison Stuckwisch 41st (26:09.20) and Claire Schepman 42nd (26:13.56).
“That was our goal — to make it (to regional) again this year,” Brownstown girls coach Maria Conklin said. “We had six out of seven PRs, so I am definitely pleased with what we did.”
The Owls and Braves will compete in the regional meet at Blue River Memorial Park starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday.