Ratliff twins chosen as Tribune male runners of the year

Bailey McIntire, boys cross country coach at Brownstown Central High School, said he couldn’t have asked for more from twins Chance and Shane Ratliff this fall.

“Competitively, Chance and Shane were very close in races. They almost always finished near each other with Shane having a slightly better end of the season. Both contributed immensely to the team’s performance this year, particularly in the regional, helping us have a much better than expected finish,” he said.

Both juniors earned all-Mid Southern Conference honors and placed high at the Bedford North Lawrence Sectional to qualify for the Evansville Regional.

They both finished in the top 25 at Evansville to earn a trip to the state finals in Terre Haute. Both ran their career bests in regional with Shane finishing at 16:10.6 and Chance at 16:12.7. At state, Shane ran 16:29, and Chance ran 16:33.

Chance says you need to train hard to stay in shape.

“It takes a lot of dedication, and also the people that you are surrounded with, it’s really fun getting out, running with the team,” he said. “You put a lot of hard work in, and running year-round, it gets us a lot better and we’re in shape.”

He said he likes to be around 5:05 after his first mile.

“The second mile is difficult because you’ve got to be able to maintain your regular pace because you don’t want to go out too hard,” Chance said. “Obviously, at the last mile, you give it all you’ve got. The second mile is tricky because you’ve got to stay on your pace and not fall off.”

Shane said he will go out and get a good, hard first mile and try to stay on that pace.

“I try not to get boxed in,” he said. “At regional, I ran on the outside because there were a lot of runners, and I tried not to get boxed in. After the second mile, I like to be around 10:30.”

McIntire said they are dedicated.

“If you want to be good, running is an all-year-round sport. They definitely put in the hours every day, all winter, all spring. Cross country training starts a week after state cross country. It never ends if you want to be good,” he said.

“Training is only part of it for them. They do all the little things right,” he said. “They’re committed. They do the nutrition right, they sleep right and they always bring a good attitude to practice. They are just positive about stuff. They’re always ready to work. They cover all the bases.”

McIntire said they are competitive with each other.

“They are twins, so there’s that rivalry going back and forth,” he said. “They tend to keep it pretty friendly most of the time. I enjoy kind of not egging it on, but it’s competition, it’s encouraging. It’s good to have those little back and forths. It works really well for the two of them.”

Because of their dedication and success, they have been named The Tribune’s co-male cross country runners of the year.

“This year, we touched a lot of different courses,” McIntire said. “They’ve raced in just about every condition, and that’s been helpful for them. It’s been great traveling around to different areas and trying those different courses. They tend to go back and forth every couple of weeks. I’m very proud of what they did this year.”

Chance placed first in the opening race of the season, the Borden Invitational, and the following week, Shane was first at the Seymour Invitational. Shane also placed first at Brown County and Switzerland County.

Chance was second in four races and third in three races, while Shane was second in two races and third in one race.

Chance said while running, “I just enjoy the scenery. Just going out and running is really relaxing. It’s really nice getting to run with Shane. Getting to take on God’s great creation is a wonderful thing. It’s been a great season. I got a lot better than I thought I would.”

Shane said the regional was a good race for him as he was seeded 34th and finished 21st.

He said running in the state competition was a great experience.

Shane spoke about competing with his brother.

“There is always that twin rivalry going on. It’s been going on all season,” he said. “Winter training is one of the most important parts of your training along with summer. Just try to stay focused, even when it’s cold out.”

He said he enjoys the variety of courses the Braves run on.

“I think it’s just good to have your legs get used to all different kinds of terrain,” Shane said. “I’m not one of those people that likes running on flat courses. I like Bedford. Bedford is a really hilly course. I like to challenge those hilly courses. I’m really glad I remained healthy. I accomplished my biggest goal this year, which was going to state.”

Other members of the all-county team:

Traven Wellman (Sr.), Brownstown Central: Best time 17:47, Mid-Southern Conference honorable mention, regional qualifier

Dirk Crater (Jr.), Crothersville: Best time 16:46, Eastern Invitational champion, New Washington Invitational champion

Will Proffer (Jr.), Seymour: Best time 17:35, regional qualifier

Wes Proffer (Jr.), Seymour: Best time 17:52, regional qualifier

Ty Tormoehlen (Jr.), Seymour: Best time 17:53, regional qualifier, named Seymour’s Mr. Cross Country

Beau Napier (Jr.), Crothersville: Best time 18:44, regional qualifier

Micah Jablonski (So.), Seymour: Best time 17:32, regional qualifier, named Seymour’s outstanding runner

Koby Davis (Fr.), Crothersville: Best time 17:45, all-Southern Athletic Conference, regional qualifier

Honorable mention

Seymour: Kylan Ellerbe, Caleb Jablonski