CLAYTON — Crisp air and a nice breeze made for perfect running conditions Saturday morning for the Northmont Cross Country Invitational.
The Northmont boys finished fourth overall in a field of 12 teams and the girls placed 5th overall in a field of 11 teams.
Northmont coach Joe Barnes was thrilled with how well both of his teams performed.
“I felt great with what we did today. The girls ran great and some ran better than they did all last year and at this point I think all the girls are running faster than what they did last year at this race,” Barnes said. “Boys… the same thing. My top four boys were nineteen flat last year. My number one guy today ran 17:24. He is a sophomore and he ran a heck of a race.”
Max Loudenslager led the Thunderbolts by finishing 14th overall with a time of seventeen minutes and twenty four seconds (17:24).
“Max ran smart. He got out great. Didn’t go out way too fast and just pushed through and got 14th overall. I am real proud of what he did,” Barnes stated. “My true number one runner, Isaac Studebaker, he is a little sick and I think he went out a tad too quick and being sick didn’t help at all.”
Bryce Conley of Tippecanoe took 1st place honors in 15.55.4 followed by Riley Emerick of Greenville in 16:40.2.
Northmont’s second fastest finisher was Nick Sanders, who placed 23rd in 17:44.3. Isaac Studebaker finished 28th in 17:59.2. John Tran finished 33rd in 18:13.9. Reed Diller placed 42nd in 18:28. Luke Patterson finished 51st in 19:05.7. Matt Correll finished 66th in 20:14.8. Josh Hanssen finished 75th in 21:05.8.
“By far, this is one of the best teams I have coached so far since I have taken over the program,” Barnes added. “I think we are on the up and up with both the guys and girls.”
Leading the Lady Bolts was Terri’Anna Lewis in 19th place in 21:00.9. Grace Hartman of Oakwood took 1st place honors in 18:27.4, almost a full minute ahead of teammate and 2nd place runner Bella Butler who crossed the finish line in 19:24.8.
The Lady Bolts second fastest runner was Raelyn Barrett in 29th place in 21:56.8. Annie Brown finished 33rd in 22:16.2 while Ellie Coppock finished 34th in 22:16.9. Abby Drosdak finished 41st in 22:45.5. Ava Brant finished 51st in 23:43.3 and Serra Drosdak finished 74th in 26:33.1.