By Gregg A. Sims
Washington Times Herald
For Barr-Reeve’s Connor Sorrells it was an old, familiar feeling. For Washington’s Brandy White, it was a new, but very nice, experience.
Sorrels won his fourth consecutive South Knox cross country sectional Tuesday, while White came home second in the girls race to complete her first cross country sectional.
“That’s four sectional championships, and I don’t think anyone has done that here before,” Barr-Reeve coach JayR Perkins said. “
“Brandy ran just a great race,” Washington coach Dave Harman said. “You just see her getting stronger at every meet. She come off a late shin injury, but she’s running really well. I like her chances Saturday.”
The twosome led a local contingent that will run again at 11 a.m. Saturday at Pride’s Creek in the regional.
Barr-Reeve’s Damon Pruett placed second by a second (16:35 to 16:36) to Sorrells. They led the field by eight seconds while holding back for Saturday at Pride’s.
“They took their foot off the gas,” Perkins said. “I don’t want to say that in an arrogant way, but they were cruising. They will have to step it up a bit more Saturday.”
Both Barr-Reeve and Washington qualified from the sectional to the Petersburg course. Logan Sipes paced the Hatchets to a fourth-place team finish, coming home fifth.
“This was Logan’s first year to run, and he had a good race today.”
None of the local teams were able to make it through in the girls race, but several runners will be at the regional, including Washington’s Madison Decker who placed sixth after missing a month of the season with back and hip injuries.
“It’s the first race she’s run since Aug. 28,” Harman said. “She was in a lot of pain. About the first mile, I knew she had to gut it out. It shows you the type of talent she has.”
Austin Gray also ran hurt for the Hatchets with an ankle problem that popped up over the weekend. Gray was in a boot from Saturday to Tuesday, but placed 17th for the Hatchets.
“Austin showed up Saturday for practice with the boot,” Harman said. “He really gutted it out. I know he was in a lot of pain. We may have dodged a bullet. If Austin had not run, I’m not sure we would have made it.”
Washington had hoped to see Drew Brothers return, but a knee problem kept him from the race. He is not expected to return this fall.
“It’s going to be tough to do at Pride’s Saturday with the injuries,” Harman said. “The younger kids have stepped it up, and we’ve already had a good season.”
Washington Catholic’s Sam Baker qualified for the regional with a 12th place run on the boys side, as did Cardinal Sarah Wichman who placed 14th in the girls race.
South Knox won the boys race with 53 points to 74 for Barr-Reeve, who ran without freshman Jarit Perkins. Perkins also suffered a recent injury.
“We would have had our work cut out for us even with Jarit,” Perkins said. “South Knox ran very well. They were ready. They had focus. They ran well.”
Still, father Perkins realized South Knox turned in a very good team performance to win their own event. The Spartans finished five in the top 18. Martin Winkler was 15th for Barr-Reeve.
“It was tougher without Jarit,” Perkins said. “I think the chances of Jarit coming back Saturday are about 75 percent that he won’t. I think the team’s spirits were a little bit down. They were a bit off. But, they were running, and giving it their best.”
CJ Thompson was the first North Daviess runner to finish, placing 44th.
Gibson Southern (90), Washington (96) and Princeton (97) now run as teams Saturday.
Pike Central (131), who received a third place finish from Cain Parker, missed as did Vincennes Lincoln (154), North Knox (255) and Vincennes Rivet (277). North Daviess, Tecumseh and Washington Catholic did not have enough runners to score as a team.
Lincoln took the girls team title with 32 points. The Alices were followed by Gibson Southern (48), South Knox (90), Princeton (134), North Knox (150), Washington (168), Pike Central (169), Barr-Reeve (175) and Washington Catholic (214). North Daviess did not enough runners to score as a team.
Cassidy Brothers placed 18th for Barr-Reeve and McKenzie Roark was 27th for North Daviess.