Daily Reporter staff reports

MUNCIE — With only the top-five teams earning a berth to the New Haven Semistate, Mt. Vernon left little uncertainty on Saturday morning.

The Marauders boys and girls cross-country teams placed third and fourth, respectively, during the Delta Regional, securing their spots in this upcoming weekend’s stage in Fort Wayne.

For the girls, the advancement marks their ninth straight trip to semistate. They were led by freshman Rilee Hartman, who ran a season-best 21:14 for 18th place.

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Erin Lyday was 26th overall at 21:39, Hanna Wilson was 30th in 21:48, and Addison Cullom was 35th in 22:13. Freshman Kamryn Eason was 36th in 22:15. Mt. Vernon had six runners finish 41st or better.

Andrea Maynard was 41st at 22:44.5 in her first state tournament. Reagan Woodruff was 45th in 22:55.

“Only Lyday had running experience in any previous (Hoosier Heritage Conference) or IHSAA tournament races until this year,” Mt. Vernon head coach Bruce Kendall commented. “A very solid effort by our girls.”

In the boys race, Drew Bluethmann paced the Marauders as the veteran statesman with previous state tournament experience.

He ran to a 20th-place finish in 17:33, which was the ninth-best performance by a No. 1 runner of the 10 participating teams.

Mt. Vernon freshman Marco Ramirez finished 22nd in 17:41 for a personal best. Trey Klevickas placed 25th in 17:42. Alex Carver was 27th in 17:51. Ryan Strantz rounded out the scoring in 53rd. Klevickas and Carver both ran personal bests.

Pendleton Heights won the girls regional team title with 25 points and individual champion Faith Baer (19:01.6). Yorktown was second with 66 points and Randolph Southern was third at 107. Delta secured the final qualification spot with 135 points.

Pendleton Heights won the boys team championship as well with 40 points. Blue River Valley (106) was second and Wapahani (121) was fourth. Delta took fifth with 136.

The New Haven Semistate begins at 1 p.m. on the campus of IPFW in Fort Wayne.