Royals, Dragons, Cougars qualify for semistate

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RUSHVILLE — Four Hancock County teams consisting of 28 runners took to a 3.1-mile course at the Rushville cross country regional Saturday morning and battled for the opportunity to run at the semistate meet.

Nearly all of those local runners earned the right to continue their seasons at the Carmel Semistate, this Saturday.

The top five teams and top 15 individuals qualified for the semistate, and Seth Eagleson was never in danger of missing the cut. In fact, the New Palestine junior nearly won the race.

Eagleson, last week’s sectional champ at New Palestine, crossed the finish line in 16 minutes, 45 seconds. But Franklin Central’s Shane Wright earned the regional title in 16:30, cutting 28 seconds off his sectional time. In the sectional, Wright (16:58) was runner-up to Eagleson (16:44).

“It means a lot (to finish 1-2 in sectionals and regionals), a lot of really good runners have done that, it is an honor to be among them,” Eagleson said. “Shane is a great runner and did really good today. It’s disappointing, but we have semistates.”

Eagleson, who will run in his second semistate meet, said he is calmer this year after what he called a “nerve-racking” meet last year when he finished 53rd in 16:47.

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