NEW PALESTINE — Patrick Stutz remembers the disappointment of his freshman year all too well. Greenfield-Central entered the Hoosier Heritage Conference Meet with championship hopes, only to be turned away by victorious New Palestine and second-place Mt. Vernon.
That defeat to a pair of county rivals has driven Stutz, now a senior, and his teammates ever since, with Saturday’s performance at New Palestine Natatorium adding another chapter to the Cougars’ three-year run of dominance.
G-C prevailed in 10 of 12 races to cruise to its third consecutive HHC crown with 450.5 points. Mt. Vernon was second (306.5) and Pendleton Heights (305) took third. New Palestine was seventh (162).
Yorktown claimed the girls title with 393 points. MV (353) and Pendleton Heights (330) rounded out the top three, with NP finishing fourth (319).
The Cougars will have a chance to gather a third straight sectional championship Feb. 16. Stutz and his veteran squad have no plans of letting anyone get in their way of that three-peat, either.
“We came back my sophomore year fired up and ready to blow it out of the water, and we did,” said Stutz, who owns eight career HHC wins. “And I think ever since then, we’ve just fed off the energy of the previous year. It’s been awesome.”