NEW PALESTINE — The great thing for student-athletes about individual sectional tournaments is that, even if they lose, they can come back the next week for redemption.
New Palestine’s Seth Eagleson is already looking forward to Saturday’s cross country regional at Rushville.
The senior runner finished second in the sectional on his home course Saturday in 16 minutes, 42 seconds behind Warren Central’s Damon Horn (16:35).
Eagleson was the defending sectional champ.
“I’m disappointed, honestly,” said Eagleson, who had the lead Tuesday through roughly the six-minute mark of the five kilometer race. “I was just off today. I should have been up with him. I mean he’s a great runner, no doubt, but it was just one of those days that I wasn’t feeling it.
“I think I went out a little fast, I just blew it. I used up my reserves too fast and just didn’t have anything left.”
The top five teams and top 10 runners from non-qualifying teams advanced to Saturday’s regional.
Franklin Central won the boys team sectional with 40 points, ahead of Warren Central (45), Roncalli (79), Greenfield-Central (91) and the Dragons (112).
Eagleson placed second at Rushville last season.
“I’m determined to get regionals,” Eagleson said. “I think I’m going to get it. I know that’s really bold statement, but it’s my senior year. I’m dead set on it. I’m going to do it.”
Eagleson will have plenty of company from his teammates as well as the New Palestine girls squad.
Finishing behind Eagleson for the NP boys were Samuel Voelz (17th 17:41), Dominic Basciano (25th, 18:09.30), Riley Wilson (26th 18:09.88) and Drew Legan (42nd, 19:08).
“I’m proud of Seth and how our team did,” New Palestine coach Dan Weimer said. “He’s the leader of our team and our team ran great.
“Seth and (Horn) are both great runners, and you do have to have a great day. And it was the Warren Central runner’s day today. But the beautiful thing is we get Saturday.”