CHARLOTTESVILLE — They ran together.
They won together.
With the threat of inclement weather, coaches and meet officials for Tuesday’s Hancock County Cross Country Championships, at Eastern Hancock High School, elected to run the boys and girls races simultaneously.
For the 13th time and third time in a row, Mt. Vernon’s boys team took home the first-place trophy. The Mt. Vernon girls team did, too, ending a four-year run of titles by New Palestine.
The Marauder boys had a perfect score of 15. Greenfield-Central, which chose to sit out some of its varsity runners, was a distant second with 67. New Palestine had 70 and Eastern Hancock scored 97.
“It’s the smallest meet we have all year, but in importance, it’s a big deal,” Mt. Vernon boys head coach Bruce Kendall said.
For the girls, Mt. Vernon edged the four-time defending champions by five points, 25-30. Greenfield-Central was third with 76. Eastern Hancock did not have enough runners for a team score.
“It’s nice to be able to win when I wouldn’t have considered this a great night for us,” Mt. Vernon coach Kean Coy said. “I’m happy to win. It gets that monkey off our back as far as losing to New Pal the last several years in a row. Good to win, but feel we now have a target on our back, as well.”
For the second straight year, MV’s boys had all seven of its varsity runners make all-county (top 10), but it was all brand new for Tristan Trevino, the race’s individual champion.
A transfer student from Lawrence Central, Trevino, a junior, was just recently cleared to run in varsity races. He’s 1-for-1, edging teammate Austin Rush at the finish line.
“He’s run all these (JV) races and has never had people around him,” Kendall said of Trevino. “He did outstanding. A great win for him.”
Trevino crossed in 16 minutes, 58 seconds, just ahead of Rush who finished in 16:59.
“It feels extremely good. I’m really glad I got to race varsity with my team and finally be part of it,” Trevino said. “I ran a lot better (having other runners with me). Running alone it’s hard to find a good pace, and I become inconsistent. When I was running with my team, it felt very good and normal. I felt it was a very good run.”
Mt. Vernon had the top-six finishers. Rush was followed by Joseph Blagrave (3rd, 17:03), Colin Strachman (4th, 17:28), Reyce Morgan (5th, 17:38) and Samuel Wilson (6th, 17:53).
Eastern Hancock frosh Preston Markley and New Palestine senior Colin Darley broke up the Marauders’ pack by finishing seventh and eighth, respectively. Last year’s middle school county champ, Markley finished the 5K race in 18:10. Darley crossed the line 18:15.
Rounding out the all-county field were Mt. Vernon frosh Landon Willis (18:22) and Greenfield-Central’s Lucas Tutrow (18:23).
Greenfield-Central coach Aaron Smith said he was out a couple of runners and also chose to rest some other varsity team members for Tuesday’s race.
“We decided (with a couple out) there was no point and sat some for later races,” Smith said. “We want to make sure we’re ready to go at the end of the season … We knew we weren’t going to be very competitive today.”
The run of team titles ended for the New Pal girls, but the individual supremacy continues.
Dragon senior Emma Mann was the lone girls runner to finish the 5K in under 20 minutes. She paced the girls field with a time of 19:48.
Her former teammate Brenna Shaw, now at Purdue, won the county meet the last four years.
“It’s so exciting,” Mann, a senior, said of winning the county’s individual title. She placed second to Shaw as a sophomore. “I’ve been training four years for this. It’s so exciting to me.
“I just think it’s amazing (a New Palestine runner won, again). As a team we work really, really hard and my teammates, both girls and boys, have really pushed me to be the best I can be.”
Mann said running the boys and girls race at the same time helped her. She didn’t feel the pressure of running up front, plus she had an extra boost from her male teammates.
“I really enjoyed it and enjoyed being pushed by the guys team,” Mann added. “I didn’t feel the pressure of having to lead the race. I felt like I could be led and they really did a good job helping me. They’re really good motivators.”
Mt. Vernon and New Palestine each had five all-county runners.
The Marauders were led by the 2-3 finish of Lydia Carrell (20:11) and Morgan Tharp (20:25). Mt. Vernon also seized fifth, seventh and eighth with Alexandria Jenson (21:38), Melinda Cornelius (22:02) and Emma Gale (22:16).
“Our second (kilometer) we just allowed too many gaps to develop,” Coy added. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy we won and happy to get five girls (all-county). New Pal is a good team.”
Following Mann for the Dragons were: Courtney Study (4th, 21:00), Caitlin Urrutia (6th, 21:54), Lexi Baynes (9th, 22:32) and Jocelynn Flagle (10th, 22:39).
Eastern Hancock’s top finisher was freshman Olivia Evans who placed 12th in 23:05. Like boys teammate Markley, she was a middle school county champion in 2020.
The top Greenfield-Central runner was Emma Bogle, who was 13th, wrapping up her race in 23:16.
2021 Hancock County Cross Country Championship
Team scores: Mt. Vernon 15, Greenfield-Central 67, New Palestine 70, Eastern Hancock 97
All-County (Top-10 finishers)
Place;Name, School;Time (5K)
1.;Tristan Trevino, Mt. Vernon;16:58
2.;Austin Rush, Mt. Vernon;16:59
3.;Joseph Blagrave, Mt. Vernon;17:03
4.;Colin Strachman, Mt. Vernon;17:28
5.;Reyce Morgan, Mt. Vernon;17:38
6.;Samuel Wilson, Mt. Vernon;17:53
7.;Preston Markley, Eastern Hancock;18:10
8.;Colin Darley, New Palestine; 18:15
9.;Landon Willis, Mt. Vernon;18:22
10.;Lucas Tutrow, Greenfield-Central;18:23
Team scores: Mt. Vernon 25, New Palestine 30, Greenfield-Central 76, Eastern Hancock incomplete
All-County (Top-10 finishers)
Place;Name, School;Time (5K)
1.;Emma Mann;New Palestine;19:48
2.;Lydia Carrell;Mt. Vernon;20:11
3.;Morgan Tharp;Mt. Vernon;20:25
4.;Courtney Study;New Palestine;21:00
5.;Alexandria Jenson;Mt. Vernon;21:38
6.;Caitlin Urrutia;New Palestine;21:54
7.;Melinda Cornelius;Mt. Vernon;22:02
8.;Emma Gale;Mt. Vernon;22:16
9.;Lexi Baynes;New Palestine;22:32
10.;Jocelynn Flagle;New Palestine;22:39