County trio to run with the best at state meet

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Three Hancock County runners will wrap up their high school seasons at the last and biggest race of the year.

Mt. Vernon senior Tristan Trevino, Greenfield-Central senior Griffen Wheeler and Greenfield-Central junior Liam Brinkruff will compete today at the IHSAA Boys Cross Country State Finals in Terre Haute at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.

For Trevino, it’s his second straight year to run in the championship race.

He placed 77th last year with a time of 16:42.7 for the 5,000-meter race. Trevino was fifth in last week’s Shelbyville Semi-State with a time of 15:30. Last year’s state-winning time was 15:22.6, turned in by champion Reese Kilbarger-Stumpff from Columbus North.

Carmel’s Kole Mathison is the top returnee from last year’s state finals. He finished fourth in 15:37.2. Mathison won last week’s race in Shelbyville with a course record time of 14:56.1.

Prior to the semi-state, Trevino won Hoosier Heritage Conference, Mt. Vernon Sectional and Rushville Regional races, improving on his time in each race.

“I knew I was going to go to state (this year) because I knew I was faster and I’m stronger,” Trevino said after his semi-state run last week. “Last year I went in to test stuff. Now I’m going in with the stuff that I tested and I’m really going to go for a place. I’m looking to get all-state.”

The top 20 finishers will earn state medals.

Wheeler earned a spot after placing 23rd at the semi-state with a time of 15:56.3.

“I love competing and I wish I would have competed better (at semi-state),” Wheeler said after last week’s race. “To have Liam come with me takes some weight off my shoulders. It takes the weight off my mind to know, next year, he’s got it covered for me.”

Wheeler was the lone senior in the Cougars varsity lineup. Trevino, too, was the only senior among Mt. Vernon’s top seven runners.

For Brinkruff, he is the second member of his family to qualify for state. In 2019, his sister, Audrey Brinkruff was the school’s first girls cross country runner to make it to the state meet.

Liam Brinkruff was 27th in last week’s race with a time of 16:06.

Wheeler and Brinkruff are the first boys to qualify for the meet since Jacob Hansen made the race in 2016.

Today’s race is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. It follows the girls championship race slated to get underway at noon.

It is the IHSAA’s 77th boys cross country state finals and 42nd for girls.

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