On Saturday, September 28, the New Castle Girls’ and Boys’ Cross Country Teams traveled to the Muncie SportsPlex to compete in the Delta Invitational against seven other teams in the large school Navy Division. Skies were sunny with temperatures in the low 70s and fairly high humidity which made racing a bit more challenging. This would be the last meet of the regular season before the teams head into Hoosier Heritage Conference (HHC) action next week and the State Tournament begins with the Sectional meet the week after the HHC meet.
At the starting line the NC boys’ team were without three of their typical top seven runners. Normal lead runner, sophomore Andrew Fewell, suffered a knee injury just after the previous week’s meet and has been working all week to rehabilitate. Despite his efforts, Fewell was not in condition to race at Delta. To make matters worse, just before getting on the bus Saturday morning, regular third runner for the team, junior Ayden Humbles suffered an allergic reaction and was not able to race. As if that wasn’t enough, the Trojans suffered another blow before the race. When the team was warming up senior Luke Carter became nauseated to the point where he could not toe the starting line. Because of these series of unfortunate events, the rest of the team knew they had to step up to fill the shoes of their missing teammates. In the field of 107 runners, the remaining Trojan runners had some outstanding performances, however the team placed 7th out of 8 teams and most likely would have placed 3rd or 4th had their other three teammates been part of the equation.
Sophomore Skyler Dickey led the team. Dickey got out to a fast start and was in the top 10 during the first mile of the race. Dickey had a solid second mile, struggled the later part of the race, however still pulled of a top 20 finish by placing 17th with a time of 18:13.7. Junior Quentin Hedges has been very consistent this season and this meet he stayed right in the range where he had been running. Hedges looked strong throughout the race and finished with a time of 19:21.7 which was good for 31st place. Senior Drew Nelson, has proven himself as a valuable top 5 scorer for the Trojans thus far this season, but he knew he had to do better on this day. Nelson got off to a good start with his first mile being in the range of where he had run in previous meets. Nelson’s next two miles splits where fairly evenly paced, and when other competitors were falling off, he was continuously passing other runners along the way. Nelson eclipsed his fastest ending mile of the season which propelled him to a personal best time of 19:56.2 which was good for 45th place. This was his first time under the twenty minute mark and a personal best two weeks in a row. Senior Ben Head had his best race of the season after working very diligently in recent weeks to rehabilitate a nagging injury. Head ran his strongest second and third miles of the season with yielded a time of 20:46.2 which was almost a minute faster than the previous week and good for 62nd place.
Sophomore Xander Bray stepped up to fill the void left by three of his teammates on the sidelines. Bray put himself in position to be the fifth scoring runner for the Trojans as he moved up through the field as the race progressed. Bray had a great finish and placed 68th with a time of 21:00.3 which was just fifteen seconds off of his personal best.
Junior Dominic Reynolds was back in action this week and posted his second best time of the season. Reynolds worked with teammates Head and Bray throughout the beginning and middle sections of the race as they pulled each other along. Ultimately, Reynolds placed 81st with a time of 22:21.0. Sophomore Joshua McCune had a solid race and finished 103rd with a time of 25:53.7. Senior Will Hayes looked noticeably stronger than in previous weeks and had a very impressive kick into the finish chute at the end of the race. Hayes’ time of 38:54.3 was almost three and a half minutes faster than his meet the week prior.
Trojan Boys Results Summary:
Place Time Name
17 18:13.7 Skyler Dickey
31 19:21.7 Quentin Hedges
45 19:56.2 Drew Nelson
62 20:46.2 Ben Head
68 21:00.3 Xander Bray
81 22:21.0 Dominic Reynolds
103 25:53.7 Joshua McCune
107 38:54.3 Will Hayes
Complete Delta Invitational results can be found at the following links:
Boys Varsity Results:
The NC boys team competes again next Saturday, October 5 at 10:00am at the HHC meet which will be hosted at Pendleton Heights High School.