On Saturday, October 19, the New Castle Girls’ and Boys’ Cross Country Teams traveled to Rushville to compete in their second meet of State Tournament competition, the Regional Meet. The meet was held on the grounds of the Rushville Elementary and Middle Schools. For the Saturday morning race day, temperatures were brisk, in the mid to upper 40’s at first for the boys’ race and then and climbing into the low 50’s for the girls’ race. Skies were sunny with a breeze out of the southwest. Conditions were conducive for Cross Country racing.
The Trojans had two boys and two girls who had advanced out of the prior week’s Sectional Meet into this week’s Regional Meet.
To advance out of the Regional Meet in high school cross country a team must place in the top 5 in the team standings and individual athletes must place in the top 10 athletes not on those 5 advancing teams.
All had high goals for this meet and had been preparing for many months for this day. The team had again researched the field and knew who their competitors were. The team had also made a visit to Rushville earlier in the week to run the course to make sure they knew the terrain and to plot their strategy for the meet.
Regional – Boys Meet Summary:
Representing New Castle in the Regional Meet were sophomore Skyler Dickey and senior Drew Nelson. Dickey knew he had to run one of his best races of the season in order to advance to Semi-State. Nelson started training about eleven months prior and has seen great gains this season, yet he knew it would stretch his extreme limits in order to advance. Both were very upbeat and relaxed the morning of the race taking in the atmosphere and appreciating the privilege of being part of this event.
At the starting gun, Dickey got out with the leaders and Nelson settled in around the middle of the pack. By the first mile, Dickey was running in around fifteenth place as he ran his fastest first mile of the season by eclipsing the mark in 5:23. Dickey looked strong and confident during the second mile of the race and continued at the same blistering pace, running his second mile in 5:29 and passing the 3200 meter mark in a time very close to his personal best on a track and he still had a mile to go. At this point Dickey dug deep into his mental and physical toughness and started passing competitors one by one. During the last 800 meters of the race, Dickey passed three more runners putting him in the top ten. At the tape, Dickey had eclipsed his last mile in 5:39 and had maintained a very strong and steady pace throughout the race. This yielded a personal best time of 17:04.86, which was 47 seconds faster than he ever had run before, and a 9th place ribbon. Dickey had run a phenomenal race and earned the right to run in the Semi-State meet the following week by being in the 2nd position among the ten individuals to advance not being in the team scoring.
Nelson got out to a fast start and ran his first mile in 5:39 which was faster than he had ever run a mile before, even on a track. Nelson continued to look strong during the second mile, passing other runners along the way. At the two mile mark the clock read 11:49 which was again faster than Nelson had ever run that distance. With a mile to go, Nelson continued to surge off of each turn and had his sights on a personal best finish. At the tape Nelson had placed 68th and the clock read 18:54.33 which was his fifth personal best 5 K time in a row. This was Nelson’s first finish under nineteen minutes and his time was one minute and twenty-eight seconds faster than he ran the first meet of the season. Nelson’s eleven months of training had paid off with five great races in a row, and where he had started the season as the number four or five runner for the Trojans, he finished his season as the number two runner on the squad. All in all, it was quite an accomplished season for his first year on the team as a senior.
Dickey will continue in State Tournament competition next Saturday, October 26 at 10:30am in the Semi-State Meet hosted at Shelbyville’s Blue River Memorial Park.
Trojan Boys Results Summary:
Place Time Name
9 17:04.86 Skyler Dickey
68 18:54.33 Drew Nelson
Complete Regional results can be found at the following links:
Boys Varsity Results: