Lady Eagles soar to top spot
Columbia City senior and Marion sectional individual champion Renee Menzie, center, runs in a pack at the start of the girlsâ€™ race Tuesday. Menzie along with teammate Samantha Roush, right, helped the Lady Eagles grab their first sectional title since 1986 over sectional rival Huntington North. Post & Mail photo / Andrew Shultz
MARION — 1-2-5-7-9-13. No those aren’t lottery numbers.
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Those are the placings of Lady Eagles in Tuesday’s Marion sectional. Out of a possible fewest points of 15 as a team, No. 17 Columbia City scored 24 on its way to the first sectional championship since 1986.
“I know I keep saying this but it was the best we’ve run all year,” Columbia City coach Bob Fahl said. “Each week is just better. I thought our conference meet was great and we ran even better today. A lot of heros on that team.”
No hero bigger than senior Renee Menzie helped Columbia City beat its sectional rival Huntington North. Menzie was the only runner to break 19 minutes running to a season best first-place time of 18:47.
Freshman Samantha Roush was right on the 19-minute line running 19:00 for second.
The senior-freshman combination for Columbia City beat out third-place Huntington North runner Natalie Spahr by 29 seconds.
“Every girl on that team ran great,” Fahl noted. “Personal bests, season bests everywhere.”
It took all five runners in the top 10 to make a 14-point difference over the Vikings.
Senior Samantha Engle ran a personal best time of 20:00 flat to take seventh overall.
“She was right on the edge of breaking 20 (minutes),” Fahl said. “She’s been our fifth and sixth runner all year and stepped up and was fourth today. She really made a difference.”
Columbia City had two freshman in the top five with Brooke Werstler following Roush in fifth-place.
Erin Knepple gave the Lady Eagles a fifth runner time of 20:03 taking ninth overall.
All seven City runners placed in the top 20. Rounding out the places were Carlee Hearld in 13th and Heather Shew in 19th.
Churubusco’s Rachel Fehring narrowly missed a top 15 individual qualifying spot for the Marion regional Saturday.
Fehring placed 16th overall with a time of 20:54. Fehring was helped out by Alex Eyer and Nicole Wormcastle in 24th and 25th. The finishes were enough to get ’Busco into the fifth and final team spot for regional with 142 points.
Other Churubusco runners were” Nicole Lampe in 30th, Elizabeth Fleming in 52nd.
Whitko girls’ cross country had its season end in seventh overall with senior Aubrey Smith missing the individual cut off by five spots in 20th at 21:28.
The Lady Wildcats finishers included: Holly Frantz in 38th, Rylie Snep in 42nd, Becca Thomson in 43rd, Christena Hoopingarner in 46th, Jocelyn Krull in 53rd.