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The Journal Gazette

  • File photos DeKalb senior Tyler Schwartz is the defending state champion in girls cross country.

  • Carroll junior Abigail Green finished runner-up at last year’s state meet and helped the Chargers finish second in team standings.

Friday, August 11, 2017 1:00 am

5 to watch season prevIews

Girls cross country

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

Last year was successful for area girls cross country teams.

DeKalb's Tyler Schwartz was state champion. Carroll's Abigail Green was runner-up and teammate Meagan Hathaway was seventh, while Homestead went ninth and 10th with Madison Distelrath and Katherine Walther.

The Chargers were team runners-up, while the Spartans were third.

This year, with Schwartz returning and the vast majority of last year's top runners, northeast Indiana could be a powerhouse when it comes to the state tournament.

Individuals

Tyler Schwartz, DeKalb: The senior finished last season undefeated in postseason competition as sectional, regional, semistate and state champion and qualified for the Nike Cross Nationals. 

Abigail Green, Carroll: The junior was the Northrop Sectional champion and finished runner-up at state, regional and semistate last year.

Kayla McCulloch, East Noble: The junior finished 12th at state last year and had top-5 finishes throughout the postseason.

Mia Beckham, Warsaw: The senior finished just outside of all-state honors by finishing 26th overall.

Erin Strzelecki, Bishop Dwenger: The sophomore finished eighth at the New Haven semistate and 27th at last year's state meet.

Teams

Carroll: The Chargers finished as runners-up to Carmel at state for the second straight year and extended its state record regional championship streak with its 16th straight title.

Homestead: The Spartans return three from last year's team that finished third at state: Julia Eifert, Saige Norris and Julia Dvorak.

Warsaw: The Tigers return Beckham, juniors Angie Sanchez-Vijil and Remi Beckham and sophomore Megan Metzger from last year's team that finished 13th at state.

East Noble: The Knights return everyone from the team that finished 18th at the state finals.

Bishop Dwenger: The Saints were one spot out of qualifying for state and return individual state qualifier Strzelecki, classmates Susie Beeber, Katie Nix and Anna Morris and junior Alexandria Ebetino.

Storylines

Freshman phenom: Carroll's Zoe Duffus enters the Charger program after dominating the local middle school circuit. She won the 1,500- and 3,000-meter titles at the Hershey National Youth Indoor Championships in New York in March.

On a mission: After missing most of last season with an emergency appendectomy, Snider senior Ashtyn Robertson is back after missing qualifying for semistate by one place as a sophomore and junior.

Solid start: Norwell sophomore Sydney Lambert posted a season-best time of 18:18.2 at the Marion Invitational. That time was the second-best by a freshman in the state (Phoebe Bates of Carmel was fastest at 17:45.2 at Shelbyville Semistate).

Streaking: Carmel is looking for its state record-extending eighth straight state championship.

Drought: Concordia is the only area school with a team state championship in girls cross country. The Cadets won in 1983.

areichel@jg.net