Batesville High School hosted the EIAC Cross-Country Championships for the third year in a row Saturday morning. East Central took five of the top eight spots in the girls’ race as they enjoyed their first conference victory since 2015. Freshman Callie Bentley led the Lady Trojans to the win as she was the individual champ in 19:02. The Lady Pirates finished third in the team standings with 89 pts.
Greensburg took advantage of the cooler temperatures and had a number of strong performances. Sophomore Tori Gauck was the top finisher for the Lady Pirates. She ran 22:12, her fastest time of the season, to place 16th overall. Aly Powers took 19th place in 22:35. That performance moved the freshman into the Top 25 times in school history. Hannah Crowell recorded her fastest time of 2022. She broke the 23 barrier for the first time this season placing 22nd in 22:49. Emma McQueen also established a new personal best Saturday morning. She took 23rd in 22:59. Junior Ally Foster continued to drop her times. She placed 24th in a personal record of 23:01. Tiffani Gramman had a strong race and ran under 24:00 for the first time in 2022. Gramman was 28th with a time of 23:52. Brooke Welsh dropped over a minute off of previous best time and was 39th overall in 26:04. Franchesca Verzo broke 30:00 for the first time this year. The junior ran 29:48. “I was really proud of the way the girls raced this morning. They competed and made some significant improvements as we get ready for sectional,” noted Coach Davis.
In the boys’ race, the Pirates put four finishers in the top eight to win their first conference title since 1995. Junior Jake Hawkins led the way for Greensburg and was the conference runner-up. Hawkins ran 16:59 and set in a new personal best on Saturday. That performance moved Hawkins into the Top 25 in school history. The next two runners for the Pirates were freshmen that were all-conference for the first time. Zack Blodgett recorded a new personal best of 17:19 as he finished in 5th place. Joe Hawkins also ran a personal record of 17:27 for 6th overall.
Junior TJ Gorman continued his steady improvement through 2022 and ran his best time ever for 5000m. Gorman earned all-EIAC honors for the first time. Gorman was 8th place in 17:35. Cameron Schwartz finished in 17th place with a time of 18:11. Freshman Xavier Cassis lowered his best time ever to 19:17 to place 31st. Chase Tekulve was Greensburg’s seventh runner and placed 33rd in the race in 19:41.
Freshman Malakai Nicolaides was the reserve champion for EIAC cross-country in 19:52. Junior Carson McCord set a personal best running 20:09 for 5 km to place 5th. Tyler Dwenger used a strong finish to place 8th in 21:08. Junior Zach Niese broke 22:00 for the first time ever. Niese was 12th overall in 21:56. “The guys had a great race this morning. They’ve been working hard to accomplish this goal all season,” Coach Davis said after seeing the final results. Both teams return to action on Thursday evening as they conclude the regular season by hosting the 49th Annual Greensburg Cross-Country Invitational.