Levi wins sectional, Baker making fourth regional trip

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The 2017 cross country season continues for Rising Sun on Saturday, Oct. 14th in the Shelbyville Regional at Blue River Memorial Park.

Seniors Trevor Levi and Kasey Baker will lead the way.

Levi bested the field with a first place time of 17:00.4 to became the first Shiner to win the sectional since Garrett Craig in 2012.

It will be Levi’s second trip to the regional where he finished 26th in 2016 and advanced to the regional.

Levi finished ahead of East Central’s Andrew White in 17:05.

“I wanted to stay with the top pack of guys who I knew that would be able to keep that pace for awhile,” Levi said after learning a less on of going out to fast a year ago. “I sat back the first mile. White beat me last year in sectional and the Batesville runners had good times.

“I think being from Rising Sun really helps because of the hills,” the senior noted of training on the hills at the Denver Siekman Park (the Beast). “The hills in the forest is where I made my move.”

Levi admitted, “there was a breeze but was still hot. The wind was tough and made it hard to draft.”

The Ohio River Valley Conference and sectional champ didn’t mind the afternoon starts but is looking forward to the 10:30 start at the regional course.

“I love it,” he said of the regional course.”It’s nice and flat and you can stride out.”

Another plus is that his teammates will be joining him as Rising Sun scored 160 to earn the fifth qualifying place

The top five teams advance to the regional led by Batesville with 34, East Central 49, South Dearborn 122, Greensburg 141, and Rising Sun 160. Other team scores include Oldenburg 168, Jac-Cen-Del 193, South Ripley 217 and Milan 217.

The biggest change from a year ago will be training as a team aspect. “I’m really glad those guys from basketball came out. It will pay off for them and did for us.”

Other Shiner finishers included Nick Koons in 26th at 19:29.0, Dalton Vinup 31st in 19:45.5, Peyton Bell 50th in 21:21.9, Daniel Daugherty 52nd in 21:39.7, 59th Jacob Powell in 21:59.6 and Brian Givan 70th in 24:10.6.

Koons and Vinup would have been regional qualifiers if the team had not advanced.

The top 10 runners advancing not on a regional qualifying team included Oldenburg’s Ian Dickey in 9th place at 18:04, Milan’s Gabriel Ranking 11th at 18:08, Jac-Cen-Del’s Damon Hughes 15th at 18:25, Oldenburg Academy’s Tyler Kuntz 20th at 18:59, Milan’s Casey Burdette 21st at 19:01, South Ripley’s Dylan Trenkamp 32nd at 19:47, and Oldenburg’s Dylan Fledderman 33rd at 19:47.

The girls race was dominated by Greensburg with 26 points followed by Batesville 62, East Central 75, Jac-Cen-Del 152 and South Dearborn 152,

Other team scores included Oldenburg 166, South Ripley 190, Milan 204, and Rising Sun 249.

Brenna Hanna of Greensburg set a new course record time of 19:18.2.

Kasey Baker placed 13th in 21:43 to advance to the regional for the fourth time in her high school career.

Last year she advanced to the semi-state with a 15th place finish and the seventh individual to advance in 19:55. She was 19th in the sectional and 46th in the regional as a sophomore after a 31st place sectional and 74th regional finish as a freshman. All that plus competing in soccer.

Baker has been among the top four runners in the Ohio River Valley Conference all season. Switzerland County’s Leah Anders won the Hanover sectional.

South Ripley’s Megan Cole was eighth and Jac-Cen-Del’s Shianna Bellingham in 11th.

Baker officially qualified as the second runner not on an advancing team.

“It was tough at first and I knew I was going to have to kick it in. I gave it all I had,” Baker admitted about her not favorite course. ” The wind was a little bad. My time was about normal,” added Baker who noted I let her (Bellingham) get away from me this year. Hopefully the next meet I can get her.”

The Shiner girls placed ninth with Kora Powell finishing in 56th at 20:00.2 followed by McKenzie Ellegood58th in 32:40, Brooke Taylor 59th in 32:49.7, Kiera Mann 63rd in 33:50.5 and freshman Chloe Fletcher 68th in 39:03.4.

Other individual girls qualifying for the regional Oldenburg Academy’s Melinda Eckstein in 6th at 20:59, South Ripley’s Megan Cole in 8th at 21:05, Milan’s Alyssa Brinkman in 23rd at 23:24, Oldenburg’s Abby Haverkos in 30th at 24:23, Oldenburg’s Sarah Price in 10th at 24:34, Milan’s Emma Miller in 34th at 24:43, Milan’s Jamey Tush in 36th at 24:55, and South Ripley’s Clarisse Zigan in 37th at 25:23.