Pacer runners claim ORVC crown, Meyer, Meli are individual champs

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The Switzerland County Pacer boys cross country team won the Ohio River Valley Conference championship on Tuesday night at Hanover, placing four runners in the top 10. Meanwhile, the Lady Pacers also had an outstanding conference meet, as they finished third overall.

Switzerland County’s Clay Meyer and Amber Meli also ran their way to the individual titles in the meet, which positions both squads perfectly heading into next week’s Sectional at South Dearborn.

In the boys race, Switzerland County won with a team score of 38 points to outdistance second place South Ripley, which finished with 60. Rising Sun was third with 64 points; followed by Southwestern with 83; Jac-Cen-Del with 111; Madison Shawe with 129; and Milan did not field enough for a team score.

The front of the pack was Pacer blue and orange, as Clay Meyer ran away from the field to record a time of 17:23. Younger brother Tray Meyer completed the “Meyer Double”, as he finished second in a time of 17:43; and Corey McFarland made it three Pacers in the top five, as he finished fifth in a time of 18:03.

Josh Hon completed the Switzerland County dominance of the All-Conference team, as he finished 10th in a time of 18:46. Tanner Ross was 23rd in a time of 20:23; Blake Whitham was 29th in a time of 21:02; and Zach O’Neal was 32nd in a time of 21:30.

“This was a total team effort tonight,” head coach Mark Boggs said. “These guys have put this meet as one of their goals since the beginning of the season, and they were able to accomplish that goal tonight (Tuesday). Every individual ran an exceptional race.”

Coach Boggs also had praise for his individual champion and the others in the top 10.

“Clay has been performing admirably all year,” Mark Boggs said. “This was such a great accomplishment for such a hard worker. Tray’s performance was absolutely outstanding. Corey has been very consistent this year. With Corey, I know I will get his very best. Josh has the heart of a champion. He battles from start to finish.”

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The Lady Pacers ran to a strong third place finish, recording a score of 77 points to trail only champion Rising Sun (56) and second place South Ripley (64). Southwestern was fourth with 81; Jac-Cen-Del was fifth with 100; Milan was sixth with 103; and Madison Shawe did not have enough runners to record a team score.

Amber Meli listed her name in a growing list of Lady Pacers who have dominated the conference race, turning in a time of 21:36 to claim the individual championship and earn a spot on the All Conference team.

“Amber ran the most beautiful race that I have ever seen her run,” Coach Boggs said. “She stuck with the leaders and made her move midway through the race. She has great desire and determination.”

Freshman Andrea Brogan also earned a spot on the All Conference team, as she ran her way to an 11th place finish in a time of 23:31.

“Andrea was equally impressive as she made all conference as a freshman,” her coach said. “We discussed her race strategy, which was to start out a little slower. She accomplished that and was able to move up throughout the race.”

Beth Abbott finished 21st for Switzerland County in a time of 26:42; and Maggie Armstrong was right behind in 23rd place in a time of 26:45. Shana Todd was 26th in a time of 27:21; and Catie Johnson was 33rd in a time of 30:22.

Both teams will participate in the sectional at South Dearborn this Tuesday, October 9th, and will feature 14 teams: Batesville, East Central, Franklin County, Greensburg, Jac-Cen-Del, Lawrenceburg, Milan, North Decatur Oldenburg Academy, Rising Sun, South Dearborn, South Decatur, South Ripley, and Switzerland County.

The top five teams and the top 15 individuals will advance to the regional, which will be held at Greensburg on Saturday, October 13th. Greensburg then feeds into the Franklin Central semistate on October 20th, and the state finals will be held in Terre Haute on October 27th.