Ellie Keith leads the way as Pacers open cross country season
The Switzerland County varsity cross country teams traveled to Shelbyville, Indiana to open their seasons in a big way.
The two teams participated in the 2023 Jeremy Wright Memorial Small School Invitational. This early season race featured 38 participating 1A/2A enrollment schools and provided both the Lady Pacer and Pacer runners an early season look at this year’s Regional course — if the Switzerland County teams are able to advance beyond the Southwestern Sectional in October.
In her varsity cross country debut, freshman Ellie Keith led the way for the Lady Pacers, finishing in 8th place overall out of 138 runners.
Keith covered the 5k (3.1 miles) course in 22:44, securing her top 10 finish.
Junior Amber Detmer and sophomore Lainie McAlister were next up for the Lady Pacers, finishing in 50th (25:32) and 53rd (25:45) place, respectively. A trio of juniors finished next for the Lady Pacers: Claire Rogers in 69th (26:51), Carlee Boggs in 81st (28:01) and Ashlyn Covington in 96th (29:11) place overall.
Freshman Jazmyn Blevins, competing in her first-ever cross country race, finished in 106th (30:25) place.
“The sky’s the limit for this team this season and I am confident that each of the girls realized today that they can be very competitive this season,” stated Lady Pacer coach Tye Sullivan. “We left a lot of team points out there on the course Saturday, so we definitely have work to do if we want to be at a level that we are capable of running.”
The Lady Pacers finished in sixth place overall out of 10 complete teams, narrowly beating ORVC conference rival Southwestern by one point.
The Pacer boys team was led by sophomore Luke Sullivan in 64th place overall out of 223 runners. Sullivan covered the 3.1 mile course in 20:30 and was followed closely by fellow sophomore, Cale Collier, in 77th place with a time of 20:48.
Competing in their first varsity cross country meet, sophomores Ty Lay and Gavin Rich finished in 108th (21:36) and 137th (22:32) place, respectively.
“I am really pleased with the performance of our four sophomore runners on Saturday,” Sullivan said. “Luke is coming off a foot injury this summer, but was still able to improve his time from this same race last season. Ty and Gavin gutted out their first varsity cross country race and as they get more acclimated to the 3.1 mile distance they will continue to see their times drop.”
Rounding out the scoring for the Pacers was senior Dylan Sullivan in 179th place, with a time of 24:20. Freshman Harlowe Haines continues to improve, finishing in 216th place with a time of 30:37. Freshman Seth Burke also competed on Saturday for the Pacers.
As a team, the Pacers placed 20th overall out of 23 complete teams.