Balance proved to be the difference for the Carmel High School boys cross country team.
The Greyhounds won for the second consecutive season and fifth time in seven years at the Oct. 27 Indiana High School Athletic Association Boys Cross Country State Finals in Terre Haute. Third-ranked Carmel won with 136 points, edging out No. 1 Cathedral with 146.
Cathderal’s Cole Hocker captured the individual state title. Senior Calvin Bates, Carmel’s top finisher, was 19th overall and 11th among members of teams competing for the title.
“We made up the gap with our two, three, four runners and then our fifth runners finished right next to each other,” Carmel coach Colin Altevogt said.
Carmel junior Grant Moon placed 33rd. Junior Ben Johnson didn’t run in the regional and semistate but placed 40th.
“We took a chance there, and that was a big key for us,” Altevogt said of Johnson’s finish. “He had a small injury after the Brown County meet was run in really sloppy conditions. He missed a couple of meets and then when he came back, he wasn’t quite up to form. Then he looked great in practice (recently) and we eventually decided to put him in. He only ran one meet healthy but we felt he could give us a chance, and we were right.”
Other Carmel finishers were junior Will Murphy, 46th, and senior Cameron Harless, 68th.
“The conditions were muddy, which slowed the times down by probably 25 to 30 seconds for most guys,” Altevogt said.
Cathedral had edged Camel in the regional and semistate meets.
“Our training really pointed at the state meet,” Altevogt said. “The guys accepted we might do some workouts that would make us stronger for the state meet but in the interim might be tough to compete. Our guys had a lot of trust in what our coaches thought was best.”
The Greyhounds will now compete in the Nov. 11 Nike Midwest Regional in Terre Haute.
The Carmel girls cross country team finished fourth in the state meet.