Guerin Catholic High School seniors had made it their mission to qualify for the IHSAA Boys Cross Country State Finals as a team for the first time in school history.
The Golden Eagles not only did that but managed a 10th-place finish at the Oct. 31 state meet at Terre Haute. The Golden Eagles missed ninth place by one point.
“It’s been cool to see how some of the previous classes kind of set the tone for this class, and they have taken ahold of it and run with it over the four years,” said Tom Ohlman, who has been head coach since 2017. “They learned from the upperclassmen and now have been able to show what they are able to do.”
Dominic Stein was Guerin Catholic’s top state finisher in 49th place, followed by teammate Austin Callahan in 50th. The five seniors are Stein, Callahan, Glenn Morrow, Holden King and Nicholas Schramm. The other two Guerin runners were junior Evan McNeany and sophomore Ethan Hines.
Callahan, Schramm, Morrow and McNeany are Westfield residents. King and Hines are from Carmel and Stein is a Fishers resident.
Tom Gallagher, Guerin’s director of cross country for boys and girls, said it’s the culmination of something in the making for six or seven years.
“We had some great senior leaders that kind of planted the seed with these guys when they were freshmen and sophomores,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher’s son, Quinn, qualified for the state meet three consecutive years as an individual. As a senior, Quinn Gallagher was fifth in the 2018 state meet and earned the Mental Attitude Award for boys cross country.
“These guys were sophomores at the time, and they committed to continue to work harder and devoted their summers to running,” Tom Gallagher said. “They gleaned as much as they could on how to hydrate, different nutrition tips and different stretching. They banded together.”
Gallagher said having five runners in the same class with the same goal of making state helped them push each other to get better.
Ohlman said there is a good group of young runners returning.
“It was good to see the younger runners not competing cheering them on (at the state meet),” Ohlman said. “They can see it doesn’t take crazy, awesome talent to make it happen. It just takes the hard work of showing up every day.”
Callahan said competing in the state finals was a goal four years in the making.
“So to finally make it was an extremely significant milestone for our cross country program,” Callahan said. “Day in and day out, we put the work in to be able to represent Guerin Catholic in the state meet and this was just the culmination of that work. Placing as a top 10 team in the state after barely being considered a contender the year before was definitely something that I, along with my fellow seniors, will cherish for a lifetime.”