Depth was the main factor for the Noblesville High School girls cross country team winning its first state title
Despite not having a runner finish in the top 25, the second-ranked Millers captured the IHSAA girls cross country state championship Oct. 29 at Terre Haute with 122 points while defending champion and No. 1 Columbus North finished second with 153.
It was the second-highest winning total in state history, with the previous high being 134.
“We were a little bit farther back in the general placing than I had anticipated,” Millers coach Aaron Becker said. “Initially, I thought we were second. We were able to pull together and avoid those high finishes that other teams had. Our third, fourth and fifth runners brought the score up. It was the second-highest winning score in state history, so it was a high-scoring meet. It was an unusual day, but it worked.”
Noblesville was led by senior Brooke Lahee, who finished 28th overall in 18:54.6. Junior Kennedy Applegate was 34th in 19:06.3, senior Paige Hazelrigg was 38th in 19:11.2, junior Nadia Perez was 43rd in 19:20.4, and junior Summer Rempe was 44th in 19:21.8.
Becker said Lahee and Hazelrigg are weighing Division I college offers.
Because he could only use seven girls, Becker had to leave another girl, sophomore Riley Flynn, who ran under 19 minutes, off the state lineup.
“She’ll run next year, for sure,” Becker said. “We have a number of girls who fill that seventh spot. They’re only going to get faster. The next couple of years look good for us.”
The highest previous finish for the Millers girls team was third in 2006.
The Millers captured the sectional, regional and semistate titles.
“They’ve come a long way in the past two years,” said Becker, who is in his third year as coach. “Our team chemistry has never been better than this year. They work really well with each other. It’s all about their camaraderie and fellowship and support for each other.”