October 24th, 2013 – Girls New Haven Semi-State Preview
Plenty of starlet power at New Haven
By: Brett Hess
The New Haven Semistate is the home of the defending state _ and national _ champion. But even with the season-ending injury of Mishawaka’s Anna Rohrer, there will be no shortage of top individuals floating along the cross country course at The Plex Saturday afternoon.
If you are familiar with the state’s leaderboard, then you recognize the names: Beery and Woods. Hostetler and Halderman. Frank and Marriott and Moore. If you scan deep enough, you come across the familiar names of Roush and Konow.
The list of possible individual champs is long and represents a variety of resumes ranging from inexperienced (Marriott) to veteran (Roush) and come from the biggest schools (Woods and Frank from Penn) and the smallest (Hostetler from Fremont).
So here’s a run-down of our favorites in alphabetical order:
Bailey Beery, Bellmont: Beery battled injuries last fall but rebounded nicely in the spring by advancing to the state finals in the 3,200. But that was barely a glimpse of what Beery would bring to the course her sophomore cross country season. Beery has run a best time of 17:50 (at Ben Davis) and has run unchallenged through the post-season. She won the Bellmont Sectional by 66 seconds in 18:22 and the Marion Regional by 12 seconds in 18:33. Beery won the Northeast Hoosier Conference, held at The Plex in a driving rainstorm, in 18:30.
Danielle Frank, Penn: One of the state’s best No. 2 runners who filled in quite well during the recent injury of Maddie Woods. Frank won the South Bend Riley Sectional in 19:28 and the Northern Indiana Conference meet in 19:07.
Jenna Halderman, Northfield: Halderman has won the Marion Sectional in 18:31 and finished a close runner-up to Beery at the Marion Regional in 18:45. Halderman boasts a season-best time of 18:29.
Abby Hostetler, Fremont: Hostetler has bounced back from a mid-season slump and is running her best right now. Hostetler will be excited to finally get away from the West Noble course where she has won her last three meets: Northeast Corner Conference and the West Noble Sectional (18:35) and Regional (18:42). Don’t let those times fool you: construction on the course this fall has temporarily made the course 3.2 miles.
Marina Konow, Concordia: Konow is an all-state runner who knows how to run her best when it counts. She cruised to a runner-up at the Northrop Sectional (18:43) and then placed third at the West Noble Regional (19:00) and came on very strong late in both races.
Lindsey Marriott, Leo: This freshman has been coming on strong the past month. If not for an ill-fated wrong turn late in her conference meet, she may have posted one the state’s best times. Instead, she’s hanging her spikes on a Northrop Sectional championship (18:41) and a runner-up at West Noble (to Hostetler) in 18:54. In both races she beat all-state runners Samantha Roush and Konow. Sometimes freshmen are so green, they are immune to the pressure.
Sierra Moore, Elkhart Memorial: After winning the Elkhart Central Sectional in 18:53, Moore challenged Woods at the regional before finishing second in 18:35.
Samantha Roush, Columbia City: The three-time all-state runner has back-loaded her racing this year, saving it all for the final two meets of the season. And why not? When you have this type of resume, meets in August and September mean very little. Roush cruised to fifth-place finishes in both the Northrop Sectional and West Noble Regional.
Maddie Woods, Penn: Two weeks ago, word out of South Bend was that Woods’ career was over due to a heart condition. Thankfully, my sources wrong. But speaking of heart, Woods showed plenty of it with her victory at the Elkhart Central Regional. Woods finished in 18:22, conquering a muddy, soggy Ox Bow Park course.
How it will turn out: Look for a very strong early pace with several habitual front-runners trying to impose their will. I think Hostetler takes command with Woods and Beery flanking her. Marriott shouldn’t be too far behind but I see Roush and Konow sitting back, ready to pick off those who simply run out of gas.
By the third mile Beery will pull away while Woods, perhaps feeling the results of her mini-break, falls back with Hostetler. At the finish, Beery claims the title with Woods in second, Hostetler in third followed by Konow, who passes Roush at the finish. Fifth place seems perfect for Roush.
1.) Bailey Beery, Bellmont.
2.) Maddie Woods, Penn.
3.) Abby Hostetler, Fremont.
4.) Marina Konow, Concordia.
5.) Samantha Roush, Columbia City.
6.) Sierra Moore, Elkhart Memorial.
7.) Danielle Frank, Penn.
8.) Lindsey Marriott, Leo.
9.) Jenna Halderman, Northfield.
10.) Stacey Metzger, Carroll.
11.) Madison Fruchey, Carroll.
12.) Madison Distelrath, Homestead.
13.) Alex Buck, Pendleton Heights.
14.) Alexia Zawadzke, East Noble.
15.) Krista McCormick, DeKalb.
Title-hunting teams lack depth
Semi-state championships are typically won not by the front-runner, but by the fourth and fifth man. And that spells trouble for the teams hoping to win at New Haven. Here are my predictions for the advancing teams in reverse order:
6.) Fremont. The tiny school with one foot in Michigan and another in Ohio is going to the Indiana state finals, this year’s version of Hoosiers. The Eagles have a line-up reflective of their school: what they lack in quantity (six runners on the post-season roster) they make up for in quality. Well back of Abby Hostetler, look for the names of Welch, Woolsely, Culler and Cade to rush across the line.
5.) Homestead. The Spartans are young, but good. They are led by freshman Madison Distelrath and sophomore Grace Walther.
4.) Concordia. The Cadets have a nice mix of experience (Konow and Harrison) and great coaching. This program always races its best when the leaves are falling.
3.) Pendleton Heights. Yes, the Arabians have been winning all season long, but because they haven’t raced against many of the meet’s traditional powers, little is known about them. It’s going to be quite a coming-out party.
2.) Penn. Yes, Penn has Woods and Frank. This dynamic duo will finish before Carroll’s No. 1. But I’ll be frank: No. 4 can’t have even an average day and we’ll need a calculator to add No. 5’s points.
1.) Carroll. The Chargers don’t have the depth they usually have (especially with late-season injuries) and there is a new coach at the helm and they don’t have a guaranteed top 10 finisher. (Sounds like I’m talking myself outta this pick…..) Despite these negatives, the Chargers have seven runners who could finish in the top 25 of the team scoring. And we only count five.<