September 18th – Girls FlashRock Preview
By Colin Altevogt
Indiana schools participating in ‘championship race: #2 Avon, #11 Bloomington South, Brebeuf, Cathedral, #19 Center Grove, #7 Columbus North, Fishers, #17 Franklin Central, #5 FW Carroll, FW Snider, Greenwood, #22 Guerin Catholic, #6 Hamilton Southeastern, Hinsdale Central (IL), Huntington North, Lawrence Central, #16 Noblesville, North Central, Norwell, #8 Pendleton Heights, Perry Meridian, Pike, Terre Haute South, #15 Warren Central, Westfield, #10 Zionsville
The regular season meet of the year on the girls’ side has arrived. Two of the state’s best will go south of the border to face off in Louisville, and Penn will not be in attendance. Besides that, everyone is set to do battle at Northview Church.
TEAMS TO WATCH
The Orioles ran well at Ben Davis, albeit a little shorthanded with some key contributors taking the ACT. A dominant performance could signify that they are a legitimate threat to Carmel. In a meet of this size, frontrunning is huge for Avon.
#5 FW Carroll
The Chargers have laid relatively low so far. As usual, Carroll has dominated its area of the state and looks like a solid podium team. FlashRock should be the Chargers first real test, and perhaps their only one until the semistate.
#6 Hamilton Southeastern
The Royals looked good at the Wildcat Classic last week, running everyone in a dominating win. This year’s squad isn’t quite as deep as the 2013 state runners-up, but they are always a threat to score just four runners with Rachel Nichwitz leading the squad.
#7 Columbus North
Still without its usual frontrunner, North has looked pedestrian by its own lofty standards. This feels like a breakout week.
#8 Pendleton Heights
Ranked 11th by inccstats.com, our committee (of one) loves the Arabians upside if frontrunner Alex Buck can get back to All-State form.
The Eagles are on par with last year’s team that made the state finals for the first time in school history. This meet affords them a great opportunity to match up with comparable squads.
INDIVIDUALS TO WATCH
The individual race is a relative who’s-who-of-those-who-aren’t-Rohrer. If she is not able to come back and compete this season, and reports are highly optimistic that she will begin competing soon, it’s like that this year’s individual champion will compete in this meet.
Malyka Abramson, Avon
Abramson has been absent from results, though her team has run in just two 5ks and only one that was decently competitive for a team as good as Avon. If she can even maintain her former cross country prowess, the Orioles undoubtedly have the best 1-2 in Indiana.
Allie Dalton, Greenwood
Dalton was a runaway winner at Martinsville, her only big race thus far. After a top ten finish in her freshman year, is she ready to pass many of the state’s elite? We’ll know a lot more after Saturday.
Taylor Nicholson, Avon
Nicholson owns the state’s best time and is the only cross country runner in Indiana, other than Anna Rohrer, to hold an individual state title. It seems reasonable to call her the favorite individually for this race.
Rachel Nichwitz, Hamilton Southeastern
Perhaps the most reliable distance runner in Indiana since Alex Banfich, Nichwitz is aiming at her fourth top ten finish in her career. She is one of two girls in the state to have broken 18 minutes this season.