NORTH CRAWFORD - For the first time in Ridge and Valley Conference history, the North Crawford cross-country teams competed for a conference championship.
Though only three R & V schools were able to field full teams, it was still a historic win for the girls cross-country team. The team won with 29 points, followed by Kickapoo-LaFarge with 44 and Wauzeka/-Steuben with 47.
To no one’s surprise, Trojan freshman Helen Carstens was the girls first conference champion, setting the bar high for a conference record by winning in a season and career best time of 19:34 for the 3.1 mile course.
Next in fifth place for Crawford was Norah O’Brien in a time of 23:07. Katie Shellhorn also had a good day of running by finishing in tenth place in a season best time of 25:35. Junior Grace Corlis ran her best race of the year by more than two minutes and finished in eleventh place in 26:20. Rounding out the top five for the girls was foreign exchange student Nagore Bermeosolo in fourteenth place in a time of 27:09. Rounding out the rest of the team were Pompam Kornwong in 22nd place in 37:17 and Will Supassara in 23rd in a time of 42:43.
Carstens and O’Brien received all-conference first team, while Shellhorn, Corlis and Bermeosolo received all-conference second team honors. Helen Carstens also received the girls athlete of the year award.
On the boys side, Wauzeka-Steuben dominated the day and won with 18 points. Kickapoo-LaFarge was second with 56 points and North Crawford was third with 65.
Junior Tyler Walters from Wauzeka-Steuben was the overall winner and athlete of the year for boys in a time of 17:33.
For North Crawford, Dominic Carstens was first in a career best time of 18:52 for fifth place, followed closely by teammate Gavin Forkash in a career best time of 18:53 in sixth place. Next was Liam O’Brien in 17th place in a time of 24:12, Parker Frandrup in 18th in 24:43 and Dylan Heisz in 19th in 25:59 (Career Best).
Carstens and Forkash received all-conference first team honors by placing in the top seven runners in the race.
“I am so proud of all of the athletes,” North Crawford Cross Country Coach Mike Allbaugh said of the team’s performance at the first-ever Ridge and Valley Conference Cross Country Meet. “They all ran their season best times and really put a lot of effort into the races.
“Helen again looked really strong and is setting herself up to finish the season well,” Allbaugh said. “Grace Corlis really stepped up at this meet.
“Dominic and Gavin also had good runs by finishing under 19 minutes,” the veteran coach noted. “The end of the season is going to be very exciting as we compete in the sectional meet in Fennimore on Saturday.”