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  • Val T.

Dodt runs 16:51, leads Pioneer to 5th at Culver Academy Invite

Montgomery finishes 9th, Smith 13th in girls race


Sports Editor, RTC

Boys cross-country

Leighton Dodt

It was literally just like old times for Pioneer junior cross-country runner Leighton Dodt at the Culver Academy Invitational Saturday.

Dodt ran a 16:51 and finished in sixth place out of 295 runners in the closed race at the invitational, and he helped the Panthers finish fifth out of 35 complete teams.

Dodt was running at Culver Academy for the first time since winning last year’s regional, also in 16:51.

Oak Hill’s Owen Jackson won the race in 16:51, and his teammate Trenton Sweet was second in 16:29. Oak Hill had four of the top 13 runners and won the team title with 64 points.

Other Pioneer runners following Dodt’s path included Carson Meyer, who was

Edison Byrum

16th in 17:18; Jackson Baker, who was 44th in 18:08; Dane Bowditch, who was 62nd in 18:25; Jack Nance, who was 67th in 18:35; Kevin Gluth, who was 136th in 19:49; Kaleb Boller, who was 185th in 20:58; Elliot Cooper, who was 191st in 21:07; and Silas Rouch, who was 295th in 31:17.

Among other area teams, Caston was 23rd with 620 points while Winamac and Culver had incomplete teams.

Edison Byrum remained Caston’s frontrunner, as he has been for every race this season. He was 17th in 17:23. Reed Sommers was 110th in 19:30, Kane Finke was 144th in 20:02, Max Sommers was 178th in 20:53, Jace Rentschler was 263rd in 23:39, Josiah Helt was 265th in 23:42, and Braden Rush was 290th in 26:10.

Sophomore Logan Fredel was the first Winamac runner over the tape in 17:55, which was good for 30th place. Nathan Pierzchalski was 56th in 18:23, Joel Showley was 220th in 21:58, and Corbin Holehan was 239th in 22:39.

The lone Culver runner was Adam Peterson, who took 214th place in 21:45.

Girls cross-country

Violet Montgomery

Led by senior Maggie Smith, the Winamac girls cross-country team finished sixth out of 28 teams in the closed race at the Culver Academy Invitational Saturday.

Caston, Culver and Pioneer had incomplete teams.

Maconaquah won with 121 points. Western was second with 149.

The fastest individual area runner was Pioneer senior Violet Montgomery, who finished ninth in a field of 249 runners in 20:24. Smith was 13th in 20:45.

This was a renewal of the running rivalry between Smith and Montgomery. Smith beat Montgomery by 14 seconds to win the New Prairie Invitational Class A race one week earlier.

Other Winamac runners included Kadence Hoover, who was 29th in 21:28; Kelsey Wegner, who was 42nd in 22:03; Kandace Kroft, who was 57th in 22:36;

Maggie Smith

Claire Goodman, who was 78th in 23:14; Avery Wegner, who was 79th in 23:16;

Lily Bennett, who was 134th in 24:53; Bethany Poor, who was 138th in 25:00; and Mara Holehan, who was 223rd in 29:48.

Other Pioneer striders included Ellie Hines, who was 82nd in 23:20; Avery Haselby, who was 120th in 24:27; and Kylie Jamerson, who was 155th in 25:29.

Caston’s two fastest runners nearly finished stride for stride: Alexa Lowe was 121st in 24:27.8, and fellow sophomore Camila Hernandez-Rios was 122nd in 24:28.0. In addition, Jaded Aguilar was 191st in 26:56, and Breana Alezquita was 240th in 32:30.

The lone Culver runner was Savanna Harrington, who was 229th in 30:22.

Mia Kotler of Chicago Latin won the race in 17:59. Maconaquah won the team title with 121 points.

Drawing close to 3,000 runners from four states, the Culver Academy Invitational has been held annually since 1983. The 25 largest schools are automatically entered into the Open races. Schools with enrollments under 700 may enter the Open race if they wish; otherwise, they are assigned to the Closed race.

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