- Published on 31 October 2011
- Written by Scott Springer/The Community Press
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INDIAN HILL The big news for Indian Hill cross country this month was not so much the district championship for the girls, but the third-place finish of the boys team. The showing in West Chester Oct. 22 put the Braves in the regional meet for first time since 2001.
"As a team, we've had some guys qualify individually, but not together," coach Susan Savage said.
Junior Austin Hughes was Indian Hill's top finisher in sixth place, sophomore Josh Leibel was 19th.
"They're coming together," Savage said. "Of the top seven, only one of them is a senior, the rest are underclassmen. If they work together, they can get better for next year."
Next year is the best they can do now as the Braves finished 15th at the regional meet in Troy Oct. 29. Mason McClay and Austin Hughes were the top finishers at 61st and 63rd, respectively.
Predictably, Savage's Lady Braves took the district championship at Voice of America Park with senior Elizabeth Heinbach taking first. She was followed by sophomore Elena Horton in third, senior Adrian Horton in seventh and sophomore Annabel Reick 13th.
The district victory gave the Lady Braves a great deal of confidence heading into the regional meet.
"Last year, we beat Wyoming by one," Savage said. "It was good to relax this year and beat them by 30."
At the Division II district meet, Heinbach had one of her tougher races with Cincinnati Hills League rival Emily Stites of Wyoming. Heinbach won again by less than five seconds.
In Troy, Stites finally accomplished the previously unattainable, beating Heinbach by slightly more than six seconds.
Heinbach still qualified for state for her fourth straight year with her second-place finish of 18:39.74.
For someone who ran with a target on her back, the Indian Hill senior's streak is pretty remarkable. Savage has given her highly decorated runner a lot of independence.
"She's pretty calm, cool and collected," Savage said. "My coaching philosophy with her and any of the kids is you've got to run your race. You can use the competition to push yourself and that's what Elizabeth has been doing."
Despite the mini-setback, Savage's confidence in her senior is unwavering.
"She's a gamer, the pressure doesn't get to her," Savage said.
The bigger disappointment for the Lady Braves was not advancing as a team.
"Our goal has been to get the whole team there," Savage said.
Heinbach was fifth at the state meet last fall. She'll be joined by sophomore teammate Elena Horton, who finished sixth at Troy in 19:17.16.
Heinbach and Horton tackle the state course Nov. 5.
"We're going to run our race, whatever happens, happens," Savage said.
Click Here for full meet results