FORT WAYNE –
It’s been quite a run, so to speak, this year for three Carroll cross country runners who are looking to duplicate their track success.
A state 3,200-meter relay title might just be the tip of the iceberg for Charger seniors Eric Claxton, Alex Hess and Jonathan Harper.
But pressing them and their Carroll teammates will be some outstanding runners and teams around northeast Indiana.
Here’s a look at some of the top teams and runners around northeast Indiana:
Jacob Reinking, Concordia: The senior finished 16th at the state finals in 15:54.75.
Alex Hess, Carroll: The senior finished 17th at state with a time of 15:56.35.
Zach Panning, Concordia: The junior will be looking to improve on his time of 16:01.55 and 25th place at the state finals.
Luke Miller, Bishop Dwenger: The senior was 42nd at the state meet in a time of 16:17.75.
Jonathan Harper, Carroll: A talented track runner as well, the senior was 48th at state in 16:19.85.
Carroll: A ninth-place state finish and the return of the top seven runners give the Chargers more than enough reason for optimism this year.
Warsaw: With senior Jacob Poyner and juniors Ismael and Ellis Coon back, the Tigers are hoping to improve on their 15th-place finish in the state.
Concordia: Reinking and Panning return, along with senior Kody Jones, junior Nathan Sutapong and sophomore James Mallers.
Bishop Dwenger: The Saints missed a chance at state last year and have given Miller some help with junior Matt Klein and sophomores Greg Tippmann and Kevin Wuest.
Homestead: The Spartans, seventh at the 2011 semistate, will try to take the next step with seniors Max Silcox, Ben Haberly and Blake Harris and junior Sam Moore returning.
Back again: Claxton, Hess and Harper will team up again in a quest for a state title after winning the 3,200-meter relay title at the 2012 state track finals in June.
Carrying over: Last year, South Adams senior Evan Liechty was the first runner in school history to qualify for the state meet.
Carrying on: Whitko finished 17th at the 2011 state finals but lost its top five runners, with only sophomores Derek Miller and Evan Cozard returning.
Panthers prowling for talent: Snider lost arguably its best senior class ever – including Mitch Dutton, Blake Jones and Adam Williams – and will be looking for replacements.
The door opens: North Central’s Futsum Zeinasellassie has dominated cross country and track recently, but he has graduated and has left the returning competitors hopeful instead of hopeless.