LIGONIER - One streak reached 12 Saturday at the West Noble Regional championship, but another saw a sad, but successful end.
Carroll won its 12th straight girl’s cross country regional title, which is the longest current streak in the state, and it was the 11th straight with a Poynter girl on the Charger roster.
The third-ranked Chargers dominated as they placed all five scorers on the All-Regional team (top 15), and won with 53 points. Concordia was runner-up with 97 points.
Also advancing to Saturday’s New Haven semi-state at The Plex were Homestead (101), Fremont (127) and DeKalb (162).
Individually, the race was won by Fremont’s Anna Aldrich in 18 minutes, 24 seconds. Concordia’s Marina Konow was second in 18:49.
Carroll was led by freshman Madison Fruchey, who placed sixth, but running fourth for the Chargers was senior Amy Poynter, who finished 14th. It marked the fourth straight season that Poynter has been on the regional championship team, and when you add in sisters Jenna (Carroll 2005 grad) and Mandy (Carroll 2009 grad), it marks the 11th straight year that a Poynter sister has helped the Chargers win the title.
“I didn’t realize it until Coach (Zach) Raber told me,” Poynter said. “He told me every year he’s coached at Carroll he’s coached a Poynter. And every year he’s coached a Poynter, he’s coached a regional team champion.”
“I thought that was pretty cool,” Poynter said. “I told my sisters and they thought it was pretty cool, too.”
Although the Chargers won fairly easily, it was a late charge by Poynter that may have been the highlight, as she moved up from a pack in the mid-20s.
“Alexis Norris (17th) and Amy ran well but that was about it,” Raber said. “We just didn’t run well today at all. We need to go into every (post-season) race thinking it could be our last and are kids are not doing that. There is no sense of urgency.”
Placing third overall was Columbia City’s Samantha Roush (18:52). She battled Konow until the finish, just like she had done Tuesday at the Northrop Sectional. Even though the result was the same (Konow won the sectional title), Roush is feeling more confident.
“I’m doing better,” Roush said, alluding to a mid-summer injury that has delayed her racing. “But we are getting down to the end, so I just need to keep improving.”