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High Schools

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Semistate
Saturday
Area sites
New Haven, 1 p.m.
At the Plex North
Feeder regionals: Delta, Elkhart Central, Marion, West Noble
New Prairie, 11:30 a.m.
Feeder regionals: Crown Point, Culver Academy, Harrison (West Lafayette), New Prairie
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Bailey Beery of Bellmont is a favorite heading into Saturday’s cross country semistate at New Haven. The sophomore also was a member of the Braves’ soccer team.

Braves’ dual threat

Soccer done, runner focuses on cross country semistate

– Bellmont sophomore Bailey Beery has successfully balanced participating on the cross country and girls soccer teams.

In cross country this year, Beery won the Bellmont Sectional in a course-record 18:21, the Marion Regional in 18:32.3, the NHC meet in 18:30 and also set a school record of 17:50 in a meet. In soccer, she earned first-team All-NHC honors at midfielder while leading the Braves to a sectional championship. She often had a match, meet or practice in both sports on the same day and missed only three cross country meets this year because of a conflict.

“It’s tiring, but I have been training my whole life so I am used to it,” Beery said. “It was pretty busy every day. (Sunday) was probably the first day I have had a total break of nothing. I usually have something going on every day. It was the first day in I don’t know how long where I had a complete break.”

It went down to one last week when the soccer team fell to DeKalb 4-0 in the semifinals of the East Noble Class 2A Regional. That loss came just one day after her course-record at the sectional and three days before her regional title.

“She is pretty disciplined and stays on top of everything,” Bellmont coach Carl Risch said. “One of her strongest attributes is her mental toughness. She’s got what it takes to help her do well this season.”

Beery’s personal-best as a freshman was 20:05 but because of hard work and improvement during the track season and over the summer, she has managed to trim off two minutes of that and become one of the best female runners in northeast Indiana just a year later.

“She has made tremendous strides forward,” Risch said. “She had a good season in track, and that kind of catapulted her. The improvement was showing there, and she continued to improve this year.”

Despite the miles and miles and hours and hours of training for both sports, Beery has managed to stay relatively healthy except for a sprained ankle that slowed her down for less than a week last year.

“She’s been very fortunate to avoid the injuries,” Risch said. “That’s the hardest part is working out in soccer and cross country and getting the kind and amount of training to succeed. She’s been able to do that.”

Beery said she will continue participating in both sports for the remainder of her high school career.

“Cross country definitely helps in soccer because it gets my endurance going,” she said. “The sprints in soccer help me in cross country with the footwork.”

Beery is regarded as one of the top contenders at Saturday’s New Haven Semistate at the course near the Plex North.

With two races this year on the semistate course, Beery’s confidence at semistate is high.

“I am pretty excited about semistate,” Beery said. “I am just hoping I can win it. I am going to try my best to win. Last year, I didn’t think I liked it so much, but this year hasn’t been that bad.”

gjones@jg.net

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