Tim Creason | For The Journal Gazette DeKalb's Tyler Schwartz, right, battles Emma Wilson of Greencastle at the front of the girls field during Saturday's state cross country finals.
Sunday, October 29, 2017 1:00 am
Girls state cross country
DeKalb's Schwartz battles to 3rd place
Three runners propel Carroll to 2nd as a team
TIM CREASON | For The Journal Gazette
TERRE HAUTE – Tyler Schwartz knew the other girl would be there, knew how strong she was.
But at some point, her legs just wouldn't move any faster.
“I didn't have any response,” said the DeKalb senior of the point, about a half-mile from the finish, when Greencastle's Emma Wilson surged away during the girls state cross country finals Saturday.
Wilson – Indiana's state champion in the girls 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs in track – pulled away from Schwartz on the homestretch at the Wabash Valley Sports Center and rolled to a 17:45.9 victory in the 5-kilometer race.
Schwartz, the defending champ, tired on an uphill stretch to the finish, slipping to third in 18:07.9.
Wilson and Schwartz ran side-by-side through the first 4,000 meters, but when the Greencastle junior made her move, it was a serious one.
“My plan was to go after 2K and try to work a gap, but she was still there the whole time,” Schwartz said. “When she went, my legs wouldn't turn over and my calf was hurting a lot.”
To say Schwartz was unhappy would be an understatement.
But there were a lot of those Saturday.
“We've definitely had our ups and down this year,” said Carroll junior Meagan Hathaway after the Chargers surprised even themselves a little bit with a runner-up team finish.
“There were some low points where we wondered if we were even going to bring a team to state this year,” she said. “But I guess it worked out pretty well in the end.”
Hathaway led the way with a 24th-place finish, clocking 18:37.4.
But it was an outstanding display of pack running that brought the Chargers within 11 points of team champion Zionsville.
Margaret Falater finished 38th, Leah Metzger 39th and Mallory Clements 40th, with less than three seconds separating the Carroll threesome.
Zionsville, however, placed two finishers among the top 10 to finish on top, 118-129.
Bishop Dwenger finished 15th. Homestead was 18th and Concordia 22nd.
At the start of the season, most running observers around Indiana considered Carroll's girls a lock to win the state title. But a devastating string of injuries put the Chargers in a world of hurt.
“The season didn't turn out the way I thought it would, starting with (defending state runner-up) Abby Green being out,” Carroll coach Phil Yoder said. “We were putting Band-Aids on everything this year.
“Really, to finish second, that's a testament to their work ethic,” Yoder said. “We thought we could still be in contention for the title, which we were, but we also knew we weren't healthy. We just wanted to run the best we could today.”
East Noble's Kayla McCulloch ran a great race to finish fifth in 18:17.3, while DeKalb's Lauren Beckmann also mounted the IHSAA awards stand with a 15th-place finish in 18:29.1.
Erin Strzelecki led Dwenger with a 12th-place finish in 18:27.6, filling the awards podium with Fort Wayne-area runners. Julia Dvorak was 76th for Homestead and Ellie Cates 101st for Concordia.