Reece Gibson and Erin Strzelecki continued their winning streaks at the New Haven cross country semistate championship at The Plex, but the competition was hotter than ever on a cold and wet Saturday afternoon.
Gibson, a Concordia senior, won the boys race in 15 minutes, 34.3 seconds, but he led Lapel's Luke Combs by just 1.2 seconds as they crossed the finish line. Izaiah Steury of Angola was a close third in 15:39.7.
Two of Gibson's teammates, Wilson Whicker and Drake Kropf, also finished in the top seven, leading the Cadets to their first semistate title with a team score of 49. The team had an average time of 15:59, the fastest of any team competing in Saturday's four semistate races by 13 seconds.
The Homestead boys, led by Braden Sweet and Jared Neff in eighth and ninth place, respectively, finished second with 98 points, and Fishers was third with 99. West Noble, Columbia City and Hamilton Southeastern claimed the final three team berths at the state meet, which is Nov. 2 in Terre Haute.
On the girls side, Erin Strzelecki won in 17:29.4, and Zoe Duffus of Carroll set a program record with a second-place finish of 17:33.1. Addison Wiley of Huntington North was third in 17:57.6.
The Chargers, whose five scorers all finished within the top 17, easily repeated as semistate champions with 50 points. Fishers was second with 139 and Homestead third with 145. Hamilton Southeastern, Northridge and Concordia round out the six advancing teams. Strzelecki's Saints finished eighth and will not compete at the state meet as a team.