LINGONIER – The Homestead Spartans swept the team titles at the West Noble Cross Country Regional meet Saturday morning as the boys edged two-time defending champion Concordia and the girls ended a 20-year winning streak by the Carroll Chargers.
Homestead sophomore Addison Knoblauch won the girls race in 18:27, beating runner-up Addison Lindsey, an East Noble freshman, who finished nearly a minute later in 19:24.
Lauren Saddington, Alexis Goebel and Elise Peckinpaugh finished 10th, 11th and 13th for the Spartans, who won with 59 points. Lindsey's Knights were right behind with 62 points, followed by Carroll in third with 67. Concordia and Leo will also advance to the New Haven semistate at Huntington University next week.
"We knew it was close, and it could've gone several different ways. Probably the pivot point was where our No. 4 finished," Homestead girls coach Sara Wyss said. "It's been since 1999 since we won a regional, so it's exciting to do."
The Homestead boys will also be celebrating on Saturday night before getting back to their training schedule today. The Spartans, who were paced by third-place Ethan Baitz in 16:27, finished with 68 points, narrowly ahead of Concordia's 74.
"There's a lot of excitement this year, it's a team, we've got four seniors running in that top seven for us this year that have put in a lot of hard work the last four years," Homestead boys coach Ian Wilson said. "And not just the top seven – our alternates, they call themselves our hype crew. That's where all the excitement comes from, that's led by Trevor (Nadeau), another one of our seniors. And they're just thrilled. They love the sport. They love everything about cross country."
Defending boys state champion Izaiah Steury, an Angola senior, won his second individual regional title in 15:41. But this year's tournament run carries an added bonus for the Notre Dame commit as the Hornets won their first sectional title last week and advanced to semistate for the first time in program history based on Saturday's fifth-place finish.
"We've been working all year and we've had that as our goal, and we've achieved that, and that means so much, more than anyone has known," Steury said. "We're such a small team. We've only got six guys. We really get to work hard every day, they put so much hard work and effort in, and it's amazing to watch them go to great lengths to be successful as a team. I love it. I'm blessed to be a part of it."
Columbia City's Austin Hall, fresh off a win at the Northrop sectional, was second in 16:11. His Eagles finished fourth with 99 points, just one spot behind third-place Carroll with 98, and both teams will move on to the semistate.