Carlile, Fishers Fire win national Junior Olympic titles in Florida


Last Saturday (9-Dec), 219 athletes and 17 teams from Indiana competed at the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee, Florida. 
A total of 3,139 athletes and 227 teams from all 50 states competed in the championships.  The races were conducted under unseasonably cold and damp conditions with temperatures in the low 40s throughout the day. Rain fall from the previous days left the course soggy and muddy in spots.  
Athletes earned spots on the starting line by either finishing in the top 30 (or as a member of a club that finished in the top 5) at the region 7 championships on November 18.
Races were contested in 6 age divisions (8 & under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18) for boys and girls.  The top 25 finishers in each age division earned all-American status and the top 3 teams were presented with championship recognition during the post event awards ceremony. 

Twenty-five (25) athletes from Indiana earned all-American honors including, what is believed to be a first in the 50 year historty of the meet,  four siblings earning the honor.
The storyline of the day for the Indiana athletes came in just the second race of the day as Austin Carlile and the Fishers Fire won the individual and team titles in the 7-8 division.   Carlile ran a very fast 7:18 over the 2 km course to win the individual title by 7 seconds over Gabriel Hislop of South Carolina.  Carlile’s win is the first individual title for an Indiana athlete in 13 years (Bobby Moldovan 2004, Intermediate Boys).  Reece Torres (Fishers Fire) finished ninth running 7:39 which paved the way for the Fishers Fire to score just 83 points to win the team title over Mt. Pleasant Track (South Carolina) by 3 points.  After Torres came the Fire other scores - Jacoby Woolever (44th, 8:16), Austin Rankin (49th, 8:18), Ryker Harris (58th, 8:23) and Isaac Smith (111th, 8:50).  The win by the young Fire was the first team victory for an Indiana club since 2014 when the Spiece Distance Project won the 15-16 boys and girls titles in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Carlile’s win came at approximately 9:40 am.  Over the course of the next 2.5 hours there would be six more races conducted and in half of those races one of Carlile’s older siblings would run to an all-American finish; in fact all of the Carlile siblings would finish in the top 11 in their races by the time the 13-14 boys race was over at 12:55 pm.  It is believed to be the first time four siblings have won all-American honors in the same year at the event.
In the 9-10 girls race Addison Carlile ran to ninth place finish running 11:17 over the 3 km distance. It was the third year in a row she has earned all-American honors (2016-2nd place; 2015-15th place).  Carlile sibling #3, Connor, finished 11th in the 11-12 boys division for his fifth straight all-American finish (2016-7th place; 2015-8th place; 2014-15th place; 2013-13th place).  He ran 9:58 (3 km).  And to finish the  “Carlile show” off, big brother, Jackson finish 10th in the 13-14 boys race running 13:04 over the 4 km course to also notch his fifth straight all-American honor (2016-17th place;  2015-15th place; 2014-16th place; 2013-4th place).
In the 11-12 boys race Kole Mathison (Carmel Distance Project) joined Carlile (Connor) on the awards podium with his 16th place finish running 10:03.  He led his team to a solid sixth place finish (out of 35 teams).  The team scored 220 points as South Orange County Wildcats from California won with 90 points.  Backing up Mathison as the other team scorers were Quavion Galbreath (35th), Kevin Sweeney (58th), Thomas Biltimier (106th), Ethan Hines (147th).
In the 11-12 girls race Sophia Kennedy (Carmel Distance Project) and Lauren Klem (unattached) earned their all-American hats finishing 11th and 25th, respectively.  Kennedy’s Carmel Distance Project cracked the top ten with and eighth place team finish.
Following Kennedy across the line for the Carmel team were; Macie DeLillo (43rd), Cara Naas (53rd), Jasmine Klopstad (180th), Kara Wenzler (249th).
At last year’s championships, three boys in the 13-14 race  from Indiana finished in the top 25 (Ben Myers, Luke Combs and Jackson Carlile), a feat that was repeated this year. Carlile led the Indiana podium grab with his 10th place finish in 13:04 and was quickly followed across the line by Bingham Hudson (Carmel Distance Project) and Spenser Wolf (Southern Indiana Wolfpack) in 19th and 21st place, respectively.  Hudson ran 13:08 and Wolf stopped the clock at 13:12.  It was Wolf’s second straight all-American finish (17th place 11-12 last year).  Three local clubs competed in the 13-14 race as the Potter’s Bridget Athletic Club, Columbus Running Club, and Danville Indiana Distance Project finished 15th, 16th, and 25th, respectively out of 34 teams.
In the 13-14 girls race Bridget Gallagher led her Northside Saints club to a fifth place team finish (out of 30 teams).  The team scored 182 points in the field of 30 teams.  The Parker Panthers from Colorado won with 62 points.  Gallagher finished 25th to earn all-American honors for the second year in a row (12th 11-12 girls last year).  She ran 14:34 on the 4 km course to grab the last all-American spot by just .9 seconds. Backing up Gallagher’s low stick were her Northside Saints teammates; Ashley Flick (49th), Lily Cridge (57th), Beatriz Perez (108th), and Lauren Turk (120th).  The Carmel Distance Project finished 20th in the team competition.
In the last two races of the day the 15-18 boys and 15-18 girls the athletes in the 15-16 and 17-18 divisions competed together in the same race (by gender) and scored as teams in the 15-18 division but individually in their respective 2-year age division (15-16 or 17-18).
In the boys race Ian Shaw (Dirty South XC)  was third in the 17-18 division.  That matched his third place finish last year when he was in the 15-16 division.  He crossed the line in 15:49 as Austin Mathews of Kentucky won in 15:41.  Shaw was joined by three other Hoosiers on the awards podium as Colton Shail (unattached), Jacob Wisniewski (Dirty South XC) and Lucas Coniaris (Dirty South XC) finished 20th, 22nd, and 24th, respectively.
In the 15-16 division, Blake Hipkiss (Potter’s Bridget AC) finished 15th in 16:33 and led Jack Gillard (Dirty South XC) and Joshua Miller (Dirty South XC) to all-American finishes in 23rd and 24th places, respectively. 
Shaw, Gillard, Miller, Wisniewski and Coniaris propelled their Dirty South XC team to a fourth place team finish with 126 points.  The Potter’s Bridge AC finished ninth with 241 points.  A total of 22 teams competed as the So Cal Roadrunners won with an impressive 38 points 
In the girls 15-18 race Megan Cole and Abigail Bittner led their Southeastern Indiana All-Stars squad to a 5th place team finish.  Individually, Cole was fourth in the 15-16 division running 18:55 while Bittner finished tenth in the 17-18 division in 20:12. Emilee Wedding was their #3 runner as she finished 19th individually in the 15-16 division.  Their final scorers were Elyse Hunger and Jessica Vogel.  
Also earning all-American honors were Mollie Gamble (unattached, 7th 15-16), Kelsey Dugger (Unattached, 11th 17-18), Hanna Stramm (Unattached, 13th 17-18), and Aubrey Norris (Unattached, 18th 17-18).
For a complete list of how all the Indiana athletes and teams finished click here.
The 2018 championships will be held December 8 in Reno, Nevada.

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