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Trojans compete in Marion XC Invitational

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New Castle’s Lydia Harvey (1637) runs in front with a pack of girls during Saturday’s Marion Cross Country Invitational. Harvey finished second in the girls race with a time of 19:57.3.
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From left to right, New Castle’s Skyler Dicky, Andrew Fewell, Quentin Hedges, Ella Garvin, and Lydia Harvey pose with the medals they won at Saturday’s Marion Cross Country Invitational held at Indiana Wesleyan.
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New Castle’s Andrew Fewell (far left) runs the course at Saturday’s Marion Cross Country Invitational. Fewell finished fifth in a time of 17:55.9. Photos submitted by Andy Carter

By ANDY CARTER of NCHS

MARION — The New Castle High School girls and boys cross country teams competed in their second meet of the season Saturday, traveling to the Marion Invitational hosted on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University.

The weather was ideal for racing as it was sunny, with a light breeze from the west with a temperature of around 70 degrees. The meet hosted 50 teams in four different divisions.

Girls Race

The Trojan girls were in the mid-size school “Gold” division which had 12 schools in the race. New Castle freshmen Lydia Harvey and Ella Garvin continued to show their potential as both ran exceptional races for their second meet, running the high school 5,000-meter distance in a field of 88 girls.

Both Harvey and Garvin got off to a fast start and settled in with the leaders during the first part of the race. By the 1,000-meter mark, Harvey had settled into second place in hot pursuit of the leader and Garvin was running in the top 25 at that point of the race.

As the race progressed, Harvey, still in second place, started to close the gap on the leader while Garvin steadily moved up through the field. Around the halfway point Garvin had moved up to 18th place and was still on the move and Harvey was still in second place.

By the 3,200-meter mark, Garvin had passed more competitors and moved into 11th place. Ultimately, Harvey remained in second place through the remainder of the race, finishing with a time of 19:53.7 which was 34 seconds off of her time from the previous meet.

Garvin continued to battle and eventually placed 12th with a time of 21:53.4, which was 54 seconds faster than her previous posting. Garvin’s time moves her up in the all-time New Caste standings from 20th to the 13th-fastest girl at the 5,000-meter distance.

Harvey’s time is the third-fastest ever 5,000-meter effort for a Trojan girl as she closes within 14 seconds of the school record. Only Claire Hinshaw, the New Castle school record holder, has the two faster times which were run during Hinshaw’s 2010 senior season.

Both Harvey and Garvin ran an impressive races, running confidently, strong, and battling with the competition the entire race. These two work really hard in practice and are starting to see their dedication and determination pay off in competition.

After their race, both Harvey and Garvin were pleased with their performances as were their coaches. After the race, Harvey commented that it was nice to run right behind the “Gator” (the lead vehicle meet officials drive during the race) and see the time clock throughout the race.

All in all, it was a very exciting second meet of the season for the Trojans. Junior Audra McClure did not compete for New Castle, as she is working to rehabilitate an injury and hopes to be back to racing next week.

Boys Race

The New Castle boys were in the mid-size school “Gold” division, which had 10 schools and 90 competitors in the race.

The Trojan boys had an impressive showing by placing fourth as a team in the Gold Division, just 10 points away from the third-place team. The New Castle coaches were impressed with how the team pushed itself to achieve faster times in the second meet of the season.

Newcomer to the team, sophomore Andrew Fewell, just joined the team a couple of weeks ago after moving to New Castle from San Antonio, Texas. Fewell went out with the leaders at the start of the race, finding himself in the lead at the 800-meter mark.

Fewell stayed in the lead until around the halfway mark of the race when a pack of competitors caught up with him. Holding strong the remainder of the race, Fewell ultimately placed fifth with a time of 17:55.9, which was a was a personal best by two seconds.

The Trojan duo of sophomore Skyler Dickey and junior Ayden Humbles worked together the first part of the race until Dickey pulled away around the mid-point of the event. Dickey was around 15th place at the halfway point and looked strong.

Dickey kept picking off competitors one-by-one the remainder of the race, ultimately placing ninth with a time of 18:09.1 which was an improvement from the previous week and his personal best by 33 seconds.

Finishing next for the Trojans was junior Quentin Hedges with another impressive race. Hedges, known for his surges to pass competitors during the race, used those skills to continually move up through the field during the race.

Hedges finished in 26th place with a time of 19:19.1, which was over two minutes, 16 seconds faster than his time in this meet in 2018.

Humbles, who struggled with numbness in his right leg during the race, came in next for the Trojans with a still-respectable time of 19:48.6, which was good for 37th place.

Rounding out the top five scoring for the Trojans was senior Drew Nelson competing in his second high school cross country meet. Nelson ran with focus and determination and dropped a minute and 21 seconds from his time the previous week.

Nelson’s finishing time of 20:01 was good for 41st place. He was pulling double-duty for NCHS on Saturday, as after his race he was off to a Trojan Marching Band competition later in the day.

The Trojan trio of sophomore Xander Bray, junior Dominic Reynolds, and senior Luke Carter worked together throughout much of the race to pull each other along and move up through the field.

Bray ultimately pulled away after the two-mile mark and had a strong finish. Bray’s time of 20:45.6 was good for 58th place and was a personal best by a minute and ten seconds.

Reynolds was next, rounding out the top seven for the Trojans with impressive race, as he improved upon his personal best by 16 seconds and was a minute and 14 seconds faster than the previous meet. Reynolds’ time of 21:08.9 placed him 62nd.

Carter was right behind Reynolds down the home stretch to the finish line and placed 63rd in 21:17.1 which was 12 seconds faster than the previous meet.

Sophomore Joshua McCune, competing in his first cross country race, had a solid showing. McCune ran sprints during the spring track and field season and decided the first of the summer that he would train for cross country. His hard work and determination over the summer is paying off as he finished 86th with a time of 24:40.

Senior Will Hayes rolled an ankle during warm-up yet started the junior varsity race with hopes of being able to complete the race. Unfortunately, around the two-mile mark the pain in his ankle was too severe for Hayes to continue and he pulled off of the course.

Senior Ben Head and freshman Bradley Henderson did not compete in the invitational, as they are working to rehabilitate from nagging injuries. Both hope to be back on the course next meet.

This was a very good second meet of the season which will help the team form new goals for future meets.

New Castle competes next at Saturday’s Randolph Southern Invitational which starts at 9:30 a.m.