Maddy Hurt
Maddy Hurt
Five county athletes will compete at the New Prairie cross country semistate on Saturday. A finish in the top 10 of the individuals that don't advance with a team will mean a trip to the state finals next week in Terre Haute.

On the girls' side, North Montgomery will send twin sophomore runners Hana and Haley Heide. Freshman Maddy Hurt will represent Crawfordsville.

Hurt was eighth at the Harrison regional with a time of 20:04.

"Looking at the teams feeding into New Prairie, I feel like Maddy is in a great position," Crawfordsville head coach Megan Craig said. "If the projected schools advance out, she has a good shot of advancing as an individual with a solid (personal record). She does a great job of stepping up to challenges. The Harrison regional is a fast group of runners and she took eighth overall. Breaking 20 minutes and running a mid-19 is a goal I think she can attain."

Hana and Haley Heide finished the regional with times of 20:54 and 20:55, respectively. They will need to drop some significant time if they hope to make it to the state meet. But Charger head coach Mike Myers said that the runners have put in the work all season to be in a position to drop time.

"The best way to drop time is to let adrenaline do the work," Myers said. "As the season continues and the stakes get higher, I've seen Hana and Haley's time drop. It takes a mixture of physical preparedness and mental toughness and knowing what you have to do to advance and compete. I put a lot of stock in the idea of preparing their minds for the race and building confidence going into the race."

In addition to Hurt, Crawfordsville is represented by Davis Thompson on the boys' side. For both schools, having runners to prepare with has been a help.

"By this point in the season, if you're still practicing it's because you have worked hard and prepared all year," Craig said. "This isn't luck that has gotten these kids here. This is the product of morning practices throughout the summer when it would have been much easier to sleep in. It's a season of pushing themselves harder than they thought was possible."

Hurt is looking to be the first Crawfordsville girl to advance to state. The only girl to ever make it to cross country state for North Montgomery was Jennifer Fay in 1983.

"I think that having other county runners at an event isn't so much a 'feeding off of' process, but instead a feeling of familiarity that hopefully calms the nerves of runners and allows them to have a 'just like any other race' feeling" Myers said. "I do, however, feel that this far along in the season, I don't find myself paying attention to the name on the front of the jerseys, but instead that Montgomery County is being represented."

The top six teams will advance from each of four semistates. The next 10 individuals, not from those teams, will also advance. The action will begin at 10:30 a.m.