Cross country: Morgan wins first boys title at Rensselaer Sectional
By Jeff Manes Post-Tribune correspondent October 9, 2012 11:20PM
Updated: November 11, 2012 6:32AM
RENSSELAER — The wide open prairies of Jasper County were a little on the breezy side for the boys and girls sectional at Rensselaer.
In the girls race, Kankakee Valley placed four in the top 10 to take sectional champ honors with a team tally of 47. West Central placed second with a score of 61. Also advancing were the host Bombers, North Judson and LaCrosse.
Kougars sophomore Michelle Kent took individual first-place honors with a time of 19:51. It marked the second time in her brief career that she had broken 20:00.
“Last week at conference I got 19:26,” Kent said. “I hate the wind. At Highland, a couple weeks ago, I got an ear infection from the wind. It’s still hurting me.
“I let the West Central girl (Mickayla Wenzel) lead for the first half-mile, then I decided to take the lead.”
The boys race was a barn-burner with Morgan Township’s top three placing first, second and fourth. Kankakee Valley’s top three placed sixth, seventh and eighth, and the Kougars’ No. 4 and No. 5 runners finished ahead of the Cherokees’ No. 4 and No. 5. But when the smoked cleared, Morgan won 43-49 over KV for the first boys cross country sectional title in school history. Kankakee Valley was the only team in the field to place five runners in the top 15, yet fell short of winning.
“We had a real good base to work from — a real good summer,” Morgan coach Mike Grennes said. “The guys are running their best times of the year right now. Christian Dupre usually runs No. 5 for us; tonight he finished fourth for the team. Dupre and (Kyle) Osborne ran just tough enough for us to squeak by.”
The other three boys teams advancing to Saturday’s New Prairie Regional were LaCrosse, Rensselaer and North Newton.
Morgan’s Alec Kostelnik took first with a time of 15:54, nearly a minute ahead of runner-up and teammate, Ben Savage.