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Girls cross country: Elena Lancioni, Taylor Austin earn all-state honors

ElenLancioni junior running for LaPorte High School left Paige Pizer junior running for Portage High School along with teammate Rhyan

Elena Lancioni, a junior running for LaPorte High School, left, and Paige Pizer, a junior running for Portage High School, along with teammate Rhyan Sloan, a sophomore, leave the finish-line area after the race. The 32nd Annual IHSAA Girl's Cross Country State Finals was held at The Lavern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute Saturday, October 27, 2012. | Doug McSchooler~for the Post-Tribune

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Updated: November 29, 2012 6:58AM



TERRE HAUTE — LaPorte junior Elena Lancioni and Griffith senior Taylor Austin may not be on the same team, but the two standout region runners worked together to navigate the Lavern Gibson Champion Cross Country Course in the state finals meet.

“Taylor was right next to me the whole way,” Lancioni said. “We were pretty close for most of the race.”

Added Austin: “We got near the finish line and she broke away, but I ran with her for most of the race. That’s where I wanted to be.”

Both runners earned all-state honors by placing in the top 25. Lancioni’s final kick moved her to 16th place and a time of 18:35. Austin finished 22nd with a time of 18:48. Mishawaka sophomore Anna Rohrer won the race with a time of 17:13, defeating last year’s champion, Warsaw’s Ashley Erba, who was this year’s runner-up.

Immediately after the race and before the official results were released, Lancioni repeatedly said: “I want that medal. I’m happy with how I did but I’m just hoping for that medal,” referring to the medals awarded to the top 15 runners at the state meet. Lancioni was only three-tenths of a second away from her goal of 15th place, and added that it will only serve as motivation for her senior year.

“I was really hoping I could get up there, but I gave it my best race today and I’m happy with that,” she said.

Austin had the same goal as her LaPorte counterpart.

“I’m glad I got all-state, but I wish I’d done a little bit better,” Austin said. “I got out pretty well at the start but I got stuck a bit in the middle. The wind was tough, especially when going uphill.”

Just like the boys’ race, Carmel took the state championship with a team score of 66.

Valparaiso had the strongest day of the three DAC team representatives, finishing in 15th with 405 points. Chesterton followed in 16th with 407 points, while Portage took 21st with 455 points.

“We didn’t get out well,” Valparaiso head coach Boomer Nellessen said of his underclassmen-laden squad. “We packed up and they thought that meant we were in a good position, but we weren’t. When you have a young team, those are the things that they have to learn on their own. When you’re here, it’s a totally different ballgame. We’ll take this lesson and go from there.”



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