TERRE HAUTE — Culver Academies head cross country coach Michael Chastain knew his girls would be facing an uphill climb at semistate.
By his calculations, the Lady Eagles would need to run at or below their personal bests in order to advance to state, a goal complicated by the fact that they had just recorded PRs a week before on their home course at regional.
While it may have seemed farfetched, the Academies’ girls got the job done nevertheless last Saturday, with a meet record-setting championship run by Waverly Neer and new PRs by Kacie Hermanson, Eden Brackenbury and Kayla-Colleen Miracle for fifth place and a ticket out to the LaVern Gibson Champion-ship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute Saturday.
“Everybody in our top five either ran very close to their PRs or ran a PR,” said Chastain of last Saturday’s New Prairie Semistate. “Waverly had a good performance, it wasn’t quite her PR; Kaye Sitterly was in the range of her PR as well, and the next three had set PRs at the regional meet and set more PRs at semistate.
“They stepped it up and not only did they not get sixth but fifth. It was a very good team performance. You just don’t see that very often where at one level they get PRs and the next week they get another nice PR.”
Bremen’s Hope Jordan will make the individual trip out to state in her final season with the Lady Lions after clocking a personal best 18:47.5 for fifth place at the New Haven Semistate last weekend.
“The biggest thing in the semistate race was not to go out too hard because obviously you’re with the best of the best there,” she said of her strategy. “I guess just competing with those girls, not worrying about time too much and just trying to stay with them worked out in the end."