With the 2023 ECI Cross-Country season half over we thought it was a great time to push out a mid-season review for every team in the ECI Runner broadcast area.
Blackford- The biggest highlight of the season for the Bruins so far has been the elevation of senior Keaton Walker. The senior has been running consistently well all season long and currently posts a personal best time of 17:07.
Blue River Valley- The team highlight for the Vikings so far this year has been hoisting the team trophy at the Rushville Invite (Division 2) a few weeks ago. Individually, Blue River is led by a quartet of seniors with lead men Zach Crull and Ethan Blackburn up front. Crull has the Vikings best time thus far this year with a time of 17:42.
Cowan- The Blackhawks have put together another competitive team this year and have found themselves the runner-up in three different invites so far this season (Ethan Cheesman, Rushville and Union City.) Leading the way for Cowan has been senior Gavin Ashby, whose stellar season has included two invitational wins (Rushville and Union City.)
Daleville- The Broncos have been led this year by junior Noah Colvin who recently ran a season best time of 18:18 at the Yorktown “Jim Leffler” Invite. Not too far behind Colvin of late has been senior Meryck Adams who has been steadily improving and helping solidify Daleville’s top 5.
Delta- Senior Tyler Dillon has showed out for the Eagles this season, most notably running a 16:33 this weekend at the Flashrock Invite. The next five Delta runners behind Dillon are either sophomores or freshmen. This young pack has been led this season by sophomore Drayton Swanson.
Jay County- The bright spot for Jay County this year has been sophomore Joseph Boggs. Boggs, who is one of the best young runners in the area, ran a season best time of 17:28 this past Saturday at the Jim Leffler Invite.
Monroe Central- Senior Eli Chamberlain has been leading a young Golden Bear squad this season as they will hope for a regional berth in the weeks ahead. Chamberlain's best runs thus far this season have been a 16:53 PR run at the Marion Inv. and being the individual winner at the Randolph Southern Invite. Behind Chamberlain are key contributors for the Bears including junior Lane Dance and freshman Jackson Wines.
Muncie Burris- Senior Ryne Wagner has had a stellar season so far for the Owls, including a 16:35 PR at the Jim Leffler Invite and a runner-up finish at the Randolph Southern Invite. Not too far behind Wagner on this solid Muncie Burris squad is sophomore Noah Smith, who just last week ran a personal best of 17:30 at the Jim Leffler Invite.
Muncie Central- The Ethan Cheesman Invite team champions is led by senior Gabe Reynolds, who joined the prestigious sub-17 minute club last week by running a time of 16:59 at the Jim Leffler Invite. Following Reynolds has been junior Chet Clark who has helped give the Bearcats a formidable 1-2 duo that will be hoping to punch a team ticket to regional next month.
New Castle- With only two seniors on the roster, this young Trojan team is setting themselves up for a lot of improvement as this season moves forward. Leading the charge for New Castle is senior Harrison Calloway, who currently has a season best time of 17:46.
Randolph Southern- The Rebels only have two runners on the roster but they include two formidable juniors in Ronnie Dotson and Jamie Pegg. Both runners have been in the low 19s already this year and will be looking to secure individual regional berth spots come mid October.
Shenandoah- The Raiders squad is entirely made up of underclassmen as they build for the future. The lead runner for Shenandoah this season has been freshman Aaron Wood, who has a personal best time of 21:30.
Union- Supporting only three total runners on the roster (all of whom are freshmen) the Rockets are young and looking to give themselves some positive momentum for years moving forward. Leading Union this year has been Lamar Schwartz, who has a PR of 19:50 this season.
Union City- With only four individuals on the roster, the Indians have been led by front runner Conner Walser, who has two invite wins under his belt including the Union County Invite and the Centerville Bulldog Invite.
Wapahani- The Raiders have had a solid start to the season including team wins at the Lapel Invite, Burris’ “Phil Clay” Invite, the Shelbyville Golden Bear Invite (Gold Division) and the Delaware County Championship. Leading the way for Wapahani has been the familiar name of Nick Cook. The 2022 XC state qualifier currently has five invite wins so far this year including a 15:37 SR Gold Division win at Shelbyville this past Saturday. After Cook, the Raiders have seen solid seasons by junior Caleb Aber and sophomore Mason Tomboni, both of which have gone sub-17 minutes thus far this season.
Wes-Del- The Warriors season so far has been highlighted by sophomore Jon Cook, who ran a 17:46 at the Jim Leffler Invite this past Saturday. Another recent highlight at the Leffler for Wes-Del was the meet saw all but one Warrior runner set a season best time at this point in the season.
Winchester- With 12 runners on the roster, the Golden Falcons have a lot of depth and potential for growth as the season continues. Up front for Winchester so far this season has been junior Hunter Patterson and sophomore Aiden Mendenhall, both of which will have regional qualifying aspirations next month.
Yorktown- The Norwell “Bob Dahl” Invite and Pendleton Arabian Roundup team champs have been one of the most dominant teams in ECI this season. With a plethora of newcomers, led by freshman Wyatt Turner the Tigers have been in attack mode all season long. Thus far, Turner has tallied two invite wins for himself including at Norwell and at his home course at the Jim Leffler Invite this past weekend. Not too far behind Turner has been senior Johnathon Loney, who has steadily improved throughout all four years of high school to make himself one of the top runners in all of ECI.