For the Daily Journal
With temperatures soaring toward 80 degrees and a nasty headwind pushing throughout the course on Saturday, the times suffered in the biggest cross-country meet of the season.
At the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, the runners competed with the elements as much as they did each other for the state title.
Center Grove senior Valerie Clark finished 112th of 206 runners in the girls’ race, running the course in 20 minutes, 29.6 seconds.
Clark ran the first fifth of the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race in 3:38, toward the front of the group.
Her next three kilometers were all over 4:11 before she finished a bit stronger in the final stretch at 4:04.
At the Shelbyville Semistate a week earlier, Clark had advanced as an individual with a time of 18:35.1. At last year’s state meet, her first go-around, she clocked 19:10.3 for 48th.
DeKalb junior Tyler Schwartz won the girls race in 18:08.6.
Carmel won its seventh straight team championship with 44 points. Fort Wayne Carroll was runner-up with 113 points, followed by Homestead (157), Zionsville (166) and Noblesville (245).
The Fort Wayne Carroll boys won their first-ever team championship with 71 points. Carmel placed second with 117 points, followed by Lowell (166), Fishers (169) and Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran (173).