Saturday provided a perfect morning for a run, and Franklin’s Andrew Bixler and Isaiah Lindsay took full advantage of it.
The two Grizzly Cub juniors finished a clear 1-2 in the boys meet, leading the way as the home team claimed the Johnson County championship.
Franklin finished with 29 points, 10 fewer than runner-up Center Grove.
“I planned on running with Isaiah most of the time,” Bixler said. “We planned out our race beforehand, and we just went out and ran our race that we wanted to run, and conditions helped perfectly with that.”
The Grizzly Cubs also had the top individual in the girls race, as freshman Lillian Lacy won by more than 19 seconds, but Center Grove’s superior depth pushed it to the team title. The Trojans (36 points) held off Whiteland (43) and Franklin (57) for first place.
Nina Fujii and Victoria Martin were second and third overall to pace Center Grove, which placed eight runners in the top 18. Gabrielle Harrell (seventh), Julia Falcone (11th) and Sadie Schemmel (13th) rounded out the Trojan scoring.
“We worked so hard over the season, and I think it’s really paying off,” Fujii said. “All of our teammates are working really hard together.”
Franklin’s boys were without their top runner, senior Josh Campbell, but it didn’t matter on Saturday. William Tucker and Wyatt McCullough crossed the line in sixth and seventh place, respectively, and Caleb McCort clinched the victory for the Grizzly Cubs by finishing 13th.
Center Grove’s Ethan Stanley and Archit Malik took third and fourth individually, while Greenwood’s Ethan Pine was fifth.
On the girls side, Whiteland’s Erika Walling and Taylor Leytham wound up fourth and fifth, respectively.
The county meet doubles as a tuneup for this weekend’s sectional race, which will also be held at Franklin.
“We’re excited to see how we do next week,” Grizzly Cubs coach Adam Schwartz said. “A lot great teams we get to see, and see how we stack up.”
“We’re excited and nervous at the same time,” Fujii said of the postseason. “We’ve just got to work hard.”