Dirty South cleans up in Terre Haute

Tommy Beggs, Staff Writer

The Bloomington South men’s cross country team competed in their first meet of the season this past Saturday at the Valley Kickoff Classic. The meet was held in Terre Haute at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course, the site of several NCAA and Nike Championships. The boys dominated the field by placing five runners in the top 20 finishers. They scored just 35 points, 70 points lower than the second place finisher.

South frontrunners, senior Ian Shaw, senior Wil Zinkan and junior Josh Miller, all managed to run under 17 minutes, comprising half of all runners at the meet to do so. Zinkan was satisfied with his performance, especially because Lavern Gibson is “one of the harder courses [they] go to,” Zinkan said.

The next two Bloomington South competitors were senior Matthew Kawanishi and junior Mason Moore who both finished in under 18 minutes.

Coach Larry Williams gave the top runners instructions to keep their running controlled and then to finish out the last mile of the 3.1 mile race at a high tempo, similar to how they would run a 1 mile race. As evidenced by the stellar results, this strategy was very successful.

The Panther distance squad looks to be living up to its fourth place preseason ranking in Indiana. This ranking, although just a guess at where the team could land in the postseason, is a “nice little confidence boost,” Zinkan said.

Notably, junior Jack Gillard was absent from the race due to not meeting minimum practice requirements; however, he will run towards the front of the pack when he returns. Next week, the Panthers will be running a 4 kilometer race at North Central, and will look to continue improving off of their strong start.