IHSAA Boys Cross Country
1996-97 State Finals in Review
Carmel swept the 1996 IHSAA cross country state meets
November 9, 1996 at Conner Prairie in Fishers, winning the girls
championship by a 40-point margin over Columbus East and the boys
race by a 20-point edge over defending state champion Ben Davis.
This was the fourth time that Carmel has swept the
IHSAA cross country state meets. The Greyhounds also won both
titles in 1982, 1987 and 1988.
For the top-ranked Carmel girls, it was their second straight championship and eighth in the 16-year history of the event. Each of the titles has come under the guidance of coach Chuck Koeppen.
Sophomore Julie Ham became the first Carmel girl
or boy to win an individual IHSAA cross country championship with
a five-second victory over junior Erin Womble of Chesterton. Sophomore
Brandi Silvonek of Chesterton was another four seconds back in
Running in windy, 35-degree weather with three inches
of snow on the ground from an overnight storm, Ham was clocked
in 14:50 over the wet and muddy 4,000-meter course that was serving
as the state meet site for the first time.
Carmel's other scoring runners were senior Brooke
Bryenton in 14th at 15:22, junior Cody Sohn in 17th at 15:27,
junior Angela DeVoe in 21st at 15:30 and sophomore Erica Wolf
in 47th at 15:55. For team scoring purposes, Carmel's runners
came in at 1, 8, 10, 12 and 25.
For the top-ranked Carmel boys, it was their first
state championship since 1993 and their 10th IHSAA title overall.
Koeppen has been the coach of all 10 state championship teams.
As a team, Carmel was able to use team balance to
overcome a one-two Ben Davis finish by junior Fasil Bizuneh and
senior Brad Bernhardt. Bizuneh ran four seconds ahead of his teammate
in 16:09. Senior Damian Sherck of Elkhart Central was another
seven seconds back in third place.
Senior John Vyverberg led Carmel with an 28th-place
finish in 16:58. Carmel's other scoring runners were senior Josh
Trisler in 35th at 17:02, senior Tito Downer in 45th at 17:10,
junior Matt Hettlinger in 47th at 17:11 and junior Andy Smock
in 48th at 17:11. For team scoring purposes, Carmel's top five
runners came in at 11, 15, 23, 24 and 25.
Overall, the two 1996 cross country titles pushed
Carmel's overall IHSAA championship count to 56, tops among all
IHSAA schools. This also marks the 13th consecutive school year
that Carmel has won at least one IHSAA state title.
Nicole Nigh of Lake Central was named the 1996 recipient
of the IHSAA Mental Attitude Award in Girls Cross Country. Nigh,
who finished sixth in 15:04, ranks eighth in a class of 579 students.
Bernhardt of Ben Davis was selected as the 1996 recipient of Charles
F. Maas Award for Mental Attitude in Boys Cross Country. He ranks
28th in a senior class of 827.
Farm Bureau Insurance, corporate partner of the IHSAA,
will award $1,000 scholarships to Lake Central High School in
the name of Nigh and to Ben Davis High School in the name of Bernhardt.
BOYS TEAM RESULTS
|North Central (Indianapolis)||150|
|Terre Haute South||257|
|Fort Wayne Northrop||321|
BOYS INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
|1. Fasil Bizuneh, junior, Ben Davis||16:09|
|2. Brad Bernhardt, senior, Ben Davis||16:13|
|3. Damian Sherck, senior, Elkhart Central||16:20|
|4. Jason Hochstedler, senior, Northwestern||16:24|
|5. John Warmoth, senior, Mishawaka||16:25|
|6. Rusty Niccum, junior, Westview||16:29|
|7. Clay Malayter, senior, Hebron||16:29|
|8. Ayron King, junior, Pike||16:30|
|9. Steve Casebolt, senior, Richmond||16:31|
|10. Evan Cooksey, sophomore, Brownsburg||16:34|
|11. Chad Andrews, sophomore, Northfield||16:34|
|12. Jason Walker, senior, Woodlan||16:35|
|13. Tom Taylor, senior, Portage||16:38|
|14. Jeff Headrick, senior, Concord||16:40|
|15. Jason Cussen, senior, Northfield||16:41|
|16. Ryan Schreiber, junior, New Prairie||16:42|
|17. Benjamin Norton, senior, Fort Wayne Snider||16:42|
|18. Joey Byrne, junior, Floyd Central||16:44|
|19. David Rudy, junior, Northwestern||16:46|
|20. Jonathan Jacob, senior, Mount Vernon||16:47|
|21. Jeff Glant, sophomore, Southport||16:48|
|22. Maurice Robinson, senior, Gary West Side||16:48|
|23. Matt Bliss, senior, Yorktown||16:50|
|24. Greg Borlik, sophomore, North Central (Indianapolis)||16:51|
|25. Michael Watts, sophomore, Westview||16:52|