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Perry Central boys, girls PLAC champs

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By Larry Goffinet

PAOLI - Perry Central had the top four finishers and six of the top 12 as it won the PLAC boys cross country meet Thursday for the third year in a row.

The Commodores also won their first official PLAC girls cross country title despite running without the two-time defending individual champion.

Perry Central junior Jake Schwartz won the boys race in 17:48, two seconds ahead of teammate Ian Bashor.

Michael Ernst placed third in 17:51 and Eric Scheiber fourth in 18:00.

Neal Schwartz placed 10th in 18:51 to complete the Commodores' scoring and also make all-conference, an honor that goes to the top 10 finishers.

Jacob Schwartz was 12th in 19:28 and Noah Gatwood 23rd in 20:32.

Patoka Lake Conference officials let more than seven runners from a team participate in the race this year, though still only the top seven could figure in scoring or moving other teams' scorers down.

Kyle Schnell, 29th in 20:54, and Leland Nolan, 40th in 21:56, also ran for the Commodores.

Perry Central Coach Jason Barnett was impressed with his runners' times.

"This course generally runs about a minute slower than most," he said. "Corey (Kimball, who won the race last year) was the only guy under 18 (minutes) last year. Tonight our fourth guy was 18 flat."

Perry Central junior Rachael Rayford, who won the girls race the last two years, did not run Thursday because of a foot injury.

That opened the door for Paoli star Audrey Thill to win the race in 21:37. But Perry Central took the next four places.

Lavina Schwartz was second in 22:17, Susan Schwartz third in 22:19, Amy Schwartz fourth in 22:27, and Brianna Crockett fifth in 22:45.

Sarah Brown was the Commodores' fifth scorer, finishing 23rd in 27:27.

Robbi Thomas, bothered by a knee problem, finished 24th in 27:46 and Katie Schwartz was 26th in 29:11.

The Commodores also won the girls team title two years ago, but because only three teams then had the required five girls for a team score it was not recognized as an official conference event by the PLAC.

The Commodores will compete in the Jasper sectional Tuesday, with the girls race starting at 5 p.m. and the boys race at approximately 5:30 p.m.

As for Rayford's availability for the sectional, Barnett said Tuesday, "She goes back to the doctor tomorrow. We should know then whether we'll have her."

Boys team scores: Perry Central 20, Mitchell 56, Paoli 72, Orleans 111, Springs Valley 123, Crawford County 124, West Washington 195

Varsity girls team scores: Perry Central 37, Crawford County 48, Paoli 55, Mitchell 75