Bertoli, Welch highlight high school Cross Country State Championships

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Terre Haute South's Jackson Bertoli and Carmel's Kelcy Welch won their respective races to highlight this year's IHSAA Cross Country State Finals at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute.

Bertoli rallied to win the individual crown in a time of 15:32.4 overtaking Zachery Panning of Fort Wayne Concordia who held a commanding lead but faded unexpectedly and fell with approximately 200 meters left. Bertoli became the first Terre Haute South runner to win a cross country state championship.

Greenwood's David Dalton (15:37.0) was the runner-up followed by Warsaw's Ellis Coon (15:41.4), LaPorte's Anthony Didion (15:43.9) and Carmel's Ben Veatch (15:44.0) rounded out the top five.

Veatch's finish led Carmel to a second straight team title with 64 points. Bobby Browning was seventh (15:47.4), Ben Anderson was 13th (15:51.8), Michael George was 33rd (16:11.7) and Thomas Revard ended 36th (16:14.0) overall.

Columbus North was the team runner-up with 78 points, Carroll (Fort Wayne) was a distant third with 192, Brebeuf Jesuit finished fourth at 198 and Terre Haute South fifth with 228.

Kelcy Welch, the girls champion, crossed the tape in 17:53.9 leading much of the way over the 5,000 meter course. She was the first of three Greyhounds to finish in the first 11 runners and led the way toward Carmel's fourth straight team title and fifth in six years. Haley Harris (18:31.8) and Kelsey Harris (18:33.8) finished 10th and 11th, respectively with Gina Genco (18:57.3) and Rachael Weesner (19:15.5) taking the final two scoring spots for Carmel's 76 points.

Mackenzie Caldwell of Columbus North finished second overall (17:56.8), Elena Lancioni of LaPorte was third (18:03.5), Rachel Nichwitz of Hamilton Southeastern fourth (18:04.0) and Taylor Nicholson of Avon ended fifth (18:06.9).

Hamilton Southeastern took the girls runner-up spot with 122 points, followed by Columbus North (141), West Lafayette (150) and Avon (152).

Story from:  IHSAA