Blackford’s junior high cross country teams brought their season to a close at the CIC Championships held at IWU on Saturday.  The weather was beautiful and perfect for running combined with a fast course at IWU lead to excellent racing for the day.

The Oak Hill teams dominated the CIC in both the middle school and high school races. The girls middle school race posed the closest team competition for them. Oak Hill scored 33 points, but Eastbrook was right there with 37. Blackford captured the  3rd and 7th places and took 3rd as a team.

 For the boys middle school, Blackford placed 5th. Unfortunately, the lead Gator missed an early turn for the 3K course and lead the boys down the high school course. The boys ended up running closer to an estimated 2.1 miles than the intended 1.86.

 Overall, it may not have affected the placings and team scoring much, but many of the boys had personal goals they were trying to attain to finish out the last race and, for some, their junior high career. The random distance isn’t comparable to any other races they have run for the season.

On the long course, Owen Jackson from Oak Hill won the race after leading throughout. Darius Osborn finished 9th in the standings to earn a ribbon. Keaton Walker made the top 20 earning a ribbon for 17th place. Gage Baker and James Jernigan finished 27th and 30th to complete their first season of cross country. Mason Kitterman was 33rd to wrap up the team score with Tanner Roberts close behind in 35th and Charleston Slentz in 63rd.

Cierra Faber stormed to the front to start the girls conference race. She trailed Eastbrook’s Olivia Howell, first place finisher in 12:04, for most of the race, but couldn’t hold on to that 2nd place slot in the end. Cierra finished 3rd earning a medal and all conference honors with a PR of 12:58 in her first season of cross country. 

Allie Clamme had a great race with a PR for 7th place earning a ribbon. Ammee Uggen also had a PR in 25th to close out her JH career.  Abigail Slentz ran 4th for the team finishing 35th and Karlie Pitts was 37th. Both girls finished with their 2nd best times of the season. Eighth grader, Isabelle Reid finished with her season best in 42nd and Loralie Hile ran a strong race for 52nd.

Coach Amanda Slentz was beaming with pride when she said, “As coaches, we couldn’t ask for more than the way our kids ran today. Everyone went out and ran a strong race to finish the season off right. Sure, we are disappointed that the boys course was long, but things happen. It was just a few years ago that the girls race was short at CIC. 

These kids have worked hard all season and should be proud at the improvement everyone has had from the first to the last runner.  The sport of cross country allows individuals to test their own limits and push the boundaries until they are far beyond what they could have imagined possible in the beginning.  Our first year runners really came on strong here at the end of the year, as well as our veterans, who were all running better than previous years.  We were missing a few runners today because of fall break travels and the fifth graders can’t run at conference, but others stepped up to fill in the gaps.  We hope the kids take these achievements and use the confidence and discipline in all aspects of their lives.  We look forward to seeing them again next season whether it be on the 3K or 5K course.”


Boys (2.1 miles; 

5th of 7 teams)

9th, Darius Osborn (8) in 12:59

17th, Keaton Walker (8) in 13:35

27th, Gage Baker (7) in 14:33

30th, James Jernigan (8) in 14:45

33rd, Mason Kitterman (6) in 14:57

35th, Tanner Roberts (6) in 15:06

63rd, Charleston Slentz (8) in 18:36

71 runners

Girls 3K

3rd, Cierra Faber (7) in 12:58 PR

7th, Allie Clamme (8) in 13:17 PR

25th, Ammee Uggen (8) in 14:22 PR

35th, Abigail Slentz (6) in 14:58

37th, Karlie Pitts (6) in 15:26

42nd, Isabelle Reid (8) in 15:48 SB

52nd, Loralie Hile (6) in 17:07

62 runners

3rd of 5 complete teams with 8 schools represented