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December 20, 2016 • Sports
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Cole and Bellingham named All-American
S.E. Indiana All-Star runners compete in national championship

The journey that began on November 12 in Shelbyville for the Southeastern Indiana All-Stars came to a close on December 10 in Hoover, Alabama. The runners participated in the USATF Cross Country Junior Olympics by competing in the State, Region 7 and National Championships. The National Championships were kicked off at the opening ceremonies at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium with a parade of athletes and a motivational speech given by US Olympian Terrence Trammell.

Shianna Bellingham and Meagan ColeSUBMITTED PHOTO
Pictured left are All-Americans Shianna Bellingham of Jac-Cen-Del High School and Meagan Cole of South Ripley High School.

The high school girls team won the State and Region 7 meets and placed 7th at the National Meet. The high school girls that competed in the National Meet at Veterans Park included Kasey Baker (RS), Shianna Bellingham (JCD), Megan Cole (SR), Lauren Greiwe (EC), Elyse Hunger (JCD), and Lauren McIntosh (SR). The girls competed as a team in the HS (15-18 year old) division. They were also competing individually in two age groups, 15-16 and 17-18. Competing in the 15-16 age group were Megan Cole (11th, 19:52), Lauren Greiwe (37th, 21:05), and Elyse Hunger (67th, 22:35). Competing in the 17-18 age group were Shianna Bellingham (17th, 21:43), Kasey Baker (32nd, 23:36), and Lauren McIntosh (39th, 26:54). Megan Cole and Shianna Bellingham were named All-American by placing in the Top 25 of their age groups. They received special medals, a mug and a USATF Jr. Olympics All-American hat. Emilee Wedding (EC) competed individually in the 13-14 age group, placing 220th (16:19) out of close to 400 runners.

The high school boys team advanced their way to the National Meet by placing in the top 10 in the State and Region 7 meets. The high school boys who competed in the National Meet were Garrett Ardis (EC), Samuel Gabbard (SD), Scott Jackson (EC) Conner Skirvin (SwH), Alex Wedding (EC), and Bradley Winston (SwH). The team finished 24th in a field of over 350 runners. Competing in the 15-16 age group were Scott Jackson (83rd, 18:05) and Garrett Ardis (138th, 18:53). Bradley Winston had to step out of the race due to losing his shoe, as a result of the crowded field and narrow course. Runners competing in the 17-18 age group were Alex Wedding (76th, 18:21), Samuel Gabbard (87th, 18:34), and Conner Skirvin (101st, 19:47).

Southeastern Indiana All-Stars was started to offer local youth runners (ages 8-18) the opportunity to compete at the state, region and national levels.
The running club chooses each year between AAU and USATF depending which is in the best interest of the runners and parents cost wise. It is an amazing experience for the athletes from several different schools to come together and form a team. The friendships and camaraderie developed among these young athletes and parents during these meets is a wonderful experience all in itself. Southeastern Indiana All-Stars has given many young athletes the opportunity to participate in several parts of the country over the last six years. Athletes get the opportunity to compete with other athletes all over the nation.

Article submitted by Coach Karen Cole

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