Cold and breezy weather conditions greeted the field of runners at the much anticipated Carmel Semistate on Saturday, which was comprised of many of the best in the state. Eleven of the Top 25 teams in the state were included in the field of 20. The Oldenburg Academy Lady Twisters were ranked No. 20 entering the day.
Leading the way for the Lady Twisters all season was senior Sarah Billingsley.
And Saturday was not any different.
Billingsley will be making her second consecutive trip to the IHSAA State Finals for cross country this Saturday in Terre Haute because of her outstanding effort at the semistate.
The OA senior placed fourth in a field of 180 runners competing on the 5K race at Northview Church.
Billingsley darted out to an early lead, but the talented field of runners kept pace. Eventually, she settled into the top five for the remainder of the race.
Carmel’s Kelcy Welch and Avon’s Mary Abramson paced the race much of the way, but Billingsley did not let them get too far out in front. Rachel Nichwitz would later pass the OA senior.
Billingsley crossed the finish line in a time of 18:16.
Last year, Billingsley was a Top 10 finisher at the state meet. She was seventh with a time of 18:21. One more year of training and the experience she gained last season will make it interesting this Saturday.
The Lady Twisters did not reach the Top 20 on the legs of just one runner. It has been a team effort all season.
On Saturday, the Lady Twisters had an outside shot of slipping into the top five, but it was not meant to be. Oldenburg Academy was eighth overall with a team score of 200 points, which was nine behind Fishers. Carmel was the team champion with 52 points followed by Hamilton Southeastern (61) and Avon (110).