Sanchez first state runner-up from Region since 2011
Highland sophomore Lucas Guerra wasn’t far from that pack, finishing 11th in 16:04 after starting the race with the lead group.
“I looked around and saw I was with all of the top guys in the state,” Guerra said. “And it kind of freaked me out, so I backed off a bit.
“Around the 2-kilometer mark, I realized what I had left so I started picking it up and passed a few more guys.”
With Guerra in front, Highland was the top local team, placing 12th with 329 points and winning the sixth-man tiebreaker over Hamilton Southeastern and Lowell.
“It’s crazy how much we went through this season just to get here,” Guerra said. “The whole town was at the school to send us off on Friday.
“We’re just glad that we were able to represent our town as best as possible.”
LaPorte senior Mitchell Gits almost missed the chance to represent his school at state, after a subpar performance at last week’s semistate.
But he rebounded, finishing in 16:10 for 17th overall.
“I went from winning at regionals to almost not making it to state to placing in the top 20 here,” Gits said. “How does that happen?”
Crown Point junior Genesio Christofanelli was the fourth Region runner to earn all-state honors, placing 18th in 16:12.
Gits, meanwhile, pointed to the confidence boost he received after earning the regional title — his first win in high school.
“I knew that from there, I had no excuse,” Gits said. “There was a lot of hard training from June until now and believing in myself.”