Coach says cross-country team ready

Irish hope to challenge Carmel for team title


Bella Leous

Junior Cole Hocker runs earlier in the season at the Plainfield Relays. Hocker and his fellow runners will compete in the men’s cross-country State Finals on Oct. 28 in Terre Haute.

Caitlin O'Connor, Reporter

Nerves are a natural feeling preceding a cross-country meet, yet the men’s cross-country team, the only team in the state, according to at least one newspaper sports reporter, that has a chance of beating juggernaut Carmel, isn’t necessarily nervous. 

According to Head Coach Mr. James Nohl, his team came within 18 points of Carmel at a meet earlier in the season.  About the men’s State Finals on Oct. 28 in Terre Haute, Nohl said, “The State course is fast but hilly; we’ve got the strength to run the hills.”

Lead runner junior Cole Hocker finds himself in close competition with Hamilton Southeastern runner senior Gabe Fendel, who finished ahead of Hocker in the Semistate, but Nohl said he is hopeful that Hocker will set his personal record and compete for the individual State title. Hocker’s current PR (also the school record) is 15:08, and on his thoughts about beating it at the last meet of the season, Hocker said simply “maybe.”

The Irish are excited for the State Finals, as team members wore their yellow State Finals T-shirts to school on Oct. 27 and are expected to be introduced at the pep rally, which kicks off at 2:15 in the Welch Activity Center.

Nohl said that the final practice before the State meet will be a “jog, stretch and possibly ice” if the weather permits. And the night before State, they’ll eat pasta for dinner, of course.