Culver Academies Invite to feature exciting changes

CULVER — A mini-state meet. That’s what running fans across Indiana call the cross country invitational held at Culver Academies every year.
They’ve done it so often, in fact, that Eagle coach Mike Chastain has decided to make it official.
Two new races — an elite competition for girls and another for boys, matching many of the best teams across the Hoosier state — will highlight the 32nd annual Culver meet Saturday.
Over 4,000 runners will trample the grass around the Academy in what is easily the largest prep athletic event in the state, in terms of participants. As of Tuesday, there were 2,971 runners registered for high school races, and another 1,226 in middle schools events.
During the day, there will be junior high races, a division for small schools, and another for larger schools. Start time is 8:30 a.m. (EDT)
The elite competitions will be the last of 12 races. Elite girls start at 1 p.m. and the elite boys at 1:25 p.m.
Four of Indiana’s top five ranked girls teams will be there: No. 1 Carmel, No. 2 West Lafayette, No. 3 Columbus North and No. 5 Carroll (Fort Wayne).
The boys elite field includes four of the top seven ranked teams – No. 1 Carmel, No. 3 Columbus North, No. 6 Valparaiso and No. 7 Indianapolis North Central. The elite races also include outstanding individual runners whose teams are not competing, such as Rochester’s Anna Bearss.
Defending national girls cross country champion Anna Rohrer of Mishawaka cannot run due to a broken foot, but she is part of the festivities. Rohrer will ride in the vehicle leading elite runners around the 5,000-meter course beside Lake Maxinkuckee.
Chastain said the idea for an elite completion has been brewing for several years after conversations with Valparaiso coach Mike Prow.
“We decided to try it and see what happens,” said Chastain, who used a combination of meet results, individual times and polls as criteria for selecting the field.
Also new this year, Chastain said teams will be allowed to enter eight or 10 runners in varsity races, rather than the usual seven.
“With computer technology, that won’t be a problem,” he said.
• 32nd Annual Culver Academies Cross Country Invitational
When: Saturday
Where: Culver Academies campus, Culver, Ind.
8:40 a.m. - Boys/Girls Middle School Reserve (3,000 meters)
9:00 a.m. - Girls Middle School Varsity (3,000 meters)
9:20 a.m. - Boys Middle School Varsity (3,000 meters)
9:40 a.m. - Boys Freshman-Sophomore (5,000 meters)
10:10 a.m. – High School Girls Reserve (5,000 meters)
10:45 a.m. – High School Boys Reserve (5,000 meters)
11:15 a.m. - Girls Varsity Closed (5,000 meters)
11:45 a.m. - Boys Varsity Closed (5,000 meters)
12:10 p.m. - Girls Varsity Open (5,000 meters)
12:35 p.m. - Boys Varsity Open (5,000 meters)
1 p.m. - Girls Varsity Elite
1:25 p.m. - Boys Varsity Elite
CLOSED DIVISION (Small schools)
Bremen, Brown County, Carroll (Flora), Caston, Culver Community, Eastern (Greentown), Fairfield, Hanover Central, Hebron, Illiana Christian (boys only), Indianapolis Scecina, John Glenn, Knox, Kouts, LaCrosse, Maconaquah, Manchester, Marian, Morgan Twp., North Judson, North Miami, NorthWood, Park-Tudor (Indianapolis), Oregon-Davis, Pioneer, South Adams (girls only), South Bend Career Academy, South Central (Union Mills), Triton, University School (Carmel), Washington Twp., Westville, Winamac.
OPEN DIVISION (Larger schools)
Carroll (Ohio), Chesterton (boys only), Culver Academies, Fort Wayne Snider, Fort Wayne Wayne, Frankfort, Hamilton Heights, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, Indianapolis Brebeuf, Indianapolis Pike, Kankakee Valley, Kokomo, LaPorte (boys only), Logansport, McCutcheon, Michigan City, Mishawaka, New Prairie (boys only), Plymouth, Rochester, South Bend Clay, South Bend St. Joseph, South Bend Washington, Sylvania Northview (Ohio), Twin Lakes (boys only), Warsaw (girls only), Wawasee, Western.
Bloomington North, Carmel, Carroll (Fort Wayne), Chesterton, Columbus North, Crown Point, Fort Wayne Concordia, Indianapolis Cathedral, Indianapolis North Central, Lake Central, LaPorte, Lawrence Central, Mason (Ohio), Munster, New Prairie, Northridge, Portage, Terre Haute North, Twin Lakes, Valparaiso, West Lafayette.
Bloomington North, Carmel, Carroll (Fort Wayne), Carroll (Ohio), Columbus North, Crown Point, Downers Grove South (Ill.), Fort Wayne Concordia, Homestead, Indianapolis North Central, Lake Central, Lawrence Central, Lyons Twp. (Ill.), Mason (Ohio), Munster, Northridge, Portage, South Adams, Sycamore (Ohio), Valparaiso, Warsaw, Westfield, West Lafayette.