Whitko top cat at New Haven Invite

   FORT WAYNE — It was a good day for a run Saturday and a good place to do it for local high school cross country teams.
   New Haven played host to one of the last regular season invitational competitions at The Plex in Fort Wayne.
   More than 50 teams competed within two divisions in both girls and boys. Among those were all three Whitley County schools.
   Running the same course that will be set for semistate in just under a month, local teams got an early test.
   The Whitko boys’ squad took on 32 other teams in the gold division scoring a first-place 93 points.
   The Wildcats ran in packs to take the top spot. Brian Menzie and Trapper Mize finished back-to-back in the top 10 of 216 runners.
   Menzie finished seventh at 16:17 with Mize right behind in eighth at 16:20.
   Dallas Asher, Jude Stieglitz and Brody Wilson all finished together take 25th through 27th-places. Trent Walther rounded out the Whitko runners in 56th.
   Whitley County also had one of the top girls’ teams on the day in No. 25 Columbia City.
   Competing in the purple division, the Lady Eagles had one of its best races of the season beating out three ranked opponents in No. 9 West Noble, No. 15 Bloomington South and No. 23 Homestead.
   City used two sub-19 minute times by senior Renee Menzie and freshman Samantha Roush to take second and third, respectively.
   All seven Lady Eagles finished in the top half of the 143 runner field.
   Freshman Brooke Werstler gave Columbia City a third top 25 finish taking 21st overall. The young talent for the Eagles came in again in 27th with sophomore Carlee Hearld fourth best on the team.
   Other finishers included: Samantha Engle 40th, Erin Knepple 44th, Heather Shew 51st.
   Both Columbia City teams will be back next week at The Plex for the Northeast Hoosier Conference meet.
   “This is a great way to enter the postseason,” City coach Bob Fahl said. “Everyone stepped up big time for some excellent times.”