Graham gets all-state finish to lead Viking harriers to ninth at state meet

Josh Graham.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Senior Josh Graham closed out his high school cross country career with an all-state finish and led the Huntington North High School boys cross country team to a ninth place effort at the Indiana state championship on Saturday, Oct. 31, in Terre Haute.

Graham, usually the Vikings number two runner, toured the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in 16:36.8 to place 16th overall to gain all-state honors and lead HNHS to 284 points.

Columbus North won the competition with a total of 63 points. Chesterton placed second with 131, North Central was third with 189, Carmel was fourth with 203 and North Harrison got the final podium spot with 212 points.

Graham's efforts also gave him a place in the HNHS record books with the team's top individual finish of all time, one place ahead of Matt Ditzler's 2006 state effort.

Graham placed 11th among the team competitors. Fellow seniors Ross Ochs and Austin Roberts got the next two spots for HNHS as Ochs placed 19th in 16:56.8 and Roberts was 43rd in 17:209. Juniors Jake Crosley and Sam Doughty completed the Viking scoring with 98th place in 17:56.4 and 113th place in 18:05.4, respectively. The race marked Doughty's first competition in several weeks due to injury.

Sophomore Darius Volgelanm placed 115th and freshman Cordell Lewis was 148th as the HNHS non-scorers.

The individual state champion was sophomore Futsum Zeinasellassie of North Central, who sped through the course in 15:51.6 to defeat runner-up Chris Walden of Carmel by almost 10 seconds.

Graham, Ochs and Roberts all leave Coach Curtis Hines' Vikings this year due to graduation.