Warsaw's Zeb Hernandez eyes the finish line. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Warsaw's Zeb Hernandez eyes the finish line. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
SYRACUSE – Heaving, puking, gasping, the Warsaw girls cross country runners pushed themselves past the limit Tuesday.

The Lady Tigers gave it everything they had to defeat Wawasee and Plymouth in a Northern Lakes Conference meet, while the Warsaw boys team also won at Wawasee. 

The Lady Tigers topped Wawasee 19-44 and Plymouth 16-47, while the Lady Warriors were edged 28-27 by Plymouth.  

The Warsaw boys bested Wawasee 24-31, and Plymouth 22-35, with Wawasee defeating the Pilgrims 21-36.

Warsaw girls coach Jason Fleming said that, with the New Prairie Invitational coming up on Saturday, the Lady Tigers needed to put pressure on themselves.

“It’s time that we take the kid gloves off a little bit and started pushing the girls, and see exactly what we can get a hold of,” Fleming said.

Warsaw got a hold of four of the top five spots, with Adree Beckham placing first in 20:09. 

Fleming said the Lady Tigers (5-0 NLC) stay motivated by competing with each other. 

“We talk about, ‘What are you gonna do next (and) how are you gonna push your teammates to that next level?’” he said.

Wawasee’s Kenzie Smith finished second in 20:20. Lady Warriors coach Doug Slabaugh was glad his team raced in cooler conditions, and noted his team’s improvement. 

“(It’s) definitely a step in the right direction,” he said. 

On the boys side, Warsaw’s Zeb Hernandez came in first in 16:32. 

Warsaw coach Jim Mills commended the improvement of Hernandez, who started the season by getting hurt at Warsaw’s invite after a suspension last season, and is now regularly at or near the top of the pack. 

“I knew he’s got the natural ability and he’s a competitor, and it’s just gonna take time,” said Warsaw boys coach Jim Mills. “Hopefully by the time the tournament rolls around, he’ll be the old Zeb, and he’s slowly taking those times down.” 

Wawasee (2-3 NLC) gave the Tigers (5-0 NLC) a run, taking the second and third slots.

Spencer Hare finished second in 16:51, while Luke Griner followed in third in 17:01. 

“We ran much more competitively,” said Wawasee boys coach Chad Hoffert. “That’s good for us psychologically, and hopefully we can get everything where it needs to be in three weeks and make a run.” 


Team Scores – Warsaw 14, Wawasee 44; Warsaw 16, Plymouth 47; Plymouth 27, Wawasee 28

Local Individuals – 1. Adree Beckham (War) 20:09; 2. Kenzie Smith (Waw) 20:20; 3. Wini Barnett (War) 20:21; 4. Alex Hermann (War) 20:48; 5. Remi Beckham (War) 20:57; 7. Amslie Howett (War) 21:16; 12. Emma Ebright (Waw) 21:38; 21. Bailey Mayhew (Waw) 22:18; 25. Lily Tyler (Waw) 23:06; 26. Cammy Kryder (Wawa) 23:06. 


Team Scores – Warsaw 24, Wawasee 31; Warsaw 22, Plymouth 35; Wawasee 21, Plymouth 36

Local Individuals – 1. Zeb Hernandez (War) 16:32; 2. Spencer Hare (Waw) 16:51; 3. Luke Griner (Waw) 17:01; 5. Sam Lechlitner (War) 17:10; 6. Tanner Stiver (War) 17:14; 7. Michael Hammer (Waw) 17;15; 9. Jacob Kissling (War) 17:37; 10. Fernando Niebbia (War) 17:46; 12. Camden Powell (Waw) 17:55; 14. Karlson Hand (Waw) 18:13.