The New Palestine girls cross country team won its second straight sectional title Saturday by the slimmest margin possible, beating Franklin Central 48-49.
The Dragons clinched their second straight sectional and third in five years in the race at Mt. Vernon.
Dragons runners took the top two spots, with Brenna Shaw claiming the individual sectional title with a time of 18:49.4. Emma Mann was runner-up in 18:50.3 as the two finished almost side-by-side.
A Dragons team that was competing without two of its top runners showed its depth. Courtney Study finished sixth in 20:11. Emily Adam placed 20th (21:30) and Jocelynn Flagle 21st (21:33). Morgan Stone finished 42nd and Emily Santelik 45th.
In addition to the Dragons’ 1-2 finish with Franklin Central, Mt. Vernon was third (75), Roncalli fourth (104) and Warren Central fifth (108). Those teams will advance to next Saturday’s regional at Rushville.
The Dragons boys finished seventh of 10 teams and will advance two individuals to the regional. Hayden Isaacs finished 38th (18:58) and Connor Lapenta 44th (19:35). The top five teams and top 10 individuals on non-advancing teams advance to the regional.
Also for the Dragons, Cameron Mann finished 45th, Nicholas Jackson 50th and Ethan Galster 51st. Harrison Holloway was 54th and Jacob Collins 55th.
The Dragons tallied 219 places. Franklin Central (19), Mt. Vernon (59), Greenfield-Central (79), Warren Central (94) and Roncalli (135) took the top five spots and advanced to the regional. Eastern Hancock (197) was sixth. NP was 15 spots ahead of Scecina (234) and 24 ahead of Lutheran (243). Beech Grove was 10th in the 10-team meet with 261 places.