XC season begins
Rushville co-ed cross country started the 2021 campaign with a trip to the Triton Central Early Bird Invitational at Shelbyville’s Blue River Park Aug. 16. The Lion boys (80 pts.) were third among four schools while the Lady Lions placed fourth (87). Franklin Central swept the meet.
“We had several improved times from last year’s first meet, and I look forward to the upcoming challenges,” said coach Amy Tush.
The boys are young with seven in the underclassmen ranks. The girls have a strong 1-2 punch.
“Cross country is a long, tough season,” added Tush. “Running in all the elements, for 3.1 long miles, takes a determined athlete and we have those on both teams.”
Senior Kyle Stanley led all Lions in 8th place (18:03). He was backed by freshman Hunter Parmerlee (18th; 19:31), sophomore Charlie Sterrett (20th; 19:38), Isaac Krodel (22nd; 20:03), Wyatt Jacobs (31st; 20:53), Trenton Dyer (34th; 21:14), Dustin King (47th; 22:39), Isaac Schelle (48th; 23:05) and Jacob Lilly (54th; 24:38).
Junior Olivia Wehr (24:3) and senior Savannah Westphal (24:31) were 11th and 12th, respectively. Sophomore Mia Norvell (23rd; 28:28), Sofia Kemple (25th; 29:26), soph Maddy Hankins (27th; 30:57), Yanitza Norvell (29th; 36:04), Jorja Ellis (30th; 38:54) and Lanea Adams (31st; 38:54) finished as well.
Rushville faced some of the best teams in the state Aug. 21 at the Zionsville 4K run on the rolling Northview Church campus in Carmel. 
Stanley continued to lead the team with a 30th place finish (14:20) out of 161 runners. Sterrett led the underclassman race with a 42nd-place showing (personal best 14:57). Rushville’s boys were 9th out of 13 teams in the freshman/soph division. Numbers 2-5 for the Lions are within 25 seconds of one another.
Wehr was 59th and Westphal 64th among the 200-girl field. Junior Ashley Whitham, M. Norvell and Hankins all had personal bests. “Our girls continue to improve and work hard together,” said Tush.  
The Rushville Classic (35-team field) was Saturday, held for the first time in four years.     
Boys’ strategy was moving up a division to see where the Lions stood with future regional opponents. The home team responded by all varsity getting season bests and placing 6th, topping rivals East Central, Connersville, New Castle and New Palestine. Mt. Vernon easily won with 36 points as the Lions scored 141. Stanley ran 17:51, just outside the top 10 in 11th. Parmerlee finished at 19:07 (26th). Sterrett (19:20; 34th), Dyer (19:30; 37th), Schindler (19:39; 40th), Krodel (19:55; 48th) and Jacobs (19:52; 46th) as King, Schelle and Lilly represented the Lions in the reserve race.
The Lady Lions were 3rd in Div. II, scoring 58 to Centerville’s 25. They were led by Westphal with a 7th-place finish (career-best 23:02).  Wehr was 12th (24:22) and junior Ashley Whitham was 13th (career-best 24:44). Finishing out the top 5 for the Lady Lions were Kemple (23rd) and Adams (30th). Ellis (37th) completed varsity.
Other team winners were Roncalli (Div. 1 girls), South Ripley (DIII girls), Centerville (boys DII) and Cambridge City (DIII boys).  
The Lions partake in the Union City Invitational Saturday, 11 a.m.
Lion tennis results 
Rushville boys tennis got off to a good start with a 3-2 Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference win over East Central Aug. 16.
“We got a solid performance from our singles lineup tonight,” said coach Hollis Heuer. “At #1 doubles, Jensen Smith and Josh Wainwright are paired up for their first season together. Their play will improve dramatically." 
The duo lost 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 to Ray Krider and Max Koehler and second doubles of Mason Mosburg and Trevor Hunter also fell 6-1, 6-0 to Noah Mersmann and Nolan Fritz. Marlin Hershberger shut out Max Daniels 6-0, 6-0 at 1 singles; Sam Smith won 6-3, 6-2 over Mathew Graf at No. 2 and Cam Jackman defeated Ian Maxwell 6-2, 6-4 at third solos. Edgar Fernandez lost two JV sets.
“We knew we would be tested with a well-coached bunch tonight and we were,” Heuer said of a 3-2 win over Greensburg Aug. 18. “We also got a strong and determined effort from everyone."
Singles came through again. Hershberger knocked off Bryce Stringer 6-3, 6-2 and Smith canned Abe Tebbe 6-2, 6-2. Jackman was a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 winner over Karson Scheidler. Smith/Wainwright took Jeter Edwards and Jack McKinsey to three sets but fell 4-6, 6-2, 5-7. Dan Fisse and Reece Beaver claimed a 6-1, 6-1 win over Mosburg/Hunter. Fernandez was defeated in 2 JV sets.
Rushville earned another 3-2 win Aug. 23, this time over Greenfield Central, despite not winning a game in doubles. Smith/Wainwright and Hunter/Lucas Vaughn each fell 6-0, 6-0. Smith was on the winning end of a 6-0, 6-0 match. Jackman needed 3 sets (4-6, 6-4, 6-0) and Hershberger the same (6-2, 5-7, 6-2)
“We showed tremendous resilience tonight by winning a couple of 3-set shootouts on the singles side,” said Heuer. “We went home tired, but I think the kids felt gratified.”
Mosburg and Fernandez dropped JV pro sets.
In yet another 3-2 outcome, RCHS got by Eastern Hancock the next day on the strength of singles. 
“We were able to get through another tough match on a hot court,” Heuer noted. “We poured the Gatorade and fed them bananas. We got through it without suffering any more cramps or heat-related issues."
Hershberger breezed past Bo Dixon 6-0, 6-0. Jackman had the same result and Smith won 7-5, 3-0 (opponent retired). Hunter/Vaughn fell 6-0, 6-0 and Wainwright/Smith went down 6-2, 6-2.
Fernandez and Mosburg had 6-2 and 6-0 setbacks in JV play.