NEW CARLISLE | The glory days of Hobart boys cross country pre-date all of the current Brickies runners.
Heck, they even pre-date coach Ty Artherhults.
"It was all before I was born," he said.
Hobart, which last qualified for state in 1972, ended the lengthy drought at Saturday's New Prairie Semistate, where the Brickies finished fourth with 163 points.
"Awesome," Artherhults said. "I couldn't be happier for them. We knew how close it would be. We've got a young group and they want to be good. They run year-round. They breathe cross country. They're all friends. It's a special group of guys. I hope they can be the group that turns things around. It's not the most popular sport at Hobart."
Brent Dunn (ninth) led the charge for the Brickies, who qualified locally along with champion Valparaiso (57), LaPorte (140), Chesterton (158) and Crown Point (183).
"I knew there were probably at least five, six teams who were going to run extremely well and weren't going to get to the state meet," C.P. coach Keith Iddings said. "I didn't know until they announced the results. We've been seventh. I feel so badly for those kids. But I'm excited that we get the chance to represent our school at state."
In addition to Hobart, the Northwest Crossroads Conference had Kyle Eller of Lowell (10th) and Highland's Jake Baranowski (12th) advance. Andrean's Pat Musgrave (16th) missed by one place. The 59ers, also a team hopeful, were eighth with 198.
On the girls side, Crown Point took third (102), following runner-up Valparaiso (70). Portage (157) and Lake Central (169) also earned another race.
"I couldn't have been happier with how our top four ran," C.P. coach Patty Begley said. "Lauren (McCarroll) has an awesome race and for Lyndie (Pierce) to grab top 15, how impressive is that? They were well-rested and they came together right like we wanted them to."
Led by Shelby Carroll (eighth), the L.C. girls had to wait out a lengthy delay over a timing chip issue to find out they'd made the state field.
"It's great knowing I'll have been to state all four years, and the team making it is icing on the cake," Carroll said. "I was running for the team. I knew it would definitely help them if I was up there. I could've gone a little faster the last 200, but I don't regret much else. I was hoping for top five, but eighth's not bad."
Andrean's Becca Conley qualified for her first state meet, crossing sixth in 18:41, two seconds behind C.P.'s McCarroll. She'd been close the last two years, placing 21st and 20th.
"At the time, it was awful, but that motivated me the whole summer to get back here and go down state," Conley said. "I'm just excited to make it. It's definitely a privilege. I really wanted to make sure I got in good position at the start, to be mentally ready for the rest of the race. I felt good, not like I was killing myself or anything."
Conley was followed by NCC rival Taylor Austin of Griffith, who returns to Terre Haute for the second time after missing out as a sophomore (19th).
"I wanted to get out fast, run with the top group, and not get all trapped in, like last year," Austin said. "I wanted to show everyone I could do it."