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Robertson, Burks score at Little 4

Most early-season cross-country meets aren’t exactly intriguing, but there were plenty of story lines to be found at last Thursday’s steamy Little Four meet at North Harrison High School.
For starters, the Little Four was actually the Little Five. The traditional lineup of Paoli, Crawford County, Corydon Central and North Harrison was joined for the first time by Scottsburg, a late addition.
Then there was a sophomore from Corydon Central, Elizabeth Burks, who tore through the course in 17:33 in her first cross country meet ever. Not to be outdone, a freshman from North, Amanda Wolsiefer, wound up third overall.
Then North’s Scott Robertson, looking more fit than in his previous three seasons, posted a huge win. Finishing second wasn’t hip-mate Ryan Byrne, but teammate Andrew Wolsiefer (Amanda’s older brother). Byrne was slowed by a knee injury suffered earlier this summer and wound up third overall to help power the Cougars to a victory.
In the girls race, Corydon’s Burks dueled with Megan Meyer of Scottsburg to the midway point, but the Lady Panther pulled away to a comfortable victory over Meyer in second and Amanda Wolsiefer third. Crawford’s Sara Rothrock was fourth.
Burks, a soft-spoken sophomore, transferred to Corydon from West Washington, where she ran only track last year.
Burks had a little trouble with the course’s passageways, even having to make a jaunt backwards to go around a flag she had missed by a few steps. Despite the faux pas, Corydon’s new starlet shined brightly.
‘This was my first cross country race altogether,’ Burks said. ‘Last year my home school didn’t have it. I like long distance. Track is cool and I’m more used to it. Cross country’s fun.
‘I walked the course before the race, but I didn’t walk it all,’ she said of the wrong turn. ‘I just went through where people were showing me spots.’
Burks’ teammates, Alaine Birch and Megan Greer, were 8th and 10th, respectively.
Crawford won the team chase with 31 points, followed by Corydon (51), North Harrison (60), Scottsburg (80), and Paoli (141).
Corydon coach Jerry Conrad said his team performed well in its first time out after losing several good runners to graduation.
‘We’re surprised in our whole team,’ said Conrad. ‘We lost all of our top runners except for Alaine. Today, Alaine ran well, and we knew Elizabeth would be tough. The other girls moved right up there.’
‘We’ve got room to improve, and we’ve got two little freshmen that looked pretty good. It was nice to see that because those kids have worked hard. They worked through all the hot weather, and they had a hot day today. I’m pleased. We haven’t looked this good probably in a couple of years.’
North Harrison girls coach Monty Schneider said the Lady Cats have a full team this year with some new runners coming out.
‘I was very well pleased with our girls,’ Schneider said. ‘Last year it took about half-way through the year to have a team. We got some basketball girls coming out and a team, and it’s a lot more fun when you’ve got a team.
‘Amanda Wolsiefer is a freshman, and I knew she’s going to be strong. She ran a lot this summer. She’s just got to realize she’s a little better than what she thinks she is. All of our girls did well.
‘Jackie Saurheber will do a little bit better than what she’s done. She hasn’t got many miles in. Morgan Carr probably went out a little too quick and was third for us. Stephanie Jaso (18th) came out at the last minute and has got 12 or 13 practices in for us, and she’ll get better.’
In the 5k boys race, Robertson stamped his mark on the race early and was never challenged at the end
Crawford’s Dustin Lindsay took an early lead, but Robertson and Byrne eased ahead just over a quarter-mile into the race. Most of the runners held their position, with Robertson crossing the line in 16:49. Wolsiefer passed Byrne in the last 1600 meters for second place and Corydon’s Phillip Barth turned in a very respectable fourth place finish.
‘I’ve probably been doing a lot more than the rest of these guys, but give them time, and they’ll probably right there with me,’ Robertson said. ‘I’ve been putting in 50 or 60 miles a week. Some days I’d go for a short run, and some days I’d hit it pretty hard.
‘I tried to stay consistent. I thought my first mile was going to be fast until no one was up there with me, so I kind of backed off. I looked at my watch and it said 5:17. I needed to go into the first mile at 5:05. I went to the second mile about 5:20. I just want to keep on running strong and keep on improving.’
Schneider said he was happy with the performance of his squad.
‘Scotty ran a good race and looked strong. He looked like he was running under control. He’s been working real hard and getting a lot of mileage in. We haven’t run any fast stuff yet, so I believe they’ll all get stronger.’
Corydon had just one runner in the top 10.
‘We’re young, and when you’re training for 3.1 (miles,) you have to work a little bit in the summer,’ said Conrad. ‘We only had one kid that put in a lot of miles over the summer, Phillip Barth. He’s worked himself up into the really higher level kids and deserves that. Our kids worked well today. I was happy with all of them. I didn’t know where we would be, but it was a pleasant surprise.’
— North Harrison’s Scott Robertson won the elite Columbus East Invitational last weekend in 16:25.
As a team, the Cougars finished third behind Carmel and Lawrence North.
at Little Four
(at North Harrison)
Girls Team Scores – Crawford County 31, Corydon 51, North Harrison 60, Scottsburg 80, Paoli 141.
Girls Results – 1. Elizabeth Burks (Co) 17:23, 2. Megan Meyer (Scb) 17:43, 3. Amanda Wolsiefer (NH) 17:51, 4. Sara Rothrock (CC) 18:18, 5. Chelsea Hollis (CC) 18:25, 6. Tabitha Humphrey (CC) 18:33, 7. Haley Kenner (CC) 18:33, 8. Alaine Birch (Co) 18:49, 9. Jenna Cox (CC) 19:02, 10. Megan Greer (Co) 19:21.
Boys Team Scores – North Harrison 19, Crawford County 51, Corydon 63, Scottsburg 78, Paoli 141.
Boys Results – 1. Scott Robertson (NH) 16:49, 2. Andrew Wolseifer (NH) 17:57, 3. Ryan Byrne (NH) 18:10, 4. Phillip Barth (Co) 18:23, 5. R.T. Elliott (CC) 18:50, 6. Lee Haub (CC) 18:53, 7. Jordan Waiz (NH) 18:55, 8. Dustin Lindsay (CC) 19:02, 9. Brent Rothrock (CC) 19:16, 10. Jess Sandloud (Scb) 19:23.
Some information for this story by Wade Bell, The Clarion News