Tell City girls and Floyd boys earn titles
The Floyd Central Highlanders nosed the North Harrison Cougars by seven points on a hot day at the Corydon Invitational cross country meet Thursday afternoon with the Tell City girls dominating the girls’ division, scoring a 50-point win.
With the temperature hovering near 90 degrees, Southridge freshman Holly Bartel got off to a quick start in the girls’ race and quickly gained a 50-meter lead over South Central’s Sarah Pease. North Harrison’s Amanda Wolsiefer held on to fifth place, while Tell City packed it in near the front with several red uniforms. Corydon’s Elizabeth Burks was in the sixth spot and North Harrison’s Morgan Carr was 15th.
By the beginning of the second circuit, Bartel had increased her lead to 100 meters. Pease was still hanging on to second with Tell City’s Jessica Fenn and Kacey Leinenbach several steps behind. Burks was still sixth, but she was closing on Wolsiefer. With a half-mile to go, Bartel maintained her lead over Pease. Fenn and Leinenbach closed a bit on Pease, while Wolsiefer fell back to seventh. Bartel went on to win in a time of 16 minutes, 22 seconds.
Pease, who ran a 16:46 for the day, was disappointed in her race. She said she had to run her own race despite Bartel’s quick start.
‘I didn’t really know who she was or where she was from,’ Pease said. ‘I couldn’t do anything about it. I was just going to run my own race anyway, so I didn’t want to try to keep up with her. She was way too fast.’
Pease said recent speed work is helping her race come around. She was also aware of the Tell City runners behind her.
‘I knew they were there,’ she said. ‘I felt better than I felt at North Harrison. We did some 400 intervals and some 800 intervals. I’m starting to get there.’
‘Right after they got started, I thought, ‘She’s for real,’ ‘ said South Central coach Greg Robinson of Bartel. ‘She had a good stride. You could tell she was going to be there. She’s good.’
‘Sarah did what she came to do because at least one of the Tell City girls had beaten her last week. We finally got some speed work in, and that really helped her in the finish. She’s not where she needs to be, but, eventually, she’s going to get there, and we don’t want her to get there till October.’
Elizabeth Burks remained sixth with a time of 17:01
‘Those other girls were really good, and I wasn’t too far behind them,’ Burks said. ‘When I saw (Bartel) practicing her warmups, I knew she was pretty good. I ran quite a bit yesterday warming up for today. I didn’t overdo it, but it was kind of hard. I was hoping for at least third, so I guess I’m farther behind than I expected. But if I keep practicing, I’m sure I’ll get better.’
As a team, the Lady Panthers finished third behind North Harrison.
‘We were without Megan Greer,’ said Corydon coach Jerry Conrad. ‘She twisted an ankle last week. We probably would have been second here today. We’re improving, and Elizabeth was back to her form today. She ran a nice race. I had one girl, Brooke South, who is running better and moved up today, and Betsy Craig is starting to get better. That’s helping us out.’
North Harrison’s Amanda Wolsiefer finished seventh, 14 seconds behind Burks, with a time of 17:15.
‘It felt OK, but I didn’t get a good start,’ Wolsiefer said. ‘(Bartel) went out fast and that was surprising. I was going to try to stay with the top people. I didn’t really know who I was going to stay with. It psyched me out a little bit. They were going out really fast, and I had to try and catch up. I probably need some speed work, because I need to go out faster so I can have a better finish. I don’t have much of a kick, so I need to work with that.’
‘The girls had a strong finish,’ said Lady Cat coach Monty Schneider. ‘Amanda Wolsiefer was seventh, and she’s probably disappointed in that.’
‘Amanda doesn’t normally start real quick and runs her way through the pack. I’d like to see her start a little bit quicker. She had to run up through the pack sometimes in a little higher grass to pass some people . A couple of girls got her near the end, because I think she was just worn out.’
The Lady Cats’ finish helped the school come away with the combined team title.
In the boys’ division, North Harrison’s Scott Robertson and Ryan Byrne got out to a quick start as did Lanesville’s Brandon Zoll. Cougar Andrew Wolsiefer was fifth, and nearly all of the Floyd Central team was packed in behind. After the first circuit at the Hayswood Park course, Byrne paced right behind Robertson as they made their trek up the course’s lone hill. Wolsiefer moved up to do some swapping of positions with Zoll, and the Floyd team was still bundled.
Coming back down the hill, Robertson increased his lead to 50 meters over Byrne. Wolsiefer pulled ahead of Zoll, but the Floyd runners were starting to make their moves, running at fifth through eighth and at 10th. Robertson went on to win in a time of 16:21, with Byrne 19 seconds behind. Floyd’s Matt Riley passed Wolsiefer with 100 meters to go for third, while Zoll fell back to sixth.
Robertson said the Floyd strategy can work in a smaller meet.
‘They bunched them in there, and in a small meet like this, they have the upper hand,’ said the North Harrison senior. ‘We have a solid one, two and three, and starting to become a solid four. We need to give our number five runner a little more inspiration.’
Zoll was disappointed in his own effort, but said upcoming speed work will help him improve.
‘I’m a little upset I wasn’t up there with Scott Robertson,’ said the Lanesville runner. ‘The only reason I was back was my fault. My coaches told me we’re working on basic running. We haven’t got into our speed work yet. My steps were even and I was running good, about 5:30 each mile, and I’m happy about that. But once you start speed work, I’m thinking of being back in the 16’s again, where I’m supposed to be this year.’
South Central finished third, 43 three points behind the second-place Cougars.
‘We lost our number three runner in the middle of the race to an injury and he didn’t finish,’ said Greg Robinson. ‘It was tough between us and Lanesville. Lanesville ran real well. If we’re healthy, I think we’re OK. We ran as a pack and finished where I thought we’d finish. Floyd Central and North Harrison are going to dominate. We’re creeping up to where we need to be at the end of the year.’
Corydon finished nine points behind Lanesville, fifth among the teams.
‘Philip Barth has sore, achy muscles, which means he had a deficiency in something,’ said coach Jerry Conrad. ‘We don’t know what. He said the last 400 meters it loosened up, they didn’t hurt. He’s going to have to get over that soreness, and we’re hoping to have him back.’
‘My other kids are really starting to improve. I was shocked we finished fifth, but maybe the teams are a little bit better than what I thought. North and Floyd are going to be there. Lanesville and South Central got us, but my kids ran better. None of my guys are sprinters, so we’ve got to work our way through that.’
Corydon Central swept the Washington Invitational on Saturday.
The Lady Panthers won by just four points over Barr-Reeve, 50-46, while the boys took the title by 15 over Barr-Reeve, 55-40.
On the girls side, Corydon sophomore Elizabeth Burks came in second in 16:05 to Owen Valley’s Michelle Heck, who clocked a 15:55.
Stephanie Smith came in 8th for Corydon in 18:01 and then a quartet of Lady Panthers packed it in for 12th through 15th place: Megan Greer (18:18), Jill Hoehn (18:33), Betsy Craig (18:38) and Brooke South (18:43). Megan Bates finished 20th in 19:13 for Corydon as well.
On the boys side, the Panthers strung together five runners in the top 10 to take the crown.
Paul Reed led the attack in 6th place in 17:38. He was followed by Lucas Taylor (17:45), Chad Backherms (17:57), Philip Barth (18:01) and James Yeager (18:03). Brian Eads crossed the line in 16th in 18:27 and Scott Decker closed out the Panthers’ scoring with a 24th place finish in 19:00.