Pease has date at state
Saturday’s semi-state cross country meet at Bedford-North Lawrence may have been the most difficult and nerve-wracking of the season. Twenty teams and runners that survived both the sectional and regional meets were trying to take one of the coveted five team or 15 individual spots to reach the big dance, the state finals.
South Central’s Sarah Pease was among the few who made the cut.
‘This was my goal all year,’ Pease said. ‘Even though I had a great season, if I hadn’t done what I wanted to do in this race, it probably wouldn’t have mattered. Now, I’m just looking to go to the state and run my fastest race as hard as I can.’
Pease got the best start of the 148 runners in the girls’ event, taking the lead in the first quarter-mile. Not far behind were Crawford County’s Lauren Schaftlein, North Harrison’s Amber Gresham and Silver Creek star Kelsey Page. By the time the runners looped back toward the start, Page had moved to the lead and quickly began to pull away.
Both Gresham and Schaftlein also began to fall farther behind. Floyd Central’s Lisa Miville fought to stay with the lead group, but was buffeted by a large number of runners. At just over a mile, Pease dropped to sixth, but she then made a charge and pushed to fourth.
Page dominated the final 200 meters, winning in a time of 14:59. Pease was passed by Bedford’s Maryellen Norman in the last 40 meters, but still finished seventh.
‘We came up on Monday and Thursday and practiced,’ said the South Central senior. ‘We walked the course twice and ran it twice and got down every exact angle I needed to go.’
Pease’s coach Greg Robinson said they are hoping for a good result at Saturday’s state meet at Terre Haute.
‘We’re ready,’ he said. ‘Hopefully another solid week of running will get her more mentally than physically prepared. Top 25 would be great, and that’s All-State.’
North Harrison’s Gresham finished 33rd in a time of 16:09. Gresham, who was running in her first semi-state, admitted to being somewhat intimidated.
‘I know I could have done better,’ she said after the race. ‘Now I know what it’s like, and I’ll be ready for it next year.’
‘She’s come a long way,’ said North Harrison coach Monty Schneider. ‘This was great experience. She’ll be more ready for it next year. You can’t lull in a race like this. If you try to save a little, 20 people are by you. She didn’t have a bad race, but it would have taken a great race for her to get out today. She had a fair race for her.
‘She’s capable of getting out of here, and if she’s here next year, she’ll get out next year.’
The Crawford County girls’ team finished in a disappointing 18th place.
Lauren Schaftlein was 55th, while Renee Darland came in second for the team at 72nd. Senior Sara Rothrock finished 100th, with Chelsea Hollis five spots behind at 105th and Morgan Kenner at 116th.
‘With all the turns, it’s a great course,’ said Crawford coach Alan Cox. ‘Bedford did a good job. It’s different than the semi-states we’ve run in because of the tight turns and narrow starting area.
‘They’ve worked hard all year long, and I was extremely proud of them. They didn’t come up here just to be here.’
In the boys’ race Crawford County’s Dustin Lindsey, Ryan Bean and Chris Humphrey got up front early, with teammates Chris Newton and Brandon Curl following close behind. That lasted only briefly, however, as stronger runners made their moves.
Martinsville junior Adrien Dannemiller wasted no time establishing control, but Northeast Dubois senior Ethan Merkel was keeping himself within striking distance, just a few meters behind. At just over a mile, PLAC champion Ryan Chastain of Mitchell was back at 16th, with Floyd Central’s Ben Draper 17th.
During the next mile, however, Chastain and Draper began a charge and moved into the top 10, as did New Albany’s Eric Schulz. Dannemiller went on to win in a blistering time of 15:33 for the 3.1 miles. Chastain finished second with Schulz sixth and Draper eighth.
Floyd earned one of the automatic state berths, finishing third as a team.
Crawford County finished 19th as a team. Chris Humphrey finished 67th, while Dustin Lindsey came in at 81st. Ryan Bean was the Wolfpack’s number three at 104th, and R.T. Elliott was 123rd. Bobby Berry was Crawford’s fifth at 145th.
Cox said having both teams in the semi-state is the main highlight of his coaching career.
‘Most definitely,’ he said. ‘It’s been my (goal) to get both of them up here. I’m really proud of their work ethics and how they’ve handled themselves this year. We’ve got our best kids out for cross country and they’re good, classy kids.’
Girls’ Scores (Top 5 Advance to State) – Terre Haute North 119, Terre Haute South 125, Tell City 133, Jasper 171, Bedford-NL 187, Evansville Reitz Memorial 210, Bloomington North 213, Bloomington South 248, South Spencer 262, Heritage Hills 267, Gibson Southern 273, Floyd Central 306, Southwestern 327, Silver Creek 338, New Albany 346, Castle 359, Signature School 371, Crawford County 378, Brown County 422, Evansville Central 477
Girls’ Results (Top 15 Advance to State) – 1. Kelsey Page (SilCk) 14:59, 2. Jenny Kulow (BrnCo) 15:07, 3. Maria Gramelspache (Jasp) 15:07, 4. Kassie Kovert (Brntn) 15:08, 5. Kayla Alexander (THN) 15:19, 6. Maryellen Norman (BNL) 15:26, 7. Sarah Pease (SoCent) 15:28, 8. Tiffany Davis (TC) 15:30, 9. Whitney Hamilton (Swstrn) 15:32, 10. Sarah Whiteman (BlmNo) 15:34, 11. Kacie Klem (Sthrdg) 15:35, 12. Amanda Hon (SwtzCo) 15:36, 13. Corinne Innes (BlmSo) 15:41, 14. Hannah Fox (SigSchl) 15:42, 15. Ariel Hall (THS) 15:42
Boys’ Scores (Top 5 Advance to State) – Bloomington North 116, Silver Creek 130, Floyd Central 145, Mitchell 157, Terre Haute North 194, Northeast Dubois 229, Evansville Central 233, Barr-Reeve 238, Brown County 248, Bloomington South 260, Evansville Mater Dei 261, Evansville Reitz Memorial 263, Evansville North 274, Seymour 289, Clay City 336, Tell City 347, Jeffersonville 383, Bedford-NL 421, Crawford County 421, Southwestern 454
Boys’ Results (Top 15 Advance to State) – 1. Adrien Dannemiller (Mart) 15:33, 2. Ryan Chastain (Mtchl) 16:05, 3. Ethan Merkel (NED) 16:10, 4. Sean Jennings (Sey) 16:11, 5. Michael Hoffman (BlmNo) 16:15, 6. Eric Schulz (NA) 16:16, 7. Jake Stahl (HH) 16:18, 8. Ben Draper (FC) 16:20, 9. Hillary Bowen (Chsn) 16:23, 10. Dustin Betz (NED) 16:25, 11. Joshua Bedford (THN) 16:26, 12. Zachary Mayhew (THN) 16:28, 13. Aaron Duhachek (EvnvlNo) 16:28, 14. Zach Herbig (Jasp) 16:30, 15. Tim Schoch (BlmNo) 16:32