Crawford girls place second at Eastern Regional
The Crawford County girls’ cross country team placed second at the Eastern regional Saturday morning, qualifying the team for Saturday’s semi-state in Bloomington at the Indiana University golf course. North Harrison’s Amber Gresham and Tyler Byrne and Corydon’s Harrison Mann also qualified for the semi-state meet.
With temperatures in the mid-40’s with a slight breeze, the Crawford girls’ team was a slight favorite for the championship. What it didn’t count on was a stronger showing by the Madison Lady Cubs.
Southwestern’s Kati Burch, New Albany’s Carissa Martin and Madison’s Kirsten Hart took the early lead while Eastern’s Kristi Vest and Erika Wilson, Gresham and Crawford County’s Lauren Schaftlein held back a few meters. That changed later as Vest moved up to take control with Martin and Burch falling behind her. Hart, however, was staying close enough to challenge as were Gresham and Schaftlein.
Crawford’s Ashlee Satterfield was not far behind the lead runners and in near a semi-state position. Floyd Central’s Allison Laird and Brittany Griffith were slightly farther back but still in the top 25.
At the finish it was Vest winning on her home turf in a time of 15 minutes, 41 seconds and Hart second. Gresham finished third with Schaftlein fourth. Satterfield finished 15th for the Lady Pack.
‘I should have got second no doubt,’ Gresham said after the race. ‘It was my PR (16:01), so I did the best I could have.’
‘I wanted to go out strong, so I wouldn’t get boxed in or cut off,’ she said. ‘I didn’t want to be the leader because I didn’t want to waste my energy. I should have been closer to (Vest) than what I was. She was the one person I knew I could have paced myself with.’
Gresham said her confidence should be high for Saturday’s semi-state at Bloomington.
‘I feel like I should be confident and do really well,’ said the North Harrison junior. ‘It will take my best definitely. I’ll need better than my best. I need to go in thinking positive and go in strong, run my hardest.’
‘Her last three races, each race has been better,’ North Harrison coach Jerry Love said. ‘She’s gaining the confidence. Her legs are stronger, and we’re peaking just about the right time. She runs right with the guys, and that’s paid off for her. I don’t think she’s reached her peak yet. I think the next race is probably going to be her best.’
For the Crawford runners, it was a bittersweet day, as they had an opportunity to catch a regional championship, but came up 27 points short to Madison.
‘From sectional to regional, we had some places a little bit lower,’ Schaftlein said. ‘There’s a little disappointment there. That’s still good, but just to be coming out here hoping title, we meant to get that. We’ve come a long way, and that’s what Mr. (Alan) Cox (Crawford’s coach) keeps on telling us, not too many years ago we just started our program. Now, here we are thinking about getting a regional title and competing for it. It was just a little off-day but still not bad.’
‘It was pretty big for us,’ Satterfield said. ‘The whole school was backing us and were so excited for us. I was hoping for top 20 or top 25. I wasn’t really expecting to qualify. I set my new personal record (16:49) on this course, so it went pretty good for me.’
‘Madison just ran a little better than us,’ Cox said. ‘Madison and us are almost mirror images of each other. Their number one runner is just a little bit better than their little pack, and their pack runs together and we do, too. I talked to their coach, and he felt like it was their best run of the season.’
‘We’re pretty happy,’ he said. ‘We get to move on to another week. Our goal will be to try to get the best finish we’ve ever had. This will be our fifth straight year at semi-state. The girls were disappointed we didn’t win, but how many teams can say they’ve been to the semi-state five years in a row?
‘We’ll be ready to run next week, but we’re going to have some fun, too, and enjoy it.’
The Floyd girls team felt fortunate just to advance to Bloomington. Allison Laird was the team’s number one but has been battling illness.
‘I felt a little better, but my legs just didn’t want to go, so I’m a little disappointed,’ she said. ‘I really wanted to get top 15, and I wasn’t quite there, but I pushed myself as hard as I could. This time, me and Brittany (Griffith) were trying to push each other. I’m kind of disappointed in myself individually, but I have another week to get better and beat some people then.’
‘We lived to see another day,’ Floyd Central girls’ coach Carl Hook said. ‘Allison and Brittany didn’t run good today, Allison still being pretty sick and Brittany has not been feeling well the last couple of days. It was tough on them. They didn’t have good days, and all year long our one, two, three have carried us.’
‘Robyn Turner stepped up for us in our five spot,’ Hook said. ‘Sadie Huth had a great day today and so did Kelsey Bristol. Those three really came out and ran really well. Katie Petrick and Maegan Murphy ran really good. Murphy didn’t score for us, but she took some points from some other people and the back end really bailed us out today.’
North Harrison’s Tyler Byrne and teammate Christian Horstman got a good start in the boys’ race, while Corydon’s Harrison Mann and Lucas Taylor found themselves farther back. Crawford’s Chris Humphrey was one of those to also get a good position in the early going.
Going into the second lap, Byrne had moved up to second, but other runners, including several from winning team Silver Creek, were closing in quickly. North Harrison’s team stretched out in the field, while the Dragons had three in the top five. Mann had himself in a possible semi-state slot, while Taylor fell back.
In the final stretch, Southwestern’s Derick Clark went on to win in a time of 16 minutes, 52 seconds. Byrne crossed the finish line in fifth place and Mann grabbed the final semi-final slot at 15th. Crawford’s Humphrey finished 26th, Horstman was 28th and Taylor was 33rd.
‘It was a hard race, plus there was a lot of good competition here,’ Byrne said. ‘They were pushing me the whole way. I was feeling pretty good, but starting into that second lap, I started to wear down a little bit. I knew the runners were behind me pretty close. I could hear them. I just tried to outpush them, but some of them got me.’
‘In this kind of race, where your competition is as good as it is, you can’t make up that ground from a normal race,’ Love said. ‘You’ve got to be out with the front runners, and when they surge, you’ve got to surge with them. That’s what Tyler and Amber did. They finished about where they should be.’
Cox said Humphrey made up for some races where he had struggled in earlier in the year.
‘Chris ran really well,’ Cox said. ‘He beat a lot of kids he hasn’t beaten this year. He had a really good race today and ran better than he had been and did what he needed to do. He’s got another year, so, hopefully, he’ll bounce back.’
For Floyd Central boys’ coach Tim Korte, it wasn’t the kind of day he wanted to see. Despite getting the last team spot for the semi-state, he said things should have been much better.
‘It was bad,’ Korte said. ‘I had a seventh man that was only the seventh man because he ran better at the sectional running by himself. He was my three-man today. My two and three man ended up being my four and five man. I don’t know what happened. They looked fine at the start. They just ran bad. It was a bad day.’
‘Will Cox ran a nice race,’ Korte said. ‘He finished 10th. He ran a really good, smart race. Jordan Kelly ran a really good race. He finished 16th. Vince Minutillo ran well. He ended up being my three-man. He probably saved us actually.’
‘It’s confidence now, just trying to make them forget about this race and making them think this was a one-time fluke and just try to finish out the season out good next week.’
Girls’ Scores (Top 5 to Semi-State) – Madison 64, Crawford County 91, Southwestern 100, New Albany 106, Floyd Central 121, Silver Creek 143, Pekin Eastern 152, Switzerland County 163, Henryville 188, Providence 234, INC-Rising Sun, North Harrison, Austin, Borden, Christian Academy
Girls’ Results – (Top 15 to Semi-State) – 1. Kristi Vest (PE) 15:41, 2. Kirsten Hart (Mad) 15:57, 3. Amber Gresham (NH) 16:01, 4. Lauren Schaftlein (CC) 16:09, 5. Caitlyn Bowman (RsngSn) 16:12, 6. Haley Riggs (CA) 16:15, 7. Whitney Hamilton (SW) 16:15, 8. Carissa Martin (NA) 16:17, 9. Katie Spellman (Hnryvl) 16:24, 10. Erika Wilson (PE) 16:27, 11. Candace Bender (Bor) 16:28, 12. Stephanie Cave (NA) 16:28, 13. Saisha Rairdon (NA) 16:42, 14. Claire Schell (Mad) 16:45, 15. Ashlee Satterfield (CC) 16:49
Boys’ Scores – (Top 5 to Semi-State) – Silver Creek 33, Jeffersonville 66, New Albany 109, North Harrison 121, Floyd Central 134, Rising Sun 146, Borden 192, Switzerland County 194, Providence 198, Madison 219, INC-Clarksville, Charlestown, Crawford County, Southwestern, Corydon
Boys’ Results – (Top 15 to Semi-State) – 1. Derick Clark (SW) 16:52, 2. Neal Masterson (Jeff) 17:01, 3. Hillary Bowen (Chrlstn) 17:06, 4. Brendan Chwalek (SilCk) 17:07, 5. Tyler Byrne (NH) 17:08, 6. Spencer Robinson (SilCk) 17:16, 7. Alex Jones (SilCk) 17:25, 8. Jon Muncy (SilCk) 17:31, 9. Daniel Coats (Jeff) 17:36, 10. Will Cox (FC) 17:42, 11. Jason Holcomb (NA) 17:48, 12. Christian Everhardus (NA) 17:49, 13. Clayton Meyer (SwtzCo) 17:52, 14. Andrew Abbott (Bor) 17:54, 15. Harrison Mann (Co) 17:54.
Girls Regional Results ‘ North Harrison ‘ 3. Amber Gresham.
Boys Regional Results ‘ North Harrison ‘ 5. Tyler Byrne, 28. Christian Horstman, 30. Adam Hofmeister, 34. Matt Bruce, 49. Chris Foster; Corydon Central ‘ 15. Harrison Mann, 33. Lucas Taylor