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Crawford girls take NH Invitational

Crawford girls take NH Invitational
Crawford girls take NH Invitational
Crawford County's Lauren Schaftlein stays just a step ahead of North Harrison's Amber Gresham at the mile mark during the North Harrison Invitational meet Thursday. The Lady Pack went on to win win solidly over runner-up New Albany. (Photos by Wade Bell)

Members of the Crawford County Lady Pack cross-country team were all wearing party hats as they walked over to the awards ceremony following the North Harrison Invitational meet Thursday night. They had two reasons to celebrate. It was senior Lauren Schaftlein’s 18th birthday and the team had won its first North Harrison Invitational by a 34-point margin over runner-up New Albany.
‘Coming up here, I thought there were seven teams that had a chance to win it,’ said Crawford coach Alan Cox. ‘Us, Perry Central, Jasper, Tell City, Forest Park, New Albany and Southridge. I felt like it was a toss up. It’s so early in the season, when you look at results, to compare times from one course to another.’
Schaftlein, North Harrison’s Amber Gresham and Salem’s Brooke Davisson broke out front early but, at the mile, several runners pulled ahead of the threesome; Jasper’s Lacey Oeding moved to the front with Perry Central’s Rachel Rayford in second, Brownstown’s Kassie Kovert third and Eastern’s Erika Wilson fourth.
At a mile and a half, Davisson moved up to third, ahead of Kovert. Wilson was fifth, Schaftlein sixth and Gresham seventh. The Lady Pack, however, still had several orange uniforms up near the front with Renee Darland, Morgan Kenner, Ashlee Satterfield and Carolyn Pellman fighting for positions.
With a mile to go, Oeding was dominating with Rayford second. Davisson was still third and Kovert fourth. Schaftlein gained one spot to fifth, but Gresham was still seventh. Oeding crossed the finish line with a time of 19:10.1 for the win. Davisson moved up to second during the last mile, and Kovert finished third. Rayford dropped to fourth, and Schaftlein stayed fifth. Gresham gained one spot before the end for sixth.
‘Mr. Cox told us before the race, ‘Make sure in a big meet to get out and get out as hard as you can. You don’t want to be boxed in’, ‘ Schaftlein said after the race. ‘Running this in the Little Four with five teams got a little bit tight, so I tried to get out as fast as I could. It wasn’t bad, so I’m glad for that.’
Schaftlein said having Gresham and Davisson with her early was a push she needed.
‘That helped me a lot,’ said the Crawford senior. ‘I tried to make sure I thought about who I needed to stay with and hoped I could stay with them throughout the race. I was glad I achieved that.’
Cox said, ‘I thought if we ran well, just based on our times and comparing them to other times, I thought we had a chance. The one thing I’ve learned in this meet, how the team results go right now are never how they are at the end of the year.’
Crawford put five runners in the top 25 with Morgan Kenner 18th for the Lady Pack. Renee Darland finished 20th with Ashlee Satterfield 21st and Carolyn Pellman 24th.
‘We’ve got to be real careful,’ said Cox. ‘We’re still going to be aggressive and work because I think we’ve got room to improve. The key to the whole season is you don’t want your team to peak too early. We’ll have to kind of monitor what we’re doing. We’re doing things a little bit differently this year as far as our training.
‘You’ve got Lauren Schaftlein and Morgan Kenner, who’ve been running cross country for many years, who are seniors, and they’ve shown good leadership,’ he said. ‘It’s nice to have a couple of kids like that to set good examples for your (other) kids.’
Gresham said she knew if she stayed with Schaftlein, she would have a good day.
‘All I knew I was going to try to stay with Lauren as much as I could,’ said Gresham. ‘I wanted to get out with her because I was afraid if I started out slower, I would never catch that ground, so I just decided to go out harder. If you don’t get out strong, then you get stuck in the pack and your motivation is already dropped down.
‘I’m a little more confident,’ she said. ‘I’m getting there.’
Rayford and Davisson paced each other for much of the race. The Perry Central sophomore said that worked in her favor.
‘We talked during the race,’ Rayford said. ‘It’s kind of like a teammate thing but we’re from totally different schools. She’s got a really long stride. She just has a kick. She’s good. I’m glad I got to run with her, though.’
‘I’m not there yet,’ said Rayford. ‘I’m maybe 50 percent there. I’m still working hard on my training, and we still have to work on speed work yet. We’ll keep it up. (Coach Jason) Barnett always keeps us right there with the rest of them.’
Other area runners included Floyd Central’s Sadie Huth at 18th and Lanesville’s Rachel Butler 30th. Northest Dubois sophomore Alyssa Elliott was 40th, and Corydon’s Janae Smith was 42nd.
For nearly three miles it was unclear who might come out on top in the boys 5,000-meter run as Northeast Dubois’ Dustin Betz, North Harrison’s Tyler Byrne, Silver Creek’s Alex Jones and Brendan Chwalek, and Brownstown’s Mark Crossman battled for the front position in a five-way horse race at a horrendous pace.
With about 300 meters to go, Betz and Jones began to break away from the lead pack. Betz finally broke away from Jones in the last 200 meters and edged out the Silver Creek senior by four seconds. Crossman finished third, while Byrne pulled well ahead of Chwalek for fourth.
‘I knew it was going to be close,’ Betz said after his win. ‘I didn’t know how close, but, man, they were moving out there. It was quick. I was running with them until about the baseball field and I knew I had to go.’
The Jeep senior said he liked this kind of race early.
‘It’s nice because you’ve got the competition,’ said Betz, who finished in 15:59.7. ‘Whenever you get to the bigger schools, you don’t know what it’s like until you get there so this is a really good meet.’
‘About the start of the third mile, it started to break up a little bit,’ said Byrne of the race. ‘I was looking to be top three but I ended up fourth. I’m still pretty satisfied with it because I improved my time by 20-some seconds.’
‘It’s always good to have the competition because it just pushes you harder,’ Byrne said. ‘I would have liked to have it a little bit later but it’s nice to know where I’m at right now. I know who I need to be running with and how they’re going to be running.’
Floyd Central put six runners in the top 30 with Sam Mires finishing seventh. Will Naville was 10th, and Will Cox finished 13th. Daniel Huhnerkock grabbed the 25th position with Justin Hodge and Mason Kimmel 29th and 30th, respectively.
Floyd coach Tim Korte said he expected a fast-paced race.
‘This is what I told the guys would happen,’ Korte said. ‘It was going to be a battle up front with five or six guys. The individual race is going to be horribly hard and when you get to the middle of the pack, it’s going to be horribly hard, too. It was. Everything worked just like I thought. There are four or five teams out there that are pack teams and that middle is going to be battling it out for every point.’
‘They ran so well … we have to be at 80 percent or something,’ said Korte of his team. ‘We looked really good. We had six out of the top seven guys PR. We’re pretty excited about that. We just hope this is only the first to come.’
Corydon’s Harrison Mann finished 17th for the day with Lanesville’s Joe Kissel 39th and North Harrison’s Matt Bruce 41st. Paoli’s Ben Warren was 51st, and South Central’s John Lopp was 75th. Crawford County’s Jared Cooley finished 128th.
Girls Scores – Crawford County 78, New Albany 112, Southridge 125, Bedford-NL 141, Perry Central 142, Tell City 156, Forest Park 158, Jasper 187, Floyd Central 192, NE Dubois 219, Salem 242, Brownstown 255, Jeffersonville 303, Paoli 341, Borden 443
Girls Results – 1. Lacey Oeding (J) 10:10.1, 2. Brooke Davisson (Sa) 19:56.2, 3. Kassie Kovert (Brntn) 20:01.4, 4. Rachael Rayford (PC) 20:05.5, 5. Lauren Schaftlein (CC) 20:07.9, 6. Amber Gresham (NH) 20:18.0, 7. Carissa Martin (NA) 20:38.8, 8. Erika Wilson (E) 20:49.4, 9. Kacie Klem (Srg) 20:52.3, 10. Alison Cooper (FP) 20:57.2, 11. Andrea Prusz (Srg) 20:53.1, 12. Casey Gillespie (BNL) 20:55.7, 13. Audrey Thill (Pa) 21:01.4, 14. Tiffany Davis (TC) 21:08.1, 15. Saisha Rairdon (NA) 21:11.5
Boys Scores – Silver Creek 81, Floyd Central 84, New Albany 101, Perry Central 117, Tell City 120, Bedford-NL 182, NE Dubois 242, Forest Park 261, North Harrison 286, Brownstown 320, Jasper 343, Scottsburg 373, Corydon 393, Austin 400, Jeffersonville 401, Borden 441, Orleans 459, Lanesville 471, Paoli 471, Eastern 531, Southwestern 538, South Central 579, Salem 603, Southridge 608
Boys Results – 1. Dustin Betz (NED) 15:59.7, 2. Alex Jones (SilCk) 16:03.7, 3. Mark Crossman (Brntn) 16:08.7, 4. Tyler Byrne (NH) 16:12, 5. Brendan Chwalek (SilCk) 16:24.5, 6. Dan Coats (Jeff) 15:45.2, 7. Sam Mires (FC) 16:52.8, 8. Alex Fenn (TC) 16:58.0, 9. Christian Everhardus (NA) 16:58.8, 10. Will Naville (FC) 17:00.1, 11. Jack Eckert (SilCk) 17:03.0, 12. Spencer Sandage (TC) 17:04.7, 13. Will Cox (FC) 17:05.7, 14. Corey Kimball (PC) 17:07.2, 15. Jake Schwartz (PC) 17:09.9