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Byrne dashes to 21st at state finals

Byrne dashes to 21st at state finals
Byrne dashes to 21st at state finals
North Harrison sophomore Tyler Byrne focuses on the finish line as he sprints to a 21st-place finish at Saturday's cross country state final meet in Terre Haute. (Photos by Wade Bell)

North Harrison sophomore Tyler Byrne had a big-time race at the IHSAA state finals Saturday afternoon with a 21st-place finish that gave him All-State status for 2007. It was a day where sloppy conditions made the course some 15 to 20 seconds slower than times seen in earlier post-season meets.
‘It wasn’t too bad,’ said Byrne who finished in 16:23.2. ‘It was wet, but it wasn’t real muddy. It was bad in the turns from where everybody had been running. Other than that, it was just wet.’
Byrne had a good lane position that put him near the center of the field. The sophomore was able to push his way to the front with the leaders at a very quick pace. Byrne then eased up slightly to save energy for later in the run.
‘At the very start, I was up front and it was pretty much in a line because the start was so wide,’ Byrne said. ‘I probably fell back to about 30th or 40th. I just made my way up front there at the mile.’
By the halfway point, Byrne was already moving up in the standings. One person he didn’t have to keep pace with was Northeast Dubois senior Dustin Betz, who was several positions back.
‘I was around 20th then,’ said Byrne. ‘I kept trying to pass people … It was mostly just trying to stay with a group of runners and hold my position or move up.’
Byrne had a strong finish. He said he thought about his big brother Ryan’s finish his senior year, where he finished in the runner-up position.
Byrne received well wishes from many of the opponents after the race. The Cougar sophomore is already setting his sights on bigger things ahead. Only two runners his year or younger bettered his time of 16:23.2.
‘I wanted to be top 20 but I guess 21st is all right,’ he said. ‘I’m pretty happy with it. I’m already looking forward to next year’s cross country season and track. I can’t wait for that. Hopefully next year, I’ll be able to compete a little bit more and my senior year I’d like to win it.’
Betz just barely cracked the top 50 in 49th position (16:44.5). Tell City’s Alex Fenn, who was third at the Crawford regional, finished 53rd in 16:48.0. LaPorte’s Michael Fout won the boys event in a blistering time of 15:31.9.
The Floyd Central Highlanders finished 17th as a team with Will Cox running No. 1 for the team at 88th. Will Naville finished 92nd, and Sam Mires ran 94th. Justin Hodge finished 101st, and Jordan Kelly was the team’s number five at 151st.
‘The first four were really close together,’ said Floyd boys coach Tim Korte. ‘They looked good. They finished real tight together. I think our five was a little farther back than he was last week.’
Crawford’s Lauren Schaftlein didn’t have the kind of race she would have liked to finish her high school cross country career. She had the No. 1 lane and found herself already well back three-eighths of a mile into the race. Jasper’s Lacey Oeding, who won the Crawford regional and Bedford semi-state, put herself in good position early on with the lead runners.
By the 2,000-meter mark, Schaftlein was still well back, while the front runners continued to pull away. At the finish, Culver’s Alexandra Banfich won the top spot in 18:21.8. Ten runners broke the 19-minute barrier, with Oeding finishing seventh in 18:54.7. Schaftlein finished in a disappointing 138th in 21:23.2 but took it all in stride.
‘It’s my last race and I’m sad, but I’m glad I got here and got to run,’ said the Crawford senior. ‘It was pretty cool lining up with that long line at the start.’
‘I was extremely happy to be here, though I did want to do better than I did,’ she said. ‘I got about a minute and a half slower than my normal time. That’s saddening but at the same time, I’m still glad I got to experience a state meet.’
Many of the times were slowed down by an average of about 20 seconds due to the conditions. New Albany’s Carissa Martin finished 51st in 20:06.1, and Kassie Kovert of Brownstown was 56th at 20:07.8. Madison’s Chelsea Stephan was 67th in 20:16.8.
‘It was very muddy, but we’ve had mud before in other races,’ Schaftlein said. ‘It wasn’t too bad. I’ve got mud all over me, but it wasn’t horrible.’
One unexpected souvenir Schaftlein would also take home was a long scratch on her right shoulder.
‘I ran into the fence,’ she said. ‘I had a girl kind of bump me.’
Schaftlein is already looking toward the spring. ‘I’m sad it’s my last race, but track, it’s next,’ she said.
Girls scores – Westfield 81, Lake Central 114, Carroll 119, Carmel 146, Bloomington North 205, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard 210, Columbus North 258, West Lafayette 261, Northridge 264, Valparaiso 278, Indianapolis Cathedral 300, Center Grove 312, Dekalb 320, Munster 372, Bloomington South 376, West Noble 399, Fort Wayne Concordia 444, Culver 452, Goshen 457, Chesterton 506, Terre Haute North 509, New Albany 545, Heritage Hills 558, Madison 560
Girls results – 1. Alexandra Banfich (Clvr) 18:21.8, 2. Megan Ranegar (Vlpo) 18:38.2, 3. Lorna Whaley (Avn) 18:46.2, 4. Maragaret Bingham (Wstfld) 18:48, 5. Brianna Johnson (Crrl) 18:48.1, 6. Sarah Terashima (Rchmd) 18:53.0, 7. Lacey Oeding (Jspr) 18:54.7, 8. Kaitlyn Love (Wstfld) 18:57.2, 9. Chelsea Blanchard (Crrl) 18:57.3, 10. Valerie Burns (Pnn) 18:59.7, 11. Sarah Higgens (CtrGrv) 19:03.6, 12. Autumn Beauty (Dekalb) 19:06.8, 13. Rachel Zodiac (LkCntrl) 19:09.4, 14. Lacey Orth (EvlNrt) 19:12.1, 15. Siri Retrum (ClmNrt) 19:19.1. Others – 51. Carissa Martin (NA) 20:06.1, 56. Kassie Kovert (Brntn) 20:07.8, 67. Chelsea Stephan (Mad) 20:16.8, 138. Lauren Schaftlein (CC) 21:23.2
Boys scores – Fishers 102, LaPorte 112, Carmel 142, Northridge 151, Franklin Community 207, Carroll 212, McCutcheon 232, Fort Wayne Northrop 266, Munster 275, Columbus North 287, Franklin Central 321, Noblesville 336, Huntington North 360, Terre Haute North 380, Floyd Central 387, Michigan City 407, Seymour 410, Dekalb 437, Lake Central 452, Bloomington South 453, Penn 504, Perry Central 602
Boys results – 1. Michael Fout (Lprt) 15:31.9, 2. James Martin (Crrl) 15:56.6, 3. Anthony Witt (Shkmk) 15:58.6, 4. Zach Gates (Hmltn SE) 16:02.7, 5. Drew Shields (Fshrs) 16:04.9, 6. Andy Bayer (Leo) 16:05.2, 7. Zach Mayhew (THN) 16:12.6, 8. Michael Hoffmann (BN) 16:14.8, 9. Dylan Sorenson (Znsvl) 16:15.0, 10. Craig Padgett (Mshwk) 16:15.8, 11. Sean Wilson (FrklnCom) 16:16.8, 12. Ben Biz Bizun (Pike) 16:16.8, 13. Scott Lasiter (FrnlnCnt) 16:17.0, 14. David Eichenberger (Plnfld) 16:17.1, 15. Andrew Albert (Nrthrdg) 16:18.2. Others – 21. Tyler Byrne (NH) 16:23.2, 49. Dustin Betz (NED) 16:44.5, 53. Alex Fenn (TC) 16:48.0, 88. Will Cox (FC) 17:06.2, 92. Will Naville (FC) 17:09.9, 94. Sam Mires (FC) 17:11.0, 101. Justin Hodge (FC) 17:14.4, 115. Jake Schwartz (PC) 17:21.7, 143. Michael Ernst (PC) 17:39.4, 148. Corey Kimball (PC) 17:48.2, 151. Jordan Kelly (FC) 17:49.1