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Byrne’s turn to reign at NH Invitational

Byrne’s turn to reign at NH Invitational
Byrne’s turn to reign at NH Invitational
North Harrison distance runner Tyler Byrne makes a turn after the first mile during Thursday's North Harrison Invitational. The junior went on to win the race. (Photos by Brian Smith)

Fresh off a 21st finish at the state finals last season, North Harrison harrier Tyler Byrne has picked up where he left off in 2007, consistently lowering his personal best time.
At the North Harrison Invitational Thursday, Byrne wasted no time getting out in front of a field of 177 runners and coasting to an easy victory. The junior, looking to break the 16-minute mark for the 5,000 meters, crossed the finish line in 16:00.5.
‘I wanted to go a little bit quicker than 16,’ Byrne said. ‘I was working on going as hard as I could and getting my mile times. But it went pretty good.’
There was little competition for Byrne at a meet that featured 28 strong teams from Southern Indiana. The second-place runner, Northeast Dubois’s Josh Genet, finished 30 seconds behind Byrne, at 16:30.4.
‘He finished 21st at state last year and about half those kids graduated,’ said North Harrison cross country coach Jerry Love. ‘He has to be among the top 10 in the state. He is running even stronger at this point this season.’
A rain shower during the girls’ varsity race cooled the runners and track down, which played to Byrne’s liking.
‘It was a lot nicer to not deal with all the heat we’ve had,’ Byrne said. ‘I’d rather have a little rain than the sun, so I was pretty happy about that.’
Eight runners ran under 17 minutes, including Byrne’s teammate Ryan Foster. A freshman, Foster finished seventh overall, tops among freshmen in 16:54.
As a team, North Harrison finished fourth overall with 140 points. Another freshman, Johnnie Guy, finished 34th overall with a time of 17:53. Rounding out the Cougar scores were Chris Foster (45th, 18:07) and Matt Bruce (53rd, 18:31).
‘We were hoping for third so we could get some hardware, but we know Floyd and New Albany would have us this time of year,’ Love said. ‘We’re pretty pleased. Fourteen of 20 kids set PRs (personal records). Whenever 70 percent of the team sets PRs, you can’t complain.’
Floyd Central won the boys’ meet, placing four of its five runners in the top 25 for 75 points. New Albany was second with 96, followed by Perry Central with 102.
Corydon Central finished 13th, led by senior Harrison Mann who placed 15th overall in 17:11.2. Sophomore Cheyenne Smith was 39th with a time of 17:59. Rounding out the Panthers scorers were Luke Burch (63rd, 18:48), Ryan Hutchinson (86th, 19:28) and Casey Priddy (120th, 20:14).
Led by John Lopp’s 35th-place finish, South Central landed 15th in the team standings. Lopp ran the course in 17:55. Chris O’Connor followed his teammate in 60th (18:43). Also finishing for South Central were Nick Soots (77th, 19:10), Cody Roby (96th, 19:43) and Elliot Thompson (111th, 20:03).
Lanesville took 20th place thanks to a big performance from Joe Kissel. The sophomore was 31st overall, sprinting home with a time of 17:48.3. Remaining Eagles runners included Isaac Blackman (122nd, 20:16), Ian Bridges (125th, 20:22), Vince Cecil (128th, 20:24) and Cody Coke (130th, 20:25).
In the girls’ event, rain began to fall at the start, but the moisture didn’t slow Tell City’s Sarah Goffinet from running away from the field. The freshman headed to the finish chute with a time of 19:46.4. Stephanie Cave from New Albany finished second in 20:07.
South Central’s Rachel Pease got off to a fast start, pressing for the early lead among 140 competitors. Pease was able to hang on for an impressive top-10 finish, placing seventh with a time of 20:41.5.
Perry Central won the girls’ team title with 94 points over its rival, Tell City, which finished with 124 points.
Corydon Central was the top local team, placing 12th among 19 teams. Kim Burks and Olivia Wiseman, a pair of freshmen, led the Lady Panthers. Burks finished 31st with a time of 22:12, and Wiseman 42nd with a time of 22:45. Janae Smith (23:06) took 52nd, followed by teammates Molly Pitts (83rd, 24:53) and Caitlyn Byrd (98th, 25:30).
North Harrison had two top-30 finishers in Tori Moberly and Kasey Cox. Moberly finished 22nd overall with a time of 21:39 and Cox came in 30th with a time of 22:11. Rounding out the Lady Cats harriers were Cassie Crawford (71st, 24:00), Sydney Taylor (87th, 25:08) and Kelley Naegele (106th, 26:14).
South Central, led by Pease, placed 19th. Other South Central runners included Megan Sherrard (88th, 25:11), Shelby Miller (90th, 25:12), Erica Coulter (97th, 25:21) and Margarita Perez (123rd, 32:49).
Lanesville didn’t have enough girls to field a team score, but sophomore Rachel Butler finished 38th in a time of 22:28 to represent the Lady Eagles. Miranda Kaake also ran for Lanesville, finishing 65th with a time of 23:31. Faith Johnston (129th, 27:34) also competed.
The next big cross country event will be the Corydon Central Invitational tomorrow (Thursday), starting at 6 p.m. The race will be held at Hayswood Nature Reserve.
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Team results ‘ 1. Floyd Central 75, 2. New Albany 96, 3. Perry Central 102, 4. North Harrison 140, 5. Bedford North Lawrence 189, 6. Tell City 219, 7. Austin 234, 8. Brownstown Central 240, 9. Northeast Dubois 262, 10. Salem 288, 11. Jeffersonville 302, 12. Forest Park 315, 13. Corydon Central 323, 14. Borden 244, 15. South Central 379, 16. Scottsburg 387, 17. Crawford County 458, 18. Jasper 473, 19. Southridge 530, 20. Lanesville 536, 21. Orleans 557, 22. Charlestown 601, 23. Mitchell 614, 24. Eastern (Pekin) 656, 25. West Washington 688, 26. Southwestern 733.
Individual results (top 10) ‘ 1. Byrne (NH) 16:00; 2. Genet (NeD) 16:30; 3. Crossman (BC) 16:34; 4. Hodge (FC) 16:39; 5. Fenn (TC) 16:48; 6. Holcomb (NA) 16:54; 7. Foster (NH) 16:54; 8. Schwartz (PC) 16:59; 9. Thomas (FP) 17:05; 10. Blackman (FC) 17:07.
Team results ‘ 1. Perry Central 94, 2. Tell City 124, 3. Bedford North Lawrence 135, 4. Jeffersonville 186, 5. Jasper 189, 6. New Albany 194, 7. Forest Park 198, 8. Floyd Central 222, 9. Southridge 240, 10. Eastern (Pekin) 245, 11. Northeast Dubois 268, 12. Corydon Central 306, 13. Crawford County 310, 14. Salem 310, 15. North Harrison 316, 16. Brownstown Central 328, 17. Paoli 387, 18. South Central 405, 19. Scottsburg 488.
Individual results ‘ 1. Goffinet (TC) 19:46; 2. Cave (NA) 20:07; 3. Dalton (EP) 20:10; 4. Wilson (EP) 20:16; 5. Thill (P) 20:22; 6. Rayford (PC) 20:34; 7. Pease (SC) 20:41; 8. Gillespie (BNL) 20:44; 9. Rairdon (NA) 20:51; 10. Verkamp (FP) 21:09.