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Cougars race way to state

Cougars race way to state
Cougars race way to state
North HarrisonÂ’s Tyler Byrne, above, splashes his way to the finish line to win the Brown County Semi-State Saturday. The Cougars finished in second place, just one point behind team winner Terre Haute North, but still advanced to the state finals. Photos by Wade Bell (click for larger version)

The North Harrison Cougars felt pretty good after their 3.1-mile race at the Brown County Semi-State Saturday morning. They had put four runners in the top 10 and felt they had just beaten who they wanted the most, Terre Haute North. When the results came out, however, it was Terre Haute North winning by just a single point over the Cougars, 55-56, leaving North Harrison shaking their heads in disappointment.
‘It’s kind of a kick in the stomach,’ North Harrison coach Jerry Love said. ‘We probably celebrated a little bit too soon. We thought we had them. We kind of did our own math. When they take out the individuals, it changes things, but we still kind of thought we were going to come out on top. One point, it shows the importance of each spot you take and how important one spot can be.’
Just like the sectional and regional, it was another day of mud and mud puddles, some as much as ankle deep, that the runners had to go over, around and through. North Harrison’s Tyler Byrne, however, made it look easy, just as he has done all season, handling both the course and the competition with a 23-second win over Terre Haute North’s John Mascari.
‘On a day like today, I just wanted to make sure I got out with the lead pack and try to get away from the bigger packs,’ Byrne said. ‘It was pretty slippery and sloppy out here today. That’s where I wanted to be.
‘We’ve had to run in these conditions for a long time it seems like. You have to be careful with your balance, slow down where you need to. That’s where you’ve got to find your spots where you can accelerate and watch where you have to slow to be careful.’
Ryan Foster was sixth for the Cougars, Jonathan Reynolds seventh, Jonathan Guy ninth and Josh Guy 47th of the 158 runners. One thing the Cougars are doing differently this year is cutting back on races and looking more at mileage and intensity.
‘In the past, they kind of raced themselves into shape because they had so many races,’ workout manager Tim Martin said. ‘So, we took out half the races so we could actually do more workouts. The workouts are a lot more intense than a race.
‘We put in more long runs. We’re doing 17-mile runs on weekends every two weeks then just bumping the intensity up. Just running them longer and bumping up the mileage as soon as they could handle it. I think that’s what made the big difference, being able to have that strength to start out hard and finish hard.’
North Harrison still moves on to Terre Haute Saturday for the state finals, where the Cougars hope to take one of the top five podium positions.
‘We’ll use this as motivation (Saturday),’ Love said. ‘We’ve got to run our best at state, and what we’ve got to do now is beat Terre Haute North at the state meet. We still want to get on that podium. We want one of those top five spots, and to do that, we’ll probably have to knock off Terre Haute North. We know how close we are.’
South Central sophomore Rachel Pease also grabbed a state-finals berth with an 11th-place finish just ahead of Eastern’s Erica Wilson. Pease said the muddy conditions again worked in her favor.
‘Goodness gracious. ‘ I’m going to state,’ she said.
‘I just thought, the mud, it’s not really a good place where you can pass,’ the sophomore said. ‘I just wanted to get out hard and try to stay there as long as I could. ‘ It was nothing different than sectional or regional. I just got longer spikes, and I think that really helped. I really didn’t slide that much. I like the mud and rough courses. It was good.’
Corydon Central’s Cheyenne Smith was well out of a state berth, finishing 57th. Floyd Central didn’t fair so well either, with the Lady Highlanders finishing 11th and the boys’ team 17th. Northeast Dubois’ Josh Genet made the cut with a third-place finish as did the Perry Central Commodores, who finished fourth in the team standings.
‘We moved up a spot,’ Perry Central coach Jason Barnett said. ‘The first year, we were sixth, then we were fourth, so that’s what we want to see, improvement. We were a lot closer to third than we expected, 12 points out, so that’s a good sign. We just need some good conditions to run in. That would be nice.’

Girls’ Scores (Top 6 to State) ‘ Terre Haute North 37, Bloomington South 60, Bloomington North 174, Evansville Memorial 174, Heritage Hills 221, Bedford-NL 223, Evansville North 231, Madison 242, Northeast Dubois 260, Perry Central 301, Floyd Central 332, Evansville Central 354, Edgewood 360, South Knox 369, Salem 375, Terre Haute South 383, Silver Creek 406, New Albany 412, Evansville Harrison 436, Brownstown 461
Girls’ Results (Top 15 to State) ‘ 1. TaPring Goatee (THN) 19:25.1, 2. Chanli Mundy THN 19:56.0, 3. Anna Voskuil (BS) 20:02.6, 4. Nicole Lucas (BS) 20:14.7, 5. Christine Sparks (BN) 20:28.2, 6. Alexandra Hetrick (BS) 20:35.0, 7. Anne Mullican (THN) 20:36.7, 8. Taylor Wiley (EC) 20:46.5, 9. Hope Lockman (Brntn) 20:48.1, 10. Lacey Orth (EN) 20:49.0, 11. Rachel Pease (SoCnt) 20:50.3, 12. Erika Wilson (EP) 20:50.6, 13. Maria Mehringer (EM) 20:51.1, 14. Cecelia Oxford (HH) 20:57.0, 15. Alexa McFadden (THN) 21:03.6
Boys’ Scores (Top 6 to State) ‘ Terre Haute North 55, North Harrison 56, Bloomington South 124, Perry Central 136, Martinsville 169, New Albany 182, Evansville Memorial 186, Bloomington 250, Brown County 284, Castle 323, Bedford-NL 327, Evansville Mater Dei 331, Barr-Reeve 340, Seymour 357, Evansvillle North 378, Jennings County 387, Floyd Central 395, Heritage Hills 413, Scottsburg 475, Silver Creek 506
Boys’ Results (Top 15 to State) ‘ 1. Tyler Byrne (NH) 16:15.5, 2. John Mascari (THN) 16:38.3, 3. Josh Genet (NED) 16:42.4, 4. Jace Lowry (Mart) 16:49.9, 5. Drew Gambill (Shak) 16:54.6, 6. Ryan Foster (NH) 16:55.9, 7. Jonathan Reynolds (NH) 16:58.8, 8. Milton Brinza (THN) 17:00.8, 9. Johnnie Guy (NH) 17:01.8, 10. Nolan Fife (Sey) 17:07.8, 11. Logan Barrett (BNL) 17:10.2, 12. Justin Chen (BS) 17:11.0, 13. Eric Scheiber (PC) 17:11.2, 14. Tristan Shelby (Bnvl) 17:12.5, 15. Brian Depasse (THN) 17:16.8

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