Cougars runner-up, Corydon girls 6th
The North Oldham (Ky.) girls and New Albany boys dominated this year’s North Harrison Invitational cross country meet Thursday on a perfect day for running with temperatures in the 70s and low humidity. Forest Park’s Josie Berg and Perry Central’s Marcus Graham took home individual honors as winners of their respective races.
Berg, a freshman, took the lead from the beginning of the girls’ race and quickly established herself up front. Behind her, the lead pack included Perry Central’s Elizabeth Dauby, Northeast Dubois’ Jessica Kable and Shelby Livingston and Corydon Central’s Sarah Bailey, all in the top 20 of the field.
Berg went on to win in a time of 19 minutes, 59.1 seconds, with Jasper’s Tara Cassidy second in 20:06.7. Perry Central’s Dauby finished fourth of the 140 runners in a time of 20:52.2, while Kahle and Livingston were fifth (20:55.4) and eighth (21:03.3), respectively, for the Lady Jeeps. Bailey, a freshman, just missed a top-10 finish for the Lady Panthers, finishing 11th in a time of 21:15.6.
‘I see all these other girls that’s been running varsity for three years, and I’m just thinking, ‘Go get them,’ and that’s what I did,’ Bailey said. ‘My coach told me I was 11th or so on that turn, and he said, ‘Go get that girl and you’re probably top 10.’ So, that’s what I did.’
Bailey said she knew she had other runners closing in on her at the finish and fought to keep them behind her. Bailey’s teammate, Marcie Stewart, also a freshman, finished 30th of the 140 runners in a time of 22:21.1. Anna Bailey was 48th (23:26.0), Ella Blackburn 64th (23:52.6) and Allyssa Edwards 67th (23:59.5), giving the Lady Panthers a sixth-place team finish.
‘(The course) was fast,’ Bailey said. ‘I could see the shadows right next to me, so I knew they were close to me. I was, like, ‘I’m not going to let them pass me.’ I knew I was in the top 20 or somewhere around there.’
‘This is the biggest meet I’ve ran,’ Bailey said. ‘I just go out and run. Today was 21:10, so I’m hoping to get in the 19s. I’ve been cutting a minute off my PR (personal record) every time, so, hopefully, I’ll get that next time. … I’m hoping to maybe to get to state one of these years. That would be a huge accomplishment for me.’
Kentucky’s North Oldham had four runners in the top 10 and finished first in the team standings with 50 points. Forest Park was second with 95, Jasper third (108), New Albany fourth (138) and Jeffersonville fifth (191). Corydon Central, with 198 points, finished sixth, Perry Central seventh (225), Northeast Dubois 10th (256), North Harrison 11th (274) and Crawford County 16th (407). Lanesville was without a team score, but freshman Lilly Romeo finished 50th.
North Harrison’s Sadie Rothrock placed in the top 25 with a 23rd-place finish, covering the five-kilometer course in a time of 21:59.1. Rothrock’s teammate, Cassidy Thompson, was just a few places behind in 26th (22:09.0).
‘Top 20 or top 10 would have been better, but I’ll take 23rd,’ Rothrock said.
The Lady Cat freshman said she didn’t want to go out with the lead pack at the beginning of the race.
‘I’ve tried that before, and it didn’t go well,’ she said. ‘So, I just tried to stay in the middle and then work my way up. I passed at least 20 or so. I hope to be under 20 minutes in my time. I hope to make it to semi-state. If we don’t make it as a team, then as an individual … ‘
Crawford County’s Addy Simpson finished 41st, covering the 3.1-mile course in a time of 22:57.8. Senior teammate Rachel Schwartz was 63rd in 23:48.0.
‘It was a lot better than last time,’ Simpson said. ‘I was a little bit nervous, because I just want conditioning for basketball. I was just thinking I’ve got to surge up the hills. I’ve just got to do what I can do and keep going.’
‘Considering the weather today, it was probably more of a speed (race),’ she said. ‘All races are usually mental. It’s just, if you start to hurt, you’ve just got to keep going. It was amazing out here. It felt great. The sun was down and it was just perfect.’
Conditions improved even more for the boys as the sun began to go down, cooling the air. North Oldham’s Alex McClarty took the lead at the start, with North Harrison’s Nathaniel Lone and Crawford County’s Christian Carlton also running in the top 10.
Just over halfway through the race, Perry Central’s Marcus Graham surged to the front and stayed there, finishing in 16 minutes, 18.2 seconds. Jasper’s Cale Kilian was second (16:34.7) and McClarty was third (16:42.5).
‘We came into this race saying, ‘We’re just going to tempo’,’ Graham said. ‘The first two miles at a 5:20 pace and then the last mile we’re going to go all out. The first mile, I came through at 5:21 slow and, the second mile, I slowed down even more to a 5:24. When I got to the mile, I said, ‘OK, it’s time to go all out.’ That’s what I did.’
‘We’ve got a really young team, and we’ve got a long way to go,’ he said of the Commodores. ‘We’re just going to take it meet by meet and progress everybody each at a time and try to bunch up our two-through-five guys and then go from there. Hopefully, come PLAC time, we’re in contention for the W.’
Lone finished fifth for the Cougars with a time of 16:49.7. Collier Smith was eighth (16:59.2), Noah Rothrock 14th (17:20.8), Abe Tillquist 36th (18:02.0) and Caden Smith 55th (18:27.8).
‘That first mile, I kept with the leaders the whole time,’ Lone said. ‘That was my main goal, to keep up front with the lead pack the whole time. I think I did that pretty well the whole meet, but, once I hit that second mile, my knee started hurting a little bit. I still felt like I kept up with the leaders pretty good. I didn’t fall back too bad.’
Lone said, when Graham blew by him midway through the race, he knew he wasn’t going to be able to keep up with the Perry Central senior.
‘I didn’t see him the whole race, then he comes flying past me,’ he said. ‘I wanted to try to keep his tempo a little bit and I did, but then he just took off. I don’t know where he came from, but he’s a really good runner. I tried to keep with Jasper the whole race mainly.’
New Albany was first in the team standings with a total 75 points with the Cougars second at 117. Corydon Central was ninth (212), Perry Central 11th (268), Crawford County 14th (379), Lanesville 19th (521) and South Central 21st (566).
Crawford County’s Christian Carlton cracked the top 10 with an eighth-place finish in a time of 17:06.7. Joe Bishop was 76th (19:05.1), Chuck Pirtle 89th (19:31.0), Micah Vernon 105th (20:17.1) and Wyatt Morris 117th (20:40.0).
‘This was really good conditions,’ Carlton said. ‘I just wanted to train hard, and I wanted to get a good time. It was just really hard to do. I got jumbled around pretty good in that start. There ain’t that many hills, so it’s pretty flat. I like this race. I was going for, like, a 16:50. I ran under 17 last year, so I’m going for that at Heritage Hills. That’s going to be a tough meet.’
Other finishers in the top 50 included Northeast Dubois’ Jeb Knies at sixth (16:57.0) and Jaydon Arnold 35th (18:01.4), Corydon Central’s Lauren Blackburn at 19th (17:31.1) and Perry Central’s John Bashor 20th (17:31.7).
Corydon Central and North Harrison cross country teams are scheduled to participate in the Brown County Invitational Saturday. The event is hosted at the site of the IHSAA semi-state.
Girls’ team scores ‘ 1. North Oldham 50, 2. Forest Park 95, 3. Jasper 108, 4. New Albany 138, 5. Jeffersonville 191, 6. Corydon Central 198, 7. Perry Central 225, 8. Brownstown Central 227, 9. Southridge 255, 10. Northeast Dubois 256, 11. North Harrison 274, 12. Charlestown 302, 13. Bedford North Lawrence 327, 14. Eastern (Pekin) 371, 15. Paoli 406, 16. Crawford County 407, 17. Scottsburg 480, 18. Borden 486, 19. Austin 533, 20. West Washington 548.
Girls’ individual results ‘ 1. Josie Berg (FP) 19:59.1, 2. Tara Cassidy (Jspr) 20:06.7, 3. Anna Costelle (NO) 20:37.1, 4. Elizabeth Dauby (PC) 20:52.2, 5. Jessica Kahle (NED) 20:55.4, 6. Lakin Fain (NO) 21:01.5, 7. Lauren Meyer (SR) 21:02.5, 8. Shelby Livingston (NED) 21:03.3, 9. Hannah Binzer (NO) 21:04.5, 10. Lucy Wiedmar (NO) 21:06.1, 11. Sarah Bailey (Cor) 21:15.9, 12. Alyssa Skorge (Jspr) 21:23.9, 13. Nicole Lods (NA) 21:27.2, 14. Taylor Wooten (Jeff) 21:32.3, 15. Noelle Weyer (Jspr) 21:32.9
Boys’ team scores ‘ 1. New Albany 75, 2. North Harrison 117, 3. Austin 118, 4. Jasper 119, 5. North Oldham 132, 6. Jeffersonville185, 7. Northeast Dubois 189, 8. Eastern (Pekin) 190, 9. Corydon Central 212, 10. Forest Park 259, 11. Perry Central 268, 12. Brownstown Central 333, 13. Scottsburg 372, 14. Crawford County 379, 15. Borden 380, 16. Southridge 424, 17. Henryville 487, 18. Paoli 499, 19. Lanesville 521, 20. Charlestown 523, 21. South Central 566, 22. Cannelton 655.
Boys’ individual results ‘ 1. Marcus Graham (PC) 16:18.2, 2. Cale Kilian (Jspr) 16:34.7, 3. Alex McClarty (NO) 16:42.5, 4. James Haller (NA) 16:46.2, 5. Nathaniel Lone (NH) 16:49.7, 6. Jeb Knies (NED) 16:57.0, 7. Alex Wallingford (NA) 16:59.1, 8. Collier Smith (NH) 16:59.2, 9. Christian Carlton (CC) 17:06.7, 10. Alex May (Sctbg) 17:10.8, 11. Blaze Abner (Cor) 17:14.8, 12. Ben Lewis (NA), 17:18.3, 13. Koby Hawkins (A) 17:18.6, 14. Noah Rothrock (NH) 17:20.8, 15. Shon Taylor (NA) 17:21.2.