SEELEYVILLE -- Despite competing in less than ideal conditions during Tuesday evening's Terre Haute North Cross-country Sectional, the Northview girls' team succeeded in finding the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In fact, a double rainbow.
The Knights fought high winds, damp, cold conditions and occasional rain to capture their first sectional team championship in three years with a 46-49 edge over Terre Haute South.
As a double-rainbow formed as a backdrop to the finale of the boys' race, the girls gathered as sectional champions with their coach, Kimberly Caulkins.
"The key tonight was just that they wanted (the championship) badly enough," said Caulkins. "They had the determination and the training. Deep down, that was their goal."
Northview junior Emily Pugh was the front runner for the Knights, taking fourth place overall behind North sophomore Kayla Alexander who was the individual champion in 15:30.56.
Ariel Hall of South was second followed by Megan Scheidler and Pugh in fourth place. Megan Hamilton of the Patriots was fifth.
The team race was a battle to the wire as Terre Haute South got their second and third places followed by a 13th and 14th place to give them a total of 32 points with four of their five scoring runners across the line. For the Knights, Emily Pugh was fourth followed by Shandra Kirby in seventh (16:15.85) and fellow senior Nikki Royer in eighth and Mary Pugh in 10th for a total of 30 points through four runners. That left the team title to be decided by the first runner from either team to cross the line.
That competitor was Kim Deakins of Northview who finished in 16th place to close out Northview's scoring at 46 with South's Megan Carter finishing nine seconds behind Deakins for 17th and a total of 49 for the Braves.
Clay City's girls will be represented at the Bloomington North Regional by sophomore Alisha Drake who finished in 15th place in a time of 17:05, over three minutes better than her time as a freshman when she placed 58th. "Alisha (Drake) did a very good job tonight," said coach Keith Jones. "She's worked really hard this year and she's just a sophomore. All the girls worked really hard this season. They really came on this year."
Lacey Rood finished in 24th for Clay City while Elizabeth Effner was 29th, Chelsea Riggs was 42nd followed by Elizabeth Beyers in 43rd and Brittany Rood was 46th. The Eels placed in sixth, just one spot from advancing to the regional level as a team.
In the boy event, the Terre Haute North Patriots defended last year's team title with a 23 point victory over Northview's veteran squad (34 to 57).
The Patriots were led by individual champion Josh Bedford who crossed the line in 16:59.09. Northview senior Justin Scherb powered home with a 17:07.45 for second place, but North got a third place from Rob Roads, a fourth from Erik Hamilton and a 12th from Ted Dason and 14th from Jaden Brown for their victory.
The Knights also got strong finishes from Josh Timm in eighth place followed by teammates Matt Brand in 11th and Jarrod Reece in 15th. Cam King finished up their scoring with an 18:31.85, good for 21st place.
"I thought we ran pretty well considering the weather. The times weren't fast, but they weren't too bad," said Northview coach Jeff Gambill. "I thought our effort was great today, but North was just better than us today."
Clay City's Eels will join Northview after finishing fourth as a team led by Andy Huggler's fifth place finish in 17:16.09. "Considering how we scrambled around a little to get our lineup together today, I thought we ran hard and I'm happy we get to move on," said Clay City's Keith Jones. "I'm happy to survive and I thought we really ran with purpose today to get out of the sectional."
Jared Schlak placed 17th for Clay City (18:17.20) followed by Dustin Souder in 20th, Camrand Tucker in 23rd and Jared Defore in 28th. Kyle Tiefel was 32nd and Tyler Moon was 44th.
Northview and Clay City athletes will move on to Saturday's Bloomington Regional.
Terre Haute North Cross-Country Sectional
At Lavern-Gibson Course
Top-Six Girls Team Scores (Top-Five teams advance to Regional): Northview 46, Terre Haute South 49, Terre Haute North 65, North Central 113, West Vigo 123, Clay City 154
Top-20 Individuals (Top-15 Individuals advance to Regionals)
1. Kayla Alexander (THN) 15:30.56, 2. Ariel Hall (THS) 15:48.35, 3. Megan Scheidler (THS) 15:49.14, 4. Emily Pugh (NV) 15:58.25, 5. Megan Hamilton (THN) 15:59.01, 6. Kathleen Smith (THN) 15:59.92, 7. Shandra Kirby (NV) 16:15.85, 8. Julia Costello (SV) 16:36.95, 9. Nikki Royer (NV) 16:42.32, 10. Mary Pugh (NV) 16:47.44, 11. Olivia Umphries (WV) 16:51.30, 12. Kellie Willard (NC) 16:53.67, 13. Brittany Fuhrmeister (THS) 17:04.02, 14. Kate Goeller (THS) 17:04.52, 15. Alisha Drake (CC) 17:05.07, 16. Kim Deakins (NV) 17:10.73, 17. Megan Carter (THS) 17:19.73, 18. Adriane Wunderlich (THS) 17:20.71, 19. Shannon Shidler (NC) 17:23.25, 20. Hannah Switzer (WV) 17:28.30.
Other Northview: 51. Brit Hoffman, 21:02.28.
Other Clay City: 24. Lacey Rood, 17:48.78, 29. Elizabeth Effner, 18:14.25, 42. Chelsea Riggs, 19:36.71, 43. Elizabeth Beyers, 19:44.02, 46. Brittany Rood, 20:07.69.
Boys Team Scores (Top-Five Teams Advance to Regional): Terre Haute North 34, Northview 57, Terre Haute South 88, Clay City 93, North Central 133, West Vigo 159, Sullivan 185, South Vermillion 226, North Vermillion 242, Riverton Parke 293
Top-20 Individuals (Top-15 Advance to Regionals)
1. Josh Bedford (THN) 16:59.09, 2. Justin Scherb (NV) 17:07.45, 3. Rob Roads (THN) 17:08.43, 4. Erik Hamilton (THN) 17:11.83, 5. Andy Huggler (CC) 17:16.09, 6. John Lambertus (THS) 17:16.83, 7. Ben Jacob (NC) 17:27.94, 8. Josh Timm (NV) 17:36.34, 9. Matt Dupre (SL) 17:39.25, 10. Matt Miller (THS) 17:40.14, 11. Matt Brand (NV) 17:44.08, 12. Ted Dason (THN) 17:56.83, 13. Robert Shiflett (NC) 18:02.21, 14. Jaden Brown (THN) 18:02.99, 15. Jarrod Reece (NV) 18:11.22, 16. Tyler Anderson (THN) 18:14.37, 17. Jared Schlak (CC) 18:17.20, 18. Paul Creasey (WV) 18:17.99, 19. James Twitchell (THS) 18:24.06, 20. Dustin Souder (CC) 18:30.82.
Other Northview: 21. Cam King, 18:31.85, 25. Ryan Thompson, 40. Hunter Reberger, 19:36.73.
Other Clay City: 17. Jared Schlak, 18:17.20, 20. Dustin Souder, 18:30.82, 23. Camrand Tucker, 18:33.72, 28. Jared DeFore, 18:50.04, 32. Kyle Tiefel, 19:05.27, 44. Tyler Moon, 20:16.30.