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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

County teams ready for sectional meet

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Cross country teams begin the push toward a berth in the state finals this evening with today's sectional meet at the LaVern Gibson Course.

Terre Haute North comes in as the defending team champions in both the boys' and girls' meets and should be considered a favorite this year as well.

The Patriots return most of their rosters from last season including some favorites for individual honors.

Kylee Thacker was third in last year's sectional.
The Northview Knights and Clay City Eels will be gunning for a spot in both the boys' and girls' regionals during the weekend which goes to the top five teams as well as the top 15 individuals.

The Knights have some big meet experience this year after running in the State Preview Meet at LaVern Gibson as well as the Early Bird Meet. Northview also saw some of the state's best teams at the Culver Invite recently so they won't be intimidated by the competition. The Clay City boys graduated most of their varsity from last season's third-place team, but have plenty of experience on the sectional course this season.

The Northview girls finished third last year behind the victorious Patriots and Terre Haute South Braves. The Eels took sixth overall.

Perhaps one of the best individual stories should be the battle between Terre Haute North's Amy Hamilton, last year's individual winner, and Northview's Kylee Thacker, who was third last season.

The two have had some great matchups already this season at the new five-kilometer distance. Thacker has won each one this year, but the postseason is when it counts most. South's Kristy Twitchell was the runnerup last season and returns to do battle up front with the two.

The boys' race last year was won by North's Zach Mayhew in 16:14 and you can expect that South's Andrew Sullivan will be up their to compete as well. The favorite however might well be Shakamak's Austin Witt who has set a scorching pace across many courses this season.

Witt and the Lakers were a part of the Brown County Sectional last season. His teammate, Casey Fougerousse, will likely be a factor in today's individual girls' race as well after placing third last year as a freshman.

For the Knights, the junior laden team is seeking to improve on their finish last year and is led by Ryan Lutes, who placed 11th in the sectional last season with teammate Chris Smith close behind in 13th. E.C. Moody placed 38th ahead of sophomore Conor Strain in 43rd.

Landry Moore wasn't available last year but the senior gives the Knights another top runner as well as Eli Kirby, Kolby Henke and Jordan Maurer.

The Clay City Eels are led by Parker Modesitt this season who was 18th last year in his freshman year. Kevin Cook was close behind in 20th followed by Ben Dickey in 29th. This year's team includes Jessie Vansickle who has shown himself as a top competitor for the Eels. Braxton Griffith has returned from last year's leg injury and Clay City has Austin Sinders, Kyle Yocom, Connery Modesitt and Andy Shaeffer running close together which is key for a team hoping for another regional berth.

The Northview girls have high hopes this year as well and appear to, literally, be hitting their stride at the right time of the season.

While Thacker has led the team all season, she is joined up front by the experience of sophomore Corey Laue who was 15th ahead of Allie True and Cassandra Barnett in 18th and 19th. Sophomore Krystle Miller placed 23rd for the Knights last season and Marissa Bryant gets her chance to run a sectional as well.

The Clay City Eels are led by Andrea Ladd who was 28th in last year's sectional and she is joined by teammate Brittany Richard and Samantha Stoops. Stephanie Granger and Taylor Walden finish out the Eels' lineup for today's sectional.

The sectional is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. this evening.

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