Times Sports Editor
There's no place like home, especially when you rarely get to see it for meets that count.
Just ask the Northview cross country teams.
The Knights took to Craig Park for their only home meet of the season on Tuesday night for the Northview Invitational.
The girls' squad took full advantage of their familiarity with the course and enjoyed the return of senior Kylee Thacker to score the team victory. The Knights placed all five of their scoring runners in the top-seven for a perfect score of 15.
South Vermillion was a distant second with 75 points with Sullivan in third followed by South Putnam and Riverton Parke.
In the boys' race, Conor Strain ran more than pretty well. In fact, he made the Craig Park five-kilometer circuit faster than anyone ever has in winning the event in a course record time of 16:36. His time bested former teammate James Grounds' time of two years ago.
"Conor made it count," said boys' coach Chad Smith. "He went out wire-to-wire. Sometimes it's the hardest when your supposed to win. I'd say he was the favorite tonight. He ran a tough race and this isn't a pancake course. He's really worked hard and he deserves it."
Cascade's Luke Holt stayed close to Strain for the first 3000 meters before the Knights' junior began to pull away during the late stages to win by 27 seconds. The Cadets were the team champions with a total of 51 points, edging out South Putnam by just six points.
Celebrating senior night, Northview honored Thacker, Allie True, Casandra Barnett, Ryan Lutes, EC Moody and Chris Smith following the meet.
Barnett was the runner-up in the girls' race in 22:02 with freshman Alyssa Conrad in fourth (22:22) and True took sixth (22:48). Nicole Nelson ran to a sevent-place ahead of Corey Laue in ninth (23:35) and Shelby Sands in 10th (23:48).
Northview travels to Brown County on Saturday for an 11 a.m. meet.
At Craig Park
Men's Team Scores: Cascade 51, South Putnam 57, Northview 73, South Vermillion 92, North Vermillion 106, Rockville 176, Riverton Parke 185, Sullivan 193
1. Conor Strain (Nv) 16:36*, 2. Luke Holt (C) 17:03, 3. Wade Hacker (C) 17:37, 4. Austin Shell (NVerm) 17:42, 5. Mark Beight (FC) 17:58, 6. Brice Webster (SV) 18:13, 7. Ryan Lutes (Nv) 18:20, 8. Tyler Heavin (SP) 18:51, 9. Dylan Reyher (SV) 18:54, 10. Ed Moore (NV) 18:56, 11. Ethan Gurnsey (C) 19:07, 12. Dylan Hayes (SP) 19:08, 13. Luke Throckmorton (FC) 19:09, 14. Tanner Barr (SP) 19:11, 15. Andrew Northrup (SP) 19:13
Other Northview: 21. James Trackwell, 19:23, 23. Tanner Brown, 19:39, 28. Kyle Yocom, 20:06, 29. EC Moody, 20:09, 57. Ryan South, 21:52, 60. Thad Whittington 22:04, 61. Christian Swan 22:18
Girls Team Scores: Northview 15, South Vermillion 75, Sullivan 80, South Putnam 92, Riverton Parke 107
1. Kylee Thacker (Nv) 21:46, 2. Casandra Barnett (Nv) 22:02, 3. Carolyn Trueblood (FC) 22:07, 4. Alyssa Conrad (Nv) 22:22, 5. Justine Weatherman (C) 22:33, 6. Allie True (Nv) 22:48, 7. Nicole Nelson (Nv) 23:12, 8. Megan Galloway (SV) 23:14, 9. Corey Laue (Nv) 23:35, 10. Shelby Sands (Nv) 23:48, 11. Amanda Lund (SP) 24:11, 12. Samantha Thompson (SL) 24:28, 13. Ashton Searing (RP) 24:35, 14. Haylie James (SL) 24:38, 15. Taylor Poynter (Nverm) 24:43