Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- There was little doubt about the strength of Terre Haute North's fifth-ranked boys' cross country team following Thursday's meet at Clay City.
The Patriots met up with a solid Eels squad, took the top-two individual spots and won the team meet, 21 to 38.
They also sat their top-seven runners.
"They aren't ranked fifth for nothing," commented Clay City coach Keith Jones. "They are a very strong team."
Terre Haute North got a winning effort from Ryan Payonk in 17:21 and got a 17:38 from Dylan Bertsch in the meet. Clay City's Parker Modesitt claimed third-place in 17:45.
Overall, Terre Haute North's top-five finished in the top-eight overall, which was good enough for the win.
However, Jones was quick to point out that there is good reason to compete against the big boys.
"This was the third time we've run on this course this season and the goal I set for our kids was to run our best times," said Jones. "You run against (Terre Haute North) because they are the class (of the area). North is a measuring stick and they are just a class bunch of guys. We came in to do the best we could do."
Most of the Clay City runners slashed their times on the course since a rainy, miserable run at the Clay City Invite on Sept. 9.
Braxton Griffith placed fifth against the Patriots and dropped seven seconds, Jessie Vansickle was seventh and came down 25 seconds. Conner Modesitt placed 12th and sheared an impressive 44 seconds of his time and Austin Sinders whacked an amazing 1:18 from his time for 15th-place.
Ben Denker crossed the line in 18th-place for the Eels followed by DJ Newton. Landry Moss placed 24th and Colt Lavoigne took 25th.
In the girls' race, Clay City had just one runner, Tiffani Goodman, who took 17th in 25:11.
Freshman Emily Cotterman was the meet's winner in 20:23 followed by Katie Shaw in 21:45 and Liz Marietta's 21:50.
The Eels are back in action on Oct. 9 when they travel to the SWIAC meet at 4:30 p.m.
At Clay City
Boys team scores
T.H. North 21, Clay City 38
1. Ryan Payonk (THN) 17:21, 2. Dylan Bertsch (THN) 17:38, 3. Parker Modesitt (CC) 17:45, 4. Sam Bunch (THN) 17:52, 5. Braxton Griffith (CC) 17:57, 6. David Tucker (THN) 18:00, 7. Jessie Vansickle (CC) 18:04, 8. Shayne Roman (THN) 18:35, 9. Nate Page (THN) 18:57, 10. Chris Marietta (THN) 19:00
Other Clay City: 12. Conner Modesitt, 19:13, 15. Austin Sinders, 19:38, 18. Ben Denker, 19:56, 19. DJ Newton, 20:02, 24. Landry Moss, 21:37, 25. Colt Lavoigne, 21:53
Girls team results
T.H. North 15, Clay City Inc.
1. Emily Cotterman (THN) 20:23, 2. Katie Shaw (THN) 21:45, 3. Liz Marietta (THN) 21:50, 4. Taylor Jackson (THN) 21:55, 6. Shelby Tatman (THN) 23:06, 7. Maria Jackson (THN) 23:27, 8. Mariyan Houston (THN) 23:38, 9. Erin Luken (THN) 23:40, 10. Taylor Norman (THN) 23:55.
Clay City: 17. Tiffani Goodman, 25:11