Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- The Terre Haute North boys' cross country team lived up to its lofty top-five state ranking as the IHSAA postseason began with sectional action at the LaVern Gibson Complex on Tuesday night.
The Patriot boys placed their top-six runners all within the top-eight overall led by John Mascari's winning effort in 15:55.
North won the team title with an impressive total of just 18 points to best Terre Haute South's score of 85. Clay City's boys were led by a 14th-place from Parker Modesitt on the way to third as a team with Northview taking fourth and West Vigo also qualifying for the regional as a team with a fifth.
Connor Strain led the Knights' effort by placing ninth with a time of 17:06.
Terre Haute North's girls were also team winners, scoring 29 points as freshman Emily Cotterman won the individual event with a time of 20:21.
Shelby Sands ran a personal best for the Knights, which earned her 10th-place in the sectional.
"The girls ran well," said Northview coach Ryand Tucker. "The times may not really show it, but I know the seniors aren't happy finishing second, but the regional is the next step and we're shooting for the semi-state again."
CJ Barnett placed sixth for the Knights in 21:44, cutting 36 seconds off last year's sectional time and Allie True placed eighth in 22:04, 10 seconds better. Sands was 10th in 22:21 followed by Corey Laue in 19th (23:18) and Nicole Nelson was 23rd in 23:34.
Under mostly cloudy skies and occasional sprinkles, times across the board for the boys' meet were comparable to last year's quick pace.
Mascari's time was merely seconds away from former teammate, Zach Mayhew's winning time last season. However, the Patriots placed five runners under 17 minutes in this year's race.
County rivals, Northview and Clay City' went to the wire for third-place, with the Eels edging the Knights by a single point, 116 to 117.
Eels' coach Keith Jones was understandably happy to be heading to the regional once again.
Though the Eels had just two girls running in the meet, Jones was quick to note the effort of his freshmen.
Roeschlein had the third-best freshmen time and will advance to the regional while teammate Tiffani Goodman placed 40th overall.
"Carmela, to be out so long and to come back and finish 12th," said Jones of Roeschlein who is overcoming a leg injury that forced her out of much of the season.
"I'm proud of the guys, they stepped up to the plate," Jones continued. "We've gotten better as the season went on, we didn't put it together at the SWIAC Meet and I think that left a bad taste in their mouths. They got some of that out today."
The Eels got a 16th-place finish from sophomore Jessie Vansickle in 17:58 and an 18th from Braxton Griffith in 18:05. The lone senior for the Eels cut over 50 seconds off last year's sectional time.
"This is the fourth straight year that Braxton is going to the regional and I'm happy for him," said Jones. "I think the underclassmen really wanted to do that for him (getting to the regional)."
Conner Modesitt took 28th, DJ Newton was 40th, Austin Sinders placed 42nd and Ben Denker was 45th.
Each of the four Eels that competed in last year's sectional, improved by at least 40 seconds from their 2007 team.
Northview senior, Ryan Lutes was 17th in 17:59 followed by Eli Kirby in 22nd in 18:27. James Trackwell placed 32nd in 19:01 with Tanner Brown in 37th in 19:30. EC Moody tok 47th in 20:35 and freshman Ryan South placed 57th in 22:13.
While Northview boys' coach Chad Smith would have liked to have third-place against its county rival, he was happy his squad advanced to the regional.
"Our goal was to move on," said Smith. "We beat West Vigo, which we haven't done all year. One point behind our county rival digs a little bit, but we'll have another chance (on Saturday).
"I think we'll run better on Saturday," Smith continued. "We're not used to having 10 days between meets so getting back to running Tuesday and Saturday will benefit us. We're familiar with Brown County's course and hopefully Conner (Strain) can contend for a top-15."
The Brown County Regional takes place on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
Boys team results (Top five teams advance to regional)
T.H. North 18, T.H. South 85, Clay City 116, Northview 117, West Vigo 126, North Central 166, Shakamak 173, S.Vermillion 175, Riverton Parke 251, Sullivan 265
1. John Mascari (THN) 15:55, 2. Brandon Query (THN) 16:16, 3. Drew Gambill (Sh) 16:26, 4. John Davis (THN) 16:45, 5. Milton Brinza (THN) 16:54, 6. Brian Depasse (THN) 16:54, 7. Ethan Jacob (NC) 16:58, 8. Ethan Page (THN) 17:05, 9. Connor Strain (Nv) 17:06, 10. Taylor Head (THS) 17:13, 11. Morgan Goetschel (THS) 17:29, 12. Tyeson Mundy (THN) 17:39, 13. Brice Webster (SV) 17:42, 14. Parker Modesitt (CC) 17:45, 15. Andrew Kumpf (WV) 17:53, 16. Jesse Vansickle (CC) 17:58, 17. Ryan Lutes (Nv) 17:59, 18. Braxton Griffith (CC) 18:05, 19. Jacob Phegley (Un) 18:11, 20. Matt Collier (THS) 18:11.
Other Northview: 22. Eli Kirby, 18:27, 32. James Trackwell, 19:01, 37. Tanner Brown, 19:30, 47. EC Moody, 20:35, 57. Ryan South, 22:13
Other Clay City: 28. Conner Modesitt, 18:51, 40. DJ Newton, 19:37, 42. Austin Sinders, 19:59, 45. Ben Denker, 20:19
Girls team results
T.H. North 29, Northview 48, T.H. South 79, Shakamak 140, S.Vermillion 142, North Central 151, Sullivan 165, Linton-Stockton 179, Riverton Parke 254
1. Emily Cotterman (THN) 20:21, 2. Tayler Jackson (THN) 21:11, 3. Liz Marietta (THN) 21:12, 4. Casey Fougerousse (Sh) 21:27, 5. Alyssa Conrad (Nv) 21:35, 6. CJ Barnett (Nv) 21:44, 7. Brandi West (NC) 21:56, 8. Allie True (Nv) 22:04, 9. Kate Shew (THN) 22:16, 10. Shelby Sands (Nv) 22:21, 11. Sarah Hudson (Wv) 22:26, 12. Carmela Roeschlein (CC) 22:42, 13. Kate Samson (THS) 22:51, 14. Megan Galloway (SV) 22:55, 15. Mandy Kelly (SV) 22:57, 16. Erin Richards (THN) 23:03, 17. Lauren Prickel (THS) 23:06, 18. Caitlin Fears (THS) 23:14, 19. Katie Mullican (THS) 23:17, 20. Samantha Thompson (Sl) 23:17
Other Northview: 23. Nicole Nelson, 23:34
Other Clay City: 40. Tiffani Goodman, 25:26