For the Brazil Times
Nashville -- Cross country may be an individual sport, but the Northview High School girls turned the IHSAA Cross Country Regional at Brown County on Saturday into a team event, a cause and a celebration. Running again without their senior leader, Kylee Thacker, the Northview girls executed their team strategy to near perfection and earned their second straight semistate berth and a return trip to Brown County's Eagle Park with a fifth place.
"I'm just happy. Two years in a row (qualifying for the semistate) I'm so happy for them. The girls get another chance at (semistate)," Northview coach Ryand Tucker said.
And it means Conor Stain will have a cheering section behind him in the boys race, too.
Northview's Strain finished eighth in the regional meet, one place better than at the Terre Haute sectional.
Unfortunately, the season came to an end for the Clay City girls and boys at the regional. Clay City's Carmela Roeschlein did not run in the girls' race. The Clay City boys' team, the smallest school with a team in the regional, took ninth-place with 215 points.
Allie True finished 32nd for Northview in 21:24.43, followed by Alyssa Conrad in 33rd at 21:27.07, Shelby Sands' 40th in 22:05.23, Corey Laue 42nd in 22:09.77 and Nicole Nelson finished 47th in 22:24.58.
"That's what we were trying to do and we went out there and did it. We just went out there and did our best and we weren't going to look back," Barnett said of the pack attack.
"With (Kylee) Thacker being out we don't have a front runner and the best thing we can do is when we hit we're going to hit hard and everybody is going to score about the same score and we'll go from there," coach Tucker said.
Thacker did not get to run in the regional because of an injury, but may be ready to go for the semistate, and the Knights knew this going into the regional meet.
"We depend on each other. We're the closest team I can ever imagine. This is for Kylee, it's not just for us. It's for her too. It's her senior year and we want to give back to her like she did to us the last two years," True said.
The conditions were just about right for Northview's Strain. The junior runner toured the rolling, wooded Brown County course in 16:24.41, his best time of the season for eighth-place.
"Finally a day when it was cold. I like cold weather," Strain said.
The Bloomington and Terre Haute North runners set the early pace of the race and it was fast.
"(The pace) felt like it was really fast at the beginning but it evened out," Strain said.
Strain was the only member of the Northview boys' team to advance. Rounding out Northview' eighth-place team finish and 206 points were:
34th by Ryan Lutes in 17:18.32, 54th Eli Kirby in 18:14.98, 59th Tanner Brown at 18:30.99, 66th James Trackwell in 18:58.73, 70th E.C. Moody 19:54.69 and 73rd Ryan South 21:25.52.
Coach Keith Jones said it was the 10th straight year Clay City has earned a cross country regional berth.
"Overall the guys ran some of the best times they've run this year. It's just really tough competition. We just didn't do the job today," Jones said.
Parker Modesitt and Braxton Griffith led Clay City. Modesitt, a junior, finished 27th in 17:05.47 and Griffith, a senior, 31st in 17:16.03. Completing the Clay City scoring were: 49. Jesse Vansickle 17:56.12 for 49th; Conner Modesitt 60th in 18:34.14, 64th Ben Denker in 18:49.80, 67th D.J. Newton at 19:05.78 and 69th Austin Sinders in 19:32.66.
"I knew we would have to step up and the kids knew we had to step up. You look at their times and see how they ran, compared to how they ran at some other places, they were trying to step up. It just didn't happen," Jones said.
Northview returns to Brown County 's Eagle Park on State Road 46 on Saturday for the semistate.
IHSAA Cross Country Regional
Team scores (Top 5 advance): 1. Terre Haute North 41; 2. Bloomington South 62; 3. Martinsville 93; 4. Bloomington North 108; 5. Edgewood 142; 6. Terre Haute South 160; 7. Mooresville 194; 8. Northview 206; 9. Clay City 215; 10. West Vigo 232.
Top 15 Runners to Semistate
1. Joe Holahan (BS) 15:42.21, 2. John Mascari (THN) 15:45.18, 3. Brandon Query (THN) 15:54.82, 4. Andrew Buzzselli (BN) 15:59.80, 5. Drew Gambill (SH) 16:22.71, 6. Justin Chen (BS) 16:22.71, 7. Jace Lowry (Mv) 6:23.20, 8. Conor Strain (Nv) 16:26.41
9. Taylor Lowry (Mv) 16:28.76, 10. Ethan Jacob (NC) 16:29.48, 11. Blake Hover (EW) 16:33.67, 12. John Davis (THN) 16:34.17, 13. Taylor Head (THS) 16:34.66,14. Brian Depasse (THN) 16:35.33, 15. Cole Reinhold (EW) 16:35.83.
Clay County Teams
Northview -- 34. Ryan Lutes 17:18.32; 54. Eli Kirby 18:14.98; 59. Tanner Brown 18:30.99; 66. James Trackwell 18:58.73; 70. E.C. Moody 19:54.69; 73. Ryan South 21:25.52.
Clay City -- 27. Parker Modesitt 17:05.47; 31. Braxton Griffith 17:16.03; 49. Jesse Vansickle 17:56.12; 60. Conner Modesitt 18:34.14; 64. Ben Denker 18:49.80; 67. D.J. Newton 19:05.78; 69. Austin Sinders 19:32.66.
Team scores (Top 5 advance) -- 1. Bloomington South 26; 2. Bloomington North 66; 3. Terre Haute North 77; 4. Edgewood 101; 5. Northview 141; 6. Mooresville 151; 7. Martinsville 158; 8. Terre Haute South 213; 9. Shakamak 255; 10. South Vermillion 281.
Top 15 Runners to Semistate
1. Nicole Lucas (BS) 19:00.06, 2. Emily Cotterman (THS) 19:28.89, 3. Maggie Wagner (BN) 19:47.01, 4. Jennifer Hughes (WRV) 19:58.61, 5. Brooke Bierhaus (BS) 20:00.95, 6. Erin Brown (BS) 20:01.82, 7. Zoe Withered (BN) 20:03.13, 8. Allie Hetrick (BS) 20:04.48, 9. Rebecca Jacobs (EW) 20:06.51, 10. Taylor Wheeler (BS) 20:06.91, 11. Julie Riggins (BL) 20:04.46, 12. Ashley Kruklik (Mv) 20:08.61, 13. Carly Derheimer (BS) 20:09.84, 14. Casandra Barnett (Nv) 20:16.82, 15. Casey Fougerousse (Sh) 20:20.77
Clay County entries
Northview -- 32. Allie True 21:24.43; 33. Alyssa Conrad 21:27.07; 40. Shelby Sands 22:05.23; 42. Corey Laue 22:09.77; 47. Nicole Nelson 22:24.58.