The Northview Knights began the stretch run of the cross country season on Tuesday night by hosting its annual invitational at Craig Park.
With just three regular season meets left, including the Northview Invite that was run on Tuesday, both coaches are preparing their runners for the postseason that kicks off with the WIC Meet at Edgewood on Oct. 3.
Cascade repeated as the boys' team champion with 46 points to edge out North Vermillion's 67 with the Knights in third with 69 points.
The girls' meet was won by a solid North Vermillion squad with a total of 40 points, beating out the Knights' 52 points with Fountain Central in third with 77 points.
Alyssa Conrad claimed the girls' race in 21:28, which was nearly a minute quicker than her time on the course last year. Her effort was good enough to beat out Fountain Central's Carolyn Trueblood's time of 21:50.
"Alyssa did real well, I was real pleased, 21:28 is one of her quicker times," coach Ryand Tucker said. "I think it's much quicker than what she ran here last year. She's coming through on the top end, we just need to get the rest of the people to pack up."
"We knew coming in that North Vermillion was going to be tough and I explained that we had to get in front of their 1-2-3 (runners), but they had three in front of our No. 2 (runner) and that basically sealed the deal right there," Tucker said.
Corey Laue ran a strong race and placed ninth overall in a time of 23:50 followed by Nicole Nelson in 11th with a time of 24:18. Tori Rohrabaugh was 18th, Maeghan Pilman placed 26th followed by Hallie Harbison in 27th and Eileen Stinnett in 28th.
Afterwards, Tucker alluded to the Knights continuing to improve over the final regular season meets.
"We'll learn from it and come back next Tuesday against Clay City and we have Culver on Saturday," Tucker said. "I kind of look at it as, we're done with the regular season and now we're working into the postseason. Culver is our first taste of that and we're hoping to be running our best here at the end, that's our goal."
"He wasn't pushed here tonight like he was at last year's meet," Smith said. "Luke Holt from Cascade I believe was the one that pushed him. The times don't mean a lot, he still won pretty easily and looks like Tanner Brown ran a personal best and so did Kyle Yocom. Overall I thought we had a pretty good day, it's a tough course and to run a PR is a good thing."
Brown was the Knights' second finisher and his ninth-place time of 19:08 was more than 30 seconds better than last year's time when he was 23rd overall. Ryan South finished in 17th-place with a time of 19:47, more than two minutes better than his time of 21:52 last season. Yocom was in 18th in 19:54 followed by Patrick Durcholz in 24th, Tim Stewart in 53rd and Christian Swan in 56th.
Smith agreed with Tucker in that this is the prime point of the season to begin running well heading into the postseason.
"This is always a good week because we're tested every time out, Clay City is awfully good and we'll have to run better to beat them and going up to Culver is always a big deal for us," Smith said. "We're hoping to have a good meet up there. This is the start of the season. This meet, the Clay City dual, Culver and then you have the WIC Meet, this is where the season really gets into gear."
The Knights host Clay City and West Vigo on Sept. 22.
Boys team results
Cascade 46, North Vermillion 67, Northview 69, South Putnam 80, South Vermillion 113, Fountain Central 144, Riverton Parke 164, Rockville 209
1. Conor Strain (Nv) 17:17, 2. Austin Shell (N.Verm) 17:51, 3. Levi Musson (Cascade) 17:55, 4. Zach Earhart (Cascade) 18:10, 5. Matt Shepherd (Cascade) 18:25, 6. Dylan Hayes (Sput) 18:53, 7. Alex Swinehart (Cascade) 18:57, 8. Ed Moore (N.Verm) 19:04, 9. Tanner Brown (Nv) 19:08, 10. Brice Webster (SV) 19:16
Other Northview: 17. Ryan South, 19:47, 18. Kyle Yocom, 19:54, 24. Patrick Durcholz, 20:28, 53. Tim Stewart, 23:14, 56. Christian Swan, 23:31
Other South Putnam: 13. Paul Rubino, 19:42, 16. Tanner Barr, 19:46, 22. Jorge Cavell, 20:21, 23. Shea Arnold, 20:23, 38. Andrew Kelly, 21:25, 50. Matt Rudolph, 22:52
Girls team results
North Vermillion 40, Northview 52, Fountain Central 77, South Putnam 88, Riverton Parke 98
1. Alyssa Conrad (Nv) 21:28, 2. Carolyn Trueblood (FC) 21:50, 3. Taylor Turchi (Nverm) 22:16, 4. Bethany Chew (Nverm) 22:29, 5. Mandy Kelly (SV) 23:05, 6. Kailani Musson (Cascade) 23:16, 7. Sara Dickey (RP) 23:26, 8. Taylor Poynter (Nverm) 23:42, 9. Corey Laue (Nv) 23:50, 10. Mackenzie Sheldon (FC) 23:51
Other Northview 11. Nicole Nelson, 24:18, 18. Tori Rohrabaugh, 25:53, 26. Meaghan Pilman, 26:47, 27. Hallie Harbison, 27:03, 28. Eileen Stinnett, 27:11
Other South Putnam: 12. Kaelynn Cox, 25:03, 15. Amanda Lund, 25:38, 16. Lyndsie Beasley, 25:40, 30. Brittany Birt, 29:45, 38. Jessica Bubb, 34:11