Times Sports Editor
There weren't many surprises at the Terre Haute North cross-country sectional on Tuesday evening. The Patriots swept the team trophies in dominant fashion and Clay County will be represented by three teams at the Brown County Regional on Saturday.
From here however, the real work begins as teams seek to advance each weekend or go home.
The Terre Haute North boys came in ranked fourth in the state and didn't disappoint, taking six of the first seven spots overall on the way to an impressive team score of just 19 points. John Mascari wasn't seriously challenged over the second half of the race and won in 16:09 in chilly, overcast conditions. Shakamak's Drew Gabmill was the only runner able to break the Patriots' stranglehold on the top-seven spots, finishing second in 16:28.
Terre Haute South was a distant second in the boys scoring with 72 points led by Taylor Head's ninth-place finish in 17:10. West Vigo came home third with 85 points with sophomore, Andrew Kump placing eighth in 17:04.
Eels coach Keith Jones was happy with his team's advancing, but knows Clay City has its work cut out for it in regional competition.
"I don't think we ran our best race today. We ran good enough, but I don't think it was our best effort of the year. Hopefully we can bounce back on Saturday," Jones said.
Northview boys' coach Chad Smith was similarly happy that his team will continue to run in the postseason, but knows that there is a lot of work to do heading to a familiar course in Brown County.
"We finished up fifth (as a team with 148 points), which is respectable. We get to move on and hopefully run better Saturday," Smith said. "We're pretty familiar with both of these courses, LaVern Gibson Course and Brown County, so hopefully we'll run better than the last time we ran at Brown County."
Conor Strain led the Knights with a 10th-place finish in 17:23 followed by Tanner Brown in 27th with a time of 18:56. Ryan South shaved 2:38 off his sectional time of a year ago and was 31st with Kyle Yocom in 35th with a time of 19:48, Patrick Durcholz was 45th in 20:31, Christian Swan took 63rd in 22:31 and Tim Stewart was 68th in 23:15.
"He's running better then the he has the last couple of meets so it's good to know that he's running better," Smith said. "He had a bad sectional last year, he finished eighth or ninth, he's 10th this year. He loves Brown County's course, so hopefully he finishes in the top-15 there and moves on."
The Northview girls will also move on to the regional and hope to keep the tradition of semi-state appearances alive with a fourth straight visit this year.
The Knights were third as a team this season and were able to rest senior Shelby Sands, who is nursing a sore thigh. Northview scored 129 points and was led by sophomore Alyssa Conrad, who finished 13th in 21:47. Corey Laue took 23rd in 23:31 and Nicole Nelson placed 25th in 24:02. Tori Rohrabaugh was fourth on the team with a time of 25:24 and freshmen, Maeghan Pilman was 35th in 25:44 and Eileen Stinnett was 37th in 25:52.
Northview girls' coach Ryand Tucker prepared his team to get through the sectional and has the team's target on a repeat trip to the Brown County Semistate.
"Surviving is the name of the game at this point. I was real pleased with my 4-5-6, I told them they had to get to a certain spot and all of them, I think, had their (personal record) on this course," Tucker said. "All three of them ran well. I need to get Alyssa (Conrad), Corey (Laue) and Nicole (Nelson), they'll have to pick it up in the regional for us to have a shot at getting out of that. We should have Shelby (Sands) back on Saturday for the regional and that'll make a big difference too. "
The Patriots were led by three freshmen as Chanli Mundy was first in 18:40, followed by Tapring Goatee in 19:08 and Anne Mullican in third with a time of 20:13.
Terre Haute South was the runner-up team with 67 points followed by Northivew. Sullivan was fourth with 138 points and Shakamak, led by Casey Fougerousse's fourth-place, also advances, beating out West Vigo by a point for the final regional spot.
The Clay City girls had didn't have enough runners to qualify for a team, but was led by Tiffani Goodman in 34th with a time that was 43 seconds better than her 2008 sectional run. She finished in 24:43. Teammate Ashley Sumner placed 49th in 28:23, Kaleigh Decker was 52nd in 28:38 and Nutchaya Thongthanee was 55th in 30:30.
Ten teams will prepare for the regional and a potential berth in the semi-state at the same course a week later. Tucker believes that his veteran girls are anxious to reach another semi-state after getting a taste of the success the past several years.
"I know the girls that were on last year's team really want to get back (to the semistate) and they are going to have to put a lot of work in to get there Saturday and run a good race," Tucker said. "Our team goal was to make it past regionals again this year and if we run like we're capable than we'll be in there."
Though his team didn't run its best in the sectional, he didn't have any excuses for his team's effort, but looked forward to the weekend meet.
"You can come up with all kinds of excuses. This is really the first real cool day we've had, but everyone else ran in the cool (weather) too," Jones said. "We just didn't bounce back today, but we'll see how things go on Saturday. Hopefully we can pick it up. (Northview coach Ryand) Tucker is right, the name of the game is advance and we knew that coming in. I think we felt like we didn't have to run our top times to get out, but now we do."
Terre Haute North Cross Country Sectional
At LaVern Gibson Championship Course
Boys team results
Terre Haute North 19, Terre Haute South 72, West Vigo 85, Clay City 114, Northview 148, North Central 182, South Vermillion 200, Shakamak 219, Riverton Parke 236, Sullivan 236, Linton-Stockton 265
1. John Mascari (THN) 16:09, 2. Drew Gambill (SH) 16:20, 3. Brian DePasse (THN) 16:28, 4. Milton Brinza (THN) 16:28, 5. David Tucker (THN) 16:31, 6. Tyeson Mundy (THN) 16:36, 7. John Davis (THN) 16:48, 8. Andrew Kump (WV) 17:04, 9. Taylor Head (THS) 17:10, 10. Conor Strain (Nv) 17:23, 11. Dylan Bertsch (THN) 17:27, 12. Jacob Phegley (Union) 17:36, 13. Kaleb Blair (WV) 17:42, 14. Clayton Harlan (THS) 17:49, 15. Matt Collier (THS) 17:52, 16. Jesse Vansickle (CC) 18:02, 17. Parker Modesitt (CC) 18:07, 18. Dale Young (THS) 18:09, 19. Nathan Kump (WV) 18:18, 20. Kyle Mullins (THS) 18:19
Other Northview: 27. Tanner Brown, 18:56, 31. Ryan South, 19:35, 35. Kyle Yocom, 19:48, 45. Patrick Durcholz, 20:31, 63. Christian Swan, 22:31, 68. Tim Stewart, 23:15.
Other Clay City: 23. Conner Modesitt, 18:46, 28. Ben Denker, 19:24, 32. Austin Sinders, 19:37, 47. Wayne Tharp, 20:36, 65. Landry Moss, 22:50.
Girls team results
Terre Haute North 17, Terre Haute South 67, Northview 129, Sullivan 138, Shakamak 142, West Vigo 143, Riverton Parke 150, North Central 153
1. Chanli Mundy (THN) 18:40, 2. Tapring Goatee (THN) 19:08, 3. Anne Mullican (THN) 20:13, 4. Casey Fougerousse (SH) 20:30, 5. Alexa McFadden (THN) 20:32, 6. Kiowa Burris (THN) 20:53, 7. Andrea Clark (THN) 20:59, 8. Lindy Jones (THN) 21:14, 9. Jen Samson (THS) 21:16, 10. Rachel Stephens (THS) 21:16, 11. Sara Dickey (RP) 21:30, 12. Shelby Higginbottom (NC) 21:41, 13. Alyssa Conrad (Nv) 21:47, 14. Molly Nasser (THS) 21:50, 15. Mandy Kelly (SV) 21:53, 16. Olivia Stockton (THS) 22:05, 17. Sarah Hudson (WV) 22:11, 18. Acetha Tolerson (WV) 22:20, 19. Samantha Thompson (SL) 22:57, 20. Maria Samson (THS) 23:07.
Other Northview: 23. Corey Laue, 23:31, 25. Nicole Nelson, 24:02, 33. Tori Rohrabaugh, 25:24, 35. Maeghan Pilman, 25:44, 37. Eileen Stinnett, 25:52
Other Clay City: 34. Tiffani Goodman, 24:43, 49. Ashley Sumner, 28:23, 52. Kaleigh Decker, 28:38, 55. Nutchaya Thongthanee, 30:30.