For the Brazil Times
WEST TERRE HAUTE -- Alyssa Conrad wasn't sure about where she was going, but knew where she wanted to finish. And the Northview High School junior got there -- first place.
Northview's Conrad won the Western Indiana Conference high school girls cross country championship in 22 minutes, 3.69 seconds Saturday morning on the rain-slick West Vigo High School course.
"I knew she could do this coming into the season. She was third last year, but she just put it all together today and ran a great race," Northview coach Ryand Tucker said of Conrad's career-best effort.
Conrad's performance led the Northview girls to second-place. Edgewood won the six-team race, 35-56 over Northview.
Brown County won the boys' championship, 37-64, over West Vigo. Northview finished fourth with 97 points. West Vigo's Andrew Kump won the race in 16:15.29.
Behind Conrad, Northview's scoring came from ninth-place senior Nicole Nelson in 22:51.99, junior Kylie McKee 16th place in 24:14.65, junior Donna Martin 17th in 24:16.03 and freshman Leeanna Knight 20th in 24:30.23. Maeghan Pilman, a sophomore, was Northview's sixth runner in 28th-place at 25:38.91 and Eileen Stinnett, also a sophomore, rounded out the Knights' seven-runner team in 42nd position at 28:37.65.
Coach Tucker said it was the Knights' best effort of the season.
"I was real pleased with all of them. To contend for the championship, we had to get out with Edgewood. We knew they were the top (contender) coming in, they always run as a pack," Tucker said.
The time gap between Conrad and Nelson was 48 seconds. The gap between Nelson and Knight, the fifth scorer, was 1 minute, 39 seconds.
From the opening gun to the finish line, Conrad was one of the leaders. Through the first loop around the course, the top-five runners lined up behind West Vigo 's Sarah Hudson in a conservative pace. Everyone was following Hudson because she knew the course.
"I didn't know where I was going," Conrad said.
But after the first tour through the woods, down and then up the steep, mud-slick hills, with a tight turn at the bottom, the runners picked up the pace. Conrad and Edgewood 's Emily Craig started separating from the pack.
Craig had the lead as the two leaders approached the last hill on the last lap. Conrad made her move going up hill, passing Craig and won by eight seconds.
"I thought (Craig) was slowing down. I thought that was the only time I would be able to get her," Conrad said.
Northview's boys coach Chadd Smith got a good look into the future in the Knights' fourth place run.
"I think we ran as well as we could. I think it was an awfully tough conference meet this year with Brown County, Edgewood and West Vigo being right there together. For our ability I think we ran as well as we have all year," Smith said.
Freshman Nic Yocom, running his first meet of the season, led Northview with a 14th-place in 18:22.50. Yocom hasn't run since June due to a stress fracture.
"This is the first day he even ran. He decided to run today. To be in the top-15 with one race in... I know he's got a lot of talent, but he showed today. He was almost all-conference with running only one race all year long," Smith said.
Yocom didn't know the course and running his first meet really didn't know what to expect.
"(The course is) a little bit (tough) with the hills and being muddy in the woods. I was just going to go run as hard as I could and see what happened," Yocom said.
Completing Northview's scoring was senior Tanner Brown in 17th-place at 18:50.89, freshman Ian Heffner in 19th-place in 18:55.77, junior Ryan South 21st in 19:16.72 and junior Patrick Durcholz 26th in 19:48.06. Freshman Travis Beil ran sixth for the Knights in 27th-place at 19:48.45 and senior Kyle Yocum came in 44th at 22:83.
Smith was pleased with the Knights' team running. The total gap from Yocum to Durcholz, the number five runner, was 1 minute and 26 seconds. The gap between Northview's No. 2 runner, Brown, and Durcholz was 58 seconds.
"I think we stood out as a pack. Right now we're running as a group, our top-five running together. Hopefully we'll get that group up a little quicker," Smith said.
Now the Knights will prepare for the IHSAA Sectional in Terre Haute.
WIC Cross Country Championships
Team scores: Brown County (BC) 37; West Vigo (WV) 64, Edgewood (E) 65, Northview (N) 97, Owen Valley (OV) 116, South Vermillion (SV) 155, Sullivan (S) 173.
1. Andrew Kump (WV) 16:15.29; 2. Cole Reinhold (E) 16:25.76; 3. Dylan Allen (BC) 17:05.95; 4. Nathan Kump (WV) 17:08.65; 5. Alden Westcott (BC) 17:19.65; 6. Michael Mest (E) 17:25.63; 7. Kaleb Blair (WV) 17:50.58.2.
Wabash Valley Results
West Vigo -- 24. Landon Ellis 19:27.93; 28. Derek Braun 19:52.36; 31. Dylan Graves 20:17.97.
Northview -- 14. Nic Yocom 18:22.50; 17. Tanner Brown 18:50.89; 19. Ian Heffner 18:55.77; 21. Ryan South 19:16.72; 26. Patrick Durcholz 19:48.06; 27. Travis Beil 19:48.45; 44. Kyle Yocum 22:56.83.
Owen Valley -- 9. John Petry 18:01.71; 16. Ethan Sparks 18:48.05; 22. Jessie Hawkins 19:17.19; 34. Jared Richardson 20:36.80; 35. Brian Corder 21:15.92; 47. Johnathan Hawkins26:10.71; 48. Robert Stewart 26:12.21.
South Vermillion -- 18. Tristan Spivey 18:54.51; 30. Dylan Reyher 20:04.76; 32. Dion Scott 20:30.41; 37. Anthony Collins 22:02.65; 38. John Gross 22:07.81; 40. Andrew Ellis 22:21.98; 45. Jacob Phillips 23:37.71.
Sullivan -- 15. Cody Harrison 18:41.67; 36. Robert Graves 21:51.93; 39. David Ellinger 22:19.62; 41. Riley Witvoet 22:27.67; 42. Ashton Thompson 22:37.41; 43. James Hickner 22:37.91; 46. Chris Tryon 22:51.32.
Team scores: Edgewood (E) 35, Northview (N) 56; Brown County (BC) 78; West Vigo (WV) 85; Sullivan (S) 106; South Vermillion (SV) 111.
1. Alyssa Conrad (N) 22:03.69; 2. Emily Craig (E) 22:11.91; 3. Sarah Lewis (BC) 22:38.21; 4. Danielle Matsel (OV) 22:41.70; 5. Anna Lutes (BC) 22:44.39; 6. Holly Wampler (E) 22:46.79; 7. Sarah Hudson 22:48.16.2.
Wabash Valley Results
Northview -- 9. Nicole Nelson 22:51.99; 16. Kylie McKee 24:14.65; 17. Donna Martin 24:16.03; 20. Leeanna Knight 24:30.23; 28. Maeghan Pilman 25:38.91; 42. Eileen Stinnett 28:37.65.
West Vigo -- 10. Shaelynn White 22:54.01; 19. Acetha Tolerson 24:23.38; 27. Taylor Bunch 25:28.43; 30. Mariah Huffman 25:51.38; 43. Kendra Carlson 29:07.01; 44. Lindsay Stroot 3114.14.
Sullivan -- 13. Haylie James 23:19.79; 21. Haleigh Hinkle 24:30.71; 24. Delaney Gadberry 25:05.63; 25. Jordyn Stowers 25:11.15; 32. Olivia Trimble 26:26.16; 33. Taylor Hill 26:31.09; 40. Anna Atkinson 27:54.94.
South Vermillion -- 14. Emily Vitaniemi 23:50; 18. Caitlyn Waldrop 24:22.76; 23. Mariah Wright 24:54.34; 31. Arielle Ellis 25:52.94; 34. Dayci Millikan 26:37.61; 35. Angel Keller 26:40.70; 41. Megan Foster 28:37.65.
Owen Valley -- 15. Stephanie Shaw 24:09; 45. Geesche Beikuefner 31:16.53.