Times Sports Editor
Clay County cross country teams will make a return trip to the Brown County Regional on Saturday afternoon while Terre Haute North's teams will be seeking a repeat of last season's success.
The Patriot boys' team is coming off another sectional crown and is seeking a fourth consecutive regional title while the girls' were also winners last year. The Northview boys placed 10th while the Clay City boys were ninth. Each squad will be looking to improve on their 2009 finish. Northview's girls were eighth last season.
The top-five teams from both the Terre Haute North and Brown County Sectionals will be competing on Saturday with the top-five boys and girls teams advancing to the semi-state along with any runner in the top-15 individuals that were not on an advancing team.
Bloomington North was the Brown County girls winner, just one-point ahead of Bloomington South, who boasted the overall winner in Nicole Lucas, who blew away the course record by 27 seconds by finishing in 18:16.
Martinsville's Jace Lowry was the boys' winner and his Artesians were the team winner by seven points over Bloomington South.
In last season's regional, North's Tapring Goatee began making her charge to a state championship by winning the regional on a sloppy course. Her time of 19:03 topped teammate, and sectional champion, Chanli Mundy, by 16 seconds. Another Patriot, John Mascari, has his sights set on defending his regional title from last season as he topped Lowry by nine seconds last year.
For Clay City, Jesse Vansickle returns after finishing in 43rd with a time of 18:35. He is joined by Ben Denker, Austin Sinders and Wayne Tharp from last year's regional squad. Jake Tiefel led the Eels in this year's sectional with a 19th-place and Blake Cochran and Michael Brooks both are on the regional squad.
The Northview girls return top-finisher, Alyssa Conrad, who placed 33rd in 22:57. Also returning is Nicole Nelson, Eileen Stinnett and Maeghan Pilman. Joining them will be Kylie McKee and freshman Leeanna Knight.
A fast course and near perfect Fall weather is expected with sunny skies and low 70 degree weather on tap for the runners.
Boys teams from Martinsville, Bloomington South, Bloomington North, Brown County and Edgewood will compete from the Brown County Sectional and the girls' teams from Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Martinsville, Eastern Greene and Monrovia will be running. From the Terre Haute North Boys Sectional, the third-ranked Patriots, Braves, West Vigo, the Knights and Eels will compete along with the girls from North, South, Northview, Shakamak and Sullivan.
Competition begins at 10:30 a.m.