Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- Under cloudy skies and cool temperatures, runners took the gun for the Clay City Cross Country Invitational on Thursday evening.
The Clay City boys were able to defend its title by defeating second-place Shakamak by 35 points as Jake Tiefel claimed the individual victory with a time of 17:31 overall. He topped South Putnam's Hunter Barr by 45 seconds.
The Shakamak Lakers were the winners of the girls' race as Savannah Truner crossed the time with a victorious time of 21:33 as South Putnam's Mallory Glaze was the runner-up in 21:52.
Afterwards, Clay City boys' coach Keith Jones was happy with how his team ran in the squad's third meet since Saturday.
"About everybody ran faster than they did on Tuesday," Jones said of his winning squad. "It was a pretty good meet and we were able to get guys up in there. We've still got that gap between No. 4 and No. 5 (runners), but our five man was faster so we didn't run too bad tonight."
The Eels placed their top-four runners inside the first 10 runners that crossed the finish line as Clay City scored 34 points in the win. Blake Cochran was fourth in the race with a time of 18:27 followed by Parker Ames in sixth (18:33) and Ben Denker in eighth (18:37). Wayne Tharp was the final scoring runner in the Eels' win with a 15th-place finish.
Shakamak's second-place squad was led by Luke Sweet in third-place with a time of 18:26 and Kyle Schubla rounded the top-10 finishers with a time of 18:41.
Cloverdale was paced by Jordon Smith's seventh-place time of 18:35 and Joe Rumley placed 10th in 18:38.
In the girls' race, Truner paced the winning Lakers, who placed Aleksey Green in fifth with a time of 22:18, Brooklyn Samm in eighth-place (23:21 and Megan Phipps (10th in 23:56).
After the meet, Lakers coach Kelly Miller was excited to see cooler temps and how her team responded.
"This weather is great," Miller said. "It's what we've been waiting on. When the temperatures come down, the girls are going to start running a little better and with faster times overall. Our girls had a good night tonight and that's what it takes to win and invitational. Whenever you can get five girls to run well together on the same night, which doesn't always happen, I'm proud of them. This isn't the first time we've won the meet, we didn't win it last year, but we knew we were capable of winning it this year. We made that our girl and we did it."
South Putnam did a great job of group running as the Eagles took 12th (Jessica Jones) through 16th-place to finish a close second, two points behind the Lakers. Cloverdale, missing Amillia Nally due to illness, fielded an incomplete team, but was led by Claudia Monnett in sixth position with a time of 22:49. She was the defending race champion from last season.
The Eels are back in action on Tuesday in the Northview Invitational held at Craig Park in Brazil.
Clay City Invitational
Boys' team results
Clay City 34, Shakamak 69, Eminence 74, South Putnam 75, Cloverdale 104, White River Valley 176, Owen Valley 198
1. Jake Tiefel (CC) 17:31, 2. Hunter Barr (SP) 18:16, 3. Luke Sweet (SH) 18:26, 4. Blake Cochran (CC) 18:27, 5. Cody Rumbaugh (EM) 18:33, 6. Parker Ames (CC) 18:33, 7. Jordan Smith (CL) 18:35, 8. Ben Denker (CC) 18:37, 9. Joe Rumley (CL) 18:38, 10. Kyle Schubla (SH) 18:41
Other Clay City: 15. Wayne Tharp, 19:24, 30. Paiden Myers, 20:49, 31. Michael Brooks, 21:04
Other South Putnam: 12. Lane Franklin, 19:17, 18. Matt Lund, 19:44, 21. Tyler Vandermark, 19:50, 22. Tyler Nield, 19:52, 24. Berdnt Freeman, 20:08, 28. Jake Schroer, 20:30
Other Shakamak: 14. Cody Moorman, 19:21, 16. Brock Dowell, 19:31, 26. Alex Enstrom, 20:19, 36. Dylan Phipps, 21:36, 40. Jacob Sevier, 23:32
White River Valley: 11. Conner Hill, 19:06, 38. John Ashcraft, 21:49, 41. Cade Hill, 24:40, 42. Colten Gregory, 25:09, 44. Trent Carpenter, 25:30
Girls' team results
Shakamak 31, South Putnam 33, Clay City 66, Cloverdale Inc., Eminence Inc., Owen Valley Inc., White River Valley Inc.
1. Savannah Truner (SH) 21:33, 2. Mallory Glaze (SP) 21:52, 3. Cheyenn Wright (OV) 21:53, 4. Shania Wood (EM) 22:15, 5. Aleksey Green (SH) 22:18, 6. Claudia Monnett (CL) 22:49, 7. Madie Egold (SP) 22:55, 8. Brooklyn Samm (SH) 23:21, 9. Kateland Hunter (EM) 23:40, 10. Megan Phipps (SH) 23:56
Clay City: 11. Ashley Reach, 24:18, 17. Phoebe Farmer, 25:12, 20. Ashley Sumner, 26:20, 22. Kayla Sinders, 26:57, 25. Michaela Hogan, 28;18, 26. Kirsten Mann, 28:26
Other South Putnam: 12. Jessica Jones, 24:33, 13. Angel Nield, 24:47, 14. Michaela Scales, 24:56, 15. Katelyn Lady, 24:56, 16. Mattie Varval, 24:59
Other Shakamak: 24. Casey Reynolds, 27:18, 27. Nicole Mattox, 32:33