Cougars claim home-course victory

For The Tribune

It took all five of Trinity Lutheran’s boys runners to pull out the victory against four schools Thursday at Camp Lakeview.

Together, they became champions at the Cougars’ home invitational.

Trinity Lutheran scored the meet-low at 48 while South Ripley was next at 58, South Decatur 59, Jac Cen Del 75 and Milan 88.

AJ Goecker finished as the Cougars’ fastest runner claiming second place in 18:35.

Goecker already had set Trinity’s school record (17:35) last week at the Bedford Invite, and he was in contention to win but lost to South Decatur senior Justin Clark (1st, 18:05).

Trinity wanted to run their home invitational on the tough, hilly Camp Lakeview course instead of the flat course at their school, which caused the times to be slower than expected.

While South Decatur had the first and third finishers, Trinity had the second and fourth finishers.

South Ripley claimed the seventh through ninth finishes.

The team champion wouldn’t be determined until the fifth runner crossed for each team between South Decatur and Trinity.

The Cougars’ Luke Onken place fourth with a time of 19:40, Nikolas Haak got 10th in a time of 20:42, Daniel Horton 13th in 21:32 and Alex Royalty 19th with a 23:55.

Trinity coach Chris Crenshaw was pleased with winning the invitational.

“The kids complained about the times being slow, but it’s a tough, challenging course,” Crenshaw said. “It’s a different terrain (at Camp Lakeview) as compared to Trinity.

“Overall things went great. We pulled out a win, and for this course the kids still had decent times.”

Goecker, who set an eighth-grade record in the 1,600-meter run (4:52) for Brad Cobb last year should continue to lower Trinity’s cross country school record Crenshaw said.

“I thought the course was challenging and times were slow, but it was very enjoyable,” Goecker said. “I thought our team did great. We were uncertain, but happy with the win.”

The Cougars did not have anyone run in the girls race.

Trinity’s next meet is Saturday at the Salem Invitational.