For The Tribune
Crothersville’s Breanna Barger placed third individually among the girls, while Trinity Lutheran’s AJ Goecker finished fifth among the boys to lead Jackson County runners in the Salem Invitational on Saturday morning.
The battle for the team titles was close in both divisions.
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The Bedford North Lawrence girls edged Jeffersonville for the title, 55-57.
The Crothersville girls placed seventh with 129 points, Medora only had one runner and Trinity Lutheran did not have any runners.
On the boys side, Silver Creek edged Austin 53-54 for the top spot while Trinity Lutheran was sixth with 140 points, Crothersville finished 12th with 261 points, and Medora only had two runners.
There were 15 schools entered, but not all of them fielded full teams.
Crothersville coach Carl Bowman said he was pleased to see Barger improved her individual place over a year ago while running 21:42.
Piper Hensley was the second for the Tigers, finishing 25th in 24:39.
“Time wise, we were hoping to get Breanna under 21 (minutes),” Bowman said. “That didn’t happen, but considering that the winning time wasn’t much faster than that (20:58), I think she did a good job. She hadn’t ran well two years here and our goal was to try and get her over that fact.
“For Piper (Hensley) to be a freshman, I thought she did a real good job. Tristan (Maschino) did a good job compared to last year. To have those other girls stay in there so we can get a team score, that is what it’s going to take this year. They don’t have to be right up there, but if they can finish together it will cause the score to go down eventually.”
With their first invitational, in Corydon, cancelled due to rain, the Tigers hit the course for the first time on the season.
“To get that first one out, especially if you haven’t ran this level before, and realize ‘I’ve made it, I can do it now’, I think that is what is going to help with them.”
Jadelyn Dean, of Medora, was 55th at 30:58.
That was more than four minutes slower than she ran here last year and Hornets coach Brad McCammon said Dean has been bothered by a sore ankle.
“About midway through the race it looked like we had brought her out of it, and then she came across that dam and when she turned she said she felt something tweak and it shot up to her knee,” he said. “She did gut it out and I’ll give her that. We’re going to have the trainer look at her when we get home and see (what is bothering her). She has a volleyball match when she gets home so it’s not getting much rest. We’re going to see what the trainer recommends.”
Bayley Wade of Providence was the individual winner in 20:58.
Goecker ran his race in 18:30. Julien Magallanes of Borden defended his individual title by winning in 16:14.
“He’s off to a real good start,” Cougars coach Chris Crenshaw said of Goecker, a freshman. “I’ve been proud of his effort so far. He’s been in the top five all (four meets). Everybody else seemed to be a little bit faster than last year. Some performed up to par and some were a little slower than I expected, but this is our fourth meet in eight days.
“I know they’re probably starting to feel it, if they haven’t already. We thought the course would be a little bit easier than the three we ran this past week. Monday, we’ll get back to a little bit of conditioning and get ready for the next one.”
Medora’s Matt Jones placed 59th in 23:15, and Zac Thompson was 71st in 25:21.
“Matt and Zac both bettered their times down here from last year, and that’s what we’re looking for,” McCammon said. “They did the same thing at Bedford, and as long as they keep bettering their times that is our goal.
“I thought they both did a nice job understanding where they need to be at what time in the race, and ran a good race. I’m pleased with the first two races out. We gave them their times from last year and told them we want to beat this by so many minutes, and so far they have.”
Lane Wienhorst topped the Crothersville boys by placing 38th in 20:56.
“The guys are young,” Bowman said. “I’ve got two seniors, and a foreign exchange student who has never ran before, so for them it’s ‘let’s progress as the season goes, and get better for the end of the season and see if you really understand that practice is not like a meet. You really need to make sure you set a pace so that you don’t tire out too early.
“I thought Lane did a good job as a freshman for his first race, and those guys behind him. Let’s see if we can’t start from here and build and what we’re looking for is the end of the season.”