For The Tribune

Senior Breanna Barger was hoping to improve her placing in the Salem Invitational cross-country meet over previous races there.

She reached that goal by finishing second to help the Crothersville girls finish seventh out of 12 schools Saturday with 205 points.

Forest Park easily won the meet with 27 points, Silver Creek was second with 101 and Jeffersonville was third with 113.

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Josie Berg of Forest Park was the individual winner in 21:51.

“We were hoping she had a shot at first,” Tigers coach Carl Bowman said. “She ran a good race based upon the competition. She was a minute slower than she was last year.

“We found out by looking at her watch it was her second mile that she ran the slowest. She got off on a good first mile, and she had a good third mile, but the second … I told her that when we get her tired in practice, that is why we take you out to the track and run 1,000s. We’re looking at the (sectional) at the end of the year.

“Hopefully, a lot of these kids would have gotten a read off of what they did today and say, ‘OK, I need to step up a little bit more here.’ All in all, we had a good race today, boys and girls.”

Barger said she finished third in the race last year. Her time Saturday was 22:42.

“For this early in the season, it’s an OK time,” she said. “I need to work on my speed and stamina. I just want to drop time.”

Piper Hensley was the second Crothersville girl finishing, placing 26th at 26:15.

The Silver Creek boys had the top three finishers and easily won the boys race with 48 points.

Austin was second with 48 points, and Jeffersonville was third with 76 points.

A.J. Goecker of Trinity Lutheran placed fourth individually at 17:59.

Lane Wienhorst of Crothersville placed 33rd at 20:46, one second and one place ahead of teammate Noah Kodetski.

“I was really pleased the way Lane and Noah ran together,” Bowman said. “These younger guys came through, Kelsey (Spangler) and Chandler (Niehause). Josh Thomas, it was his first time running for us. Cory (Schmelzle) and Noah (Hoskins) were having a tough time trying to breathe out there.”

Cameron Stephens of Silver Creek was the individual winner in 17:22.

Trinity coach Chris Crenshaw said he felt like Goecker gave a good effort.

“He had a good performance today. I kind of thought he was going to come in here today a little bit tired just from his week,” Crenshaw said, noting that this was Goecker’s third race since Monday, plus he played a soccer match.

“He knocked off 30 seconds from last year, so he definitely had improvement. After mile one, he was third, so he did a good job of maintaining his position. I think he was fourth at mile two.”

Goecker’s time at Salem was 26 seconds faster than his time Thursday at Jac-Cen-Del, and his time Monday at Bedford North Lawrence was 20 seconds faster than he ran there a year ago.

“He’s definitely shown improvement. He’s looking good,” Crenshaw said.

Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.