Terre Haute, IL--There was tremendous pre-meet pressure thrown at several key teams and players who boldly stepped up to participate in the Second Annual NIKE Valley Twilight Invitational hosted by Terre Haute South High School on the grounds of the great LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course. The questions and answers would be met prior to departing to their respective homes.
The boys' statement was profound-
Bloomington North's future appears to be bright after their frosh boys thumped the competition scoring 33 points to outdistance Hamilton Southeastern who scored the first finishers enroute to 53 points.
The main highlight was the championship race and how questions needed to be answered. York IL was the large school pre-season #1 and US#5 but perhaps part deception, injury, and training was their recipe in being held up prior to this weekend.
The 3A #8 Dukes of York head coach Charlie Kern Sr. indicated prior to the meet that he was indeed running his best team and son senior Ethan Kern. As the race unfolded through the first mile with tons of runners under 5:00, the Dukes had strong numbers upfront. Senior Daniel Klysh was leading the charge inside the top 15. As dim as it was on various parts of the back course, the yellow and blue of the Carmel Greyhounds was protruding. They were billed as the Hoosier state's second-ranked team.
However, as the race entered the final mile, other top teams were fighting for respect. #10 Bloomington South IN, #3 Fishers IN, and #7 Brownsburg IN were all in it. Kentucky's top two teams were present as well. Trinity and Connor hung tough and would finish within 14 points of one another respectively 9th and 10th in the standings.
The Dukes, though, would not be denied putting all scorings within the top 40 tallying 78 points. Klysh led the way in 4th place running 15:38. It was no contest and puts York back among the regional favorite talk entering the second half of the cross country season. Carmel has some questions answered with a strong 32-second split and tough running by top freshman Kole Mathison who finished 8th overall.
The individual battle shaped up to be a thrilling one. Lapel senior Luke Combs was the only entrant with a sub 15:00 clocking and the one to beat. Combs lived up to form after burning the first kilometer in 2:51. It wasn't until the first mile that he took control and took off from the field. Combs continued with a big lead past the second mile around 9:50. It was until the final kilometer that things began to change. Combs was slowing which allowed senior Dalton Kane of Plainfield and Zionsville junior Jesus Garcia to cut into the lead. All three charged home toward the finish line but Kane's 3:00 final kilometer was the difference vs. 3:15 for Combs. Kane, the unknown assailant, nipped Dolton for the win 15:31.8-15:32.6. Garcia was third in 15:33.
|1||York High School||78||3+9+14+17+35 (43+123)||0:34 1-5 Split | 15:54 Avg|
|2||Carmel High School||113||7+13+19+32+42 (44+48)||0:32 1-5 Split | 16:02 Avg|
|3||Bloomington South High School||187||4+36+38+52+57 (58+65)||0:52 1-5 Split | 16:14 Avg|
|4||Brownsburg High School||188||16+26+34+46+66 (151+152)||0:40 1-5 Split | 16:15 Avg|
|5||Fishers High School||198||23+30+39+51+55 (68+134)||0:30 1-5 Split | 16:17 Avg|
The girls' race was supposed to feature a head to head battle between top state teams from Indiana and Ohio- undefeated Zionsville and Beavercreek. Zionsville would bail (ran some kids in the JV) which essentially let the Creek fend for themselves. IL 3A #3 Yorkville would be respectful but were down two top-five girls.
The US #4 Beavers opened up fast behind superstar leader senior Taylor Ewert with all scorers under 6:00. A sea of Orange permeated the course through the second kilometer and even as things stretched open at 3k, it was all Beavercreek. No contest. Fellow seniors Savannah Roark and later Jodie Pierce joined in on the fun. They weren't as swift as the 5:21 and 10:54 mile splits the "dual-threat" Ewert, but good enough to ultimately assist in finishing 1,2,3. The final damage was 53 point shellacking. All seven Beavers runners were in the top 90. Columbus North unseeded Yorkville for second 107-108.
Ewert's 17:11 was a meet record and a Lavern-Gibson course personal best for her. Despite just running a few races entering Saturday night, she is primed and ready to go for the post-season.
Top 10 finishes-
|5||Helena Kleronomos||11||Yorkville High School||18:26.60||5|
|8||Brenner Hanna||11||Greensburg High School||18:30.70||0|
|9||Jessica Secor||9||duPont Manual||18:30.90||8|
|10||Halle Hill||11||Hamilton Southeastern High School||18:31.00||9|