October 16, 2013The Perry Central Commodores and Lady Commodores once again swept the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference cross country meet Thursday afternoon at Crawford County Junior-Senior High School. This time, however, Perry Central felt some heat as the Mitchell Bluejackets finished just five points behind in the boys' division.
"Our fifth man has been back so far all year, and we really wanted some of the guys to hold back the first lap to try to get him moved up," Perry Central coach Jason Barnett said. "We were trying to think about the tournament, and they held back a little too much. They really had to work. They had to earn it that second lap. They were working hard."
Perry Central's Aaron Piearrd wins the boys' Patoka Lake Athletic Conference cross country meet Tuesday afternoon. Perry Central won both the girls' and boys' team championships. Photos by Wade Bell
Orleans' Angela Kendall captures the girls' race.
Perry Central's Aaron Pierrard, Crawford County's Cody Carlton and Paoli's Tristan Murphy got out in front to lead the boys' race then Pierrard and Carlton raced together well out in front of the field by the end of the first mile. Perry Central's Bryce Lain, Michael Schwartz and Nathan Schwartz, along with Mitchell's Mark Gardener, Ian Payne and Trevin Grissom, all worked against each other in the next top six spots.
Pierrard went on to win ahead of Carlton, finishing the 5,000 meters in 16 minutes, 42 seconds, with Carlton nine seconds behind in 16:51. Perry Central's Lain was third in 17:27, with Mitchell's Gardener (17:44) and Payne (7:52) fourth and fifth, respectively.
"I was trying to hold it and be right around 16:00 but started to fall off there the last two miles," Pierrard said. "It was still a good race. It was a good day to run."
"I knew (Carlton) was definitely going to be pushing us," he said. "We were trying to get our five, six and seven up a little bit, and we had our other three behind me work with them through the first loop and then you can go off on your own from there. Cody ran a nice race. He stayed back there on me and pushed me a little bit."
"Aaron, he doesn't know what 'hold back' means," Barnett said. "I knew he wouldn't hold back. It's not in his vocabulary. I told him, 'I would advise you to hold back a little bit, but I've coached you long enough (to know) you're going to do whatever you want.' But he looked good."
Carlton said he just didn't have enough at the end to catch Pierrard.
"I tried getting him on that last K, but I just couldn't kick it," Carlton said. "I closed the gap there for a little bit, but the hill killed me. I felt great. (The course) was a little muddy and I slipped in a few places. Right before you go around the little 'S' curve down around that sharp corner (into the woods), it gets real slick there. I slipped a few times in there."
Perry Central handily won the girls' division with 27 points, well head of runner-up Paoli, who finished with 79.
"They did really well," Barnett said. "I felt like we could do six in the top 10."
Individually, however, it was Orleans senior Angela Kendall leading almost the entire 5,000 meters. By the halfway mark, Kendall was well ahead of Perry Central's Jillian Theis and Megan Thomas, with Crawford County's Yasmine Yennas running in the fourth spot and Paoli's Morgan Kingston in fifth.
Kendall continued to pull away from the Perry Central runners, finishing in a time of 20 minutes, 4 seconds with Theis 52 seconds behind in second. Thomas was third at 21:28 with Crawford County's Yennas fourth at 21:43. Paoli's Kingston rounded out the top five at 22:06.
"It's not easy," Kendall said. "It takes a lot of practice and then I just come out here and do it, I guess. I was really nervous. I was pretty confident. I knew I had a chance at it, and I really wanted it."
Kendall said the last 800 meters are the most important of the race. It's also the spot where Crawford County's biggest hill is located.
"I knew that's when I've really got to go," Kendall said. "That's the time to go. The hills, that's the toughest part. I lean forward and just kind of get on my toes and go at it, but not too fast and die on it."
Crawford County's Yennas was hoping to be a couple of steps up the ladder from her fourth-place finish.
"I really wanted to finish a little higher, but I can't say I'm upset about it because I've been getting better the last year," she said. "Last year, I finished 15th, and today I'm fourth, so it's getting better. I can't really complain about my spot."
The Crawford County runner said there was a clear strategy for the Lady Pack.
"Before the race, our coach (Mark Boone) had us look at where we could finish, so I had an idea of where I needed to be and where and how I should have ran it," Yennas said. "So, I was a little confident before and kind of worried. We had it all planned out not to take it out too fast and not let our nerves get to us. A lot of people are nervous since it's conference and, if someone takes it out too hard, not to worry about them and run a smart race."
Boys' Team Scores - Perry Central 36, Mitchell 41, Crawford County 75, Orleans 109, Paoi 134, West Washington 154, Springs Valley (Incomplete)
Boys' Individual Results - 1. Aaron Pierrard (PC) 16:42, 2. Cody Carlton (CC) 16:51, 3. Bryce Lain (PC) 17:47, 4. Mark Gardner (M) 17:44, 5. Ian Payne (M) 17:52, 6. Michael Schwartz (PC) 17:57, 7. Trevin Grissom (M) 18:02, 8. Nathan Schwartz (PC) 18:18, 9. Cale Hall (O) 18:21, 10. Tristan Murphy (P) 18:23
Girls' Team Scores - Perry Central 27, Paoli 79, Orleands 82, Crawford County 84, Mitchell 89, West Washington (Incomplete), Springs Valley (Incomplete)
Girls' Individual Results - 1. Angela Kendall (O) 20:04, 2. Jillian Theis (PC) 20:56, 3. Megan Thomas (PC) 21:28, 4. Yasmine Yennas (CC) 21:43, 5. Morgan Kingston (P) 22:06, 6. Marie Schwartz (PC) 22:17, 7. Rosa Schwartz (PC) 22:34, 8. Addie Ramsey (O) 22:44, 9. Sarah Schlachter (PC) 23:03, 10. Verra Schwartz (PC) 23:13