August 28, 2019With a fresh layout, the Corydon Central Invitational kick-started the cross country season competition with a Hokum Karem event featuring six schools.
In humid conditions last Wednesday, Corydon Central came away with the top finishes, not only individually, but team-wise, to take home hardware presented as the sun was setting.
North Harrison runner Chase Long competes for the Cougars on the Corydon Central cross country course. Paired with teammate Jacob Wenning, the duo ran a combined time of 35:37.
"I was really proud of our group," Corydon Central coach Daniel Love said. "Across the board, we had a lot of kids pushing, even if there was a big gap between places. They worked hard."
The Hokum Karem format is different from most 5-kilometer cross country meets. A relay-style race, schools put pairs of runners together to have those groups alternate running a mile each until they come to a six-mile total. Teams like South Central used the format with a tough workout in mind.
"I like the fact that it's run in the middle of the week," South Central boys' coach Rob Murawski said. "Normally, we are training pretty hard, so we used this as a hard train. I like the fact that the younger kids who haven't run before get a taste of what it's like. They can get a break but also see what training hard is like. If you go run a mile hard, we don't just sit; you go and workout between miles. We trained the whole race and some afterwards. Their bodies are getting a whole different shock from what they get at practice."
The boys ran first, and Camden Marshall, new to the Corydon Central cross country program, took off to a wide lead early. Paired with teammate Bryce Weber, the two maintained positive position throughout, winning with a combined time of 33 minutes, 33 seconds. Marshall blossomed last spring on the track as a sophomore, winning the 800-meter run at the sectional, along with earning a runner-up finish in the 1,600.
"On the boys' and girls' side, we are poised to have a pretty good year," Love said. "Picking up Camden is a huge win for us. I think he will have a big year. We also have a strong returning group. We had a strong finish to last season, but were immature. The immaturity bit us a little bit at sectional, but I think we are a more mature team this year."
The runner-up pair was South Central's brother tandem of Jude and Maddox Baker, finishing in 35:25. Both were regional qualifiers a season ago.
"I was pretty happy today," Murawski said. "We are young on the back end, and I'm hoping they will gain some experience with this first race. Our top two runners are going to be pretty good. Once we get Gavin (Schweitzer) back in shape, we will pull that younger group up and pack them together. I can see some pretty good things, but we have a long way to go before conference and sectional."
Preston Liebert and Preston Martin turned in a time of 39:17 for the Rebels, while Cody Liebert and Jack Schmeltz ran in 39:57.
North Harrison had the third fastest boys' pair, with Chase Long and Jacob Wenning going in 35:37. Wenning, as a freshman a season ago, was a semi-state qualifier in cross country. The Cougars also paired up Oxiel Castro and Owen Kimmel (38:40), along with Lucas Miller and Adam Couch (44:01).
To determine the team winner, the three best times were combined. The Corydon Central boys ran a combined 1:49:45, followed by South Central (1:54:39) and North Harrison (1:58:18).
To go with Marshall/Weber, Corydon Central's Brian Sharp and Trey Saulman ran a time of 37:07. Colin Blackburn and Dylen Lawson posted a 39:05.
"We are looking to go four to six deep with some high competition and fast times on the boys' side," Love said. "I'm excited for that."
Lanesville sent out two pairs –– Justin Bailey/Thomas Elder (42:21) and Jacob Kramer/Adrien Nannen (42:30).
The girls' race saw Corydon Central take two of the top three spots on its home turf. Beginning on the practice soccer field, runners ran a boomerang-shaped course, going through flat grassy areas and a tree-lined wooded area on campus.
The Lady Panthers' Marcie Stewart and Emily Armstrong were the first to complete six miles, combining for a time of 42:30. They were a full minute ahead of runner-up Ella Pease and Kaylyn Holman (43:17) of Crothersville. Corydon Central nabbed the third spot, with Sarah Bailey and Ryleigh Lisher posting a 43:27.
"The girls' side, we were hurting with Sarah Bailey out with an injury most of the year (last season)," Love said. "We have some freshmen stepping up and returners running well. I think we have a chance to be stronger in the four and five slot this year."
Taking the fourth spot in the girls' race was the North Harrison sister tandem of Gracie and Sadie Rothrock, running in 46:39. The Lady Cats also ran Brook Schultz and E.V. Wright (51:27), along with Kylie Witham and Katie Wise (56:37).
Love said his group took the event as a "3-by-1 mile effort with near full recover."
"In a typical training plan, we may not do that at this time of year, but it's not a bad thing," he said. "We did have a little fun this year, having a competition to see how many people could pass others on the course. We wanted to see who had the most passes and award that group."
In the team scoring, the Corydon Central girls were first with a time of 2:18:10, followed by Crothersville (2:25:07) and North Harrison (2:34:43).
The next home meet featuring all Harrison County schools will be the Cougar Classic, hosted by North Harrison, on Sept. 5.
Boys' team results (top three pairs combined times): 1. Corydon Central 1:49:45, 2. South Central 1:54:39, 3. North Harrison 1:58:18, 4. Scottsburg 2:05:34, 5. Crothersville 2:17:12
Boys' pairs results: 1. Camden Marshall/Bryce Weber (CC) 33:33, 2. Jude Baker/Maddox Baker 35:25, 3. Chase Long/Jacob Wenning 35:37
Girls' team results (top three pairs combined times): 1. Corydon Central 2:18:10, 2. Crothersville 2:25:07, 3. North Harrison 2:34:43, 4. Scottsburg 2:35:09
Girls' pairs results: 1. Marcie Stewart/Emily Armstrong (CC) 42:30, 2. Ella Pease/Kaylyn Holman (Croth) 43:17, 3. Sarah Bailey/Ryleigh Lisher 43:27