October 09, 2019The Perry Central Lady Commodores and Orleans Bulldogs celebrated Patoka Lake Athletic Conference championships Saturday morning at the Michael Esarey Cross-Country Course on the campus of Crawford County High School. The Lady Commodores dominated in their run, while the Bulldogs had to squeak out a one-point win.
In the boys' race, Crawford County's Klayton Grizzel raced out to a lead through the first turn while the main field remained back slightly through the first few hundred meters. Perry Central's Cole Hess then passed Grizzel and went to the front. At the halfway point, Hess was nearly 10 meters ahead of teammate Dylan Hubert with Orleans' Tate Hail a step behind. By the finish, Hess had given himself enough breathing room for a comfortable win ahead of Hubert. The winning time was 17 minutes, 44 seconds despite Hess having to avoid a young boy wanting to cross the track just a few steps from the finish.
Hubert finished in a time of 18:05, while Hail was third in 18:12.
"I was feeling pretty good since we had nice weather," said Hess. "It's been like the first time all week. I was pretty nervous because coach said I could win the race, but, at the beginning, there were two guys in front of me. They ended up slowing down so I took the lead and kept it the whole race."
Hess said it was important for him to grab the lead early and extend it.
"I wanted to get out at the very beginning and get the lead because I'd have my own pace and my own race," he said.
"He ran a pretty good race," said Perry Central coach Jason Barrett. "He ran a lot by himself. It's tough running by yourself up there. I know he can definitely go faster than that. I'm excited for him."
Perry Central's James Lynch was fourth (18:24), and Canyon Crew of Springs Valley finished fifth (18:29). Rounding out the top 10 were Mitchell's Alex Barlow (18:28), Orleans' Hunter Williams (18:33), Mitchell's Adam Oster (18:49), Orleans' John Love (18:54) and Springs Valley's Ethan Edwards (19:01).
Barnett was accurate in assuming a tight team finish as Orleans edged out the Commodores by a single point, 36-37. Mitchell was third at 52, Crawford County fourth at 122, West Washington fifth at 149 and Paoli sixth with 166. Springs Valley had an incomplete team.
"Dylan (Hubert) ran his best," said Barnett. "He was like 18:04, and 18:08 was his best before that, so, we definitely had some PRs. I've got to get our No. 4 and 5 guys to move up if we're going to do anything to get out of sectional. They're going to have to because we're right on that line. Both teams are probably right on that fifth, sixth line, so we're going to have to be ready to get out (of sectional)."
In the girls' race, it was a freshman who controlled from beginning to end. Perry Central's Vanessa Barger grabbed the lead at the first turn and never let it go. Crawford County's Gabi Gains got boxed in at the start and was pushed back to about the eighth spot.
At the halfway point, Barger had about a 10-meter advantage with teammate Jaylyn Jarboe second and Gaines in the third spot. By the finish, Barger won with a time of 21:27, 11 seconds ahead of Gaines (21:38), who had passed Jarboe and moved to second. Jarboe slipped back to fifth (22:09) behind Orleans' Allison Hushett (21:48) in fourth and Mitchell's Cierra Bell (22:01) in fifth.
"This is my first year running (cross-country)," said Barger. "I ran track my eighth-grade year, and that was the first time I ever did any running competitively."
"The last time I ran here I was running against one other girl and I almost beat her, but I didn't," she said. "My main goal was to beat her this time and get as high of place as I possible could. I knew they were right behind me. I really wanted to stop, but I was trying to do this for my team."
Gaines said she just needed a little more "oomph" at the end.
"I started out fifth, and I moved up and I kept going with the Orleans No. 1 runner (Hushett)," Gaines said. "We kept pushing each other. She'd pass me then I'd pass her back. Then, she'd come back again. We just pushed each other. Once we got to the superintendent's office, that's where it was either you go now or you're too late. So, I started going."
Gaines said she felt like she could have won the race if she had played it just a little bit smarter.
"I think I started out too fast, and that's usually what I end up doing so I don't have enough kick at the end," she said. "So for sectionals, I'm going to start a little slower and, once I get to that first mile, that's when I'm going to start pushing. I feel pretty good. At the beginning, I felt like I was dying, but then I got over it and I pushed through."
West Washington's Zoe Wallace was sixth (22:13), Jessalyn Maran of Springs Valley was seventh (22:56), Emily Schrader of Mitchell was eighth (23:12) and Maddy Elmer of Perry Central was ninth (23:20) with teammate Haylea Lawalin in 10th (23:29).
"That was Jalen Etienne's first race this season," said Barnett. "She's been sidelined with a really bad case of tendinitis, and she's been in a boot for six weeks. She came back and started doing some hard workouts and started hurting again, and she was out again for a while. We've had a couple of good weeks, and she's been running easy miles, but she wanted to try to run today."
Perry Central and Orleans also split wins in the junior high division. The Lady Commodores won the junior high team standings with 26 points, while the Orleans boys claimed their prize with a 23-point win over Perry Central.
Boys' team scores – 1. Orleans 36, 2. Perry Central 37, 3. Mitchell 52, 4. Crawford County 112, 5. West Washington 149, 6. Paoli 166 (No team score: Springs Valley).
Boys' individual results – 1. Cole Hess (PC) 17:44, 2. Dylan Hubert 18:05, 3. Tate Hail (O) 18:12, 4. James Lynch (PC) 18:24, 5. Canyon Crews (SV) 18:29, 6. Alex Barlow (M) 18:28, 7. Hunter Williams (O) 18:33, 8. Adam Oster (M) 18:49, 9. John Love (O) 18:54, 10, Ethan Edwards (SV) 19:01.
Girls' team scores – 1. Perry Central 34, 2. Mitchell 69, 3. Orleans 79, 4. Crawford County 88, 5. Springs Valley 101, 6. Paoli 113 (No team score: West Washington).
Girls' individual results – 1. Vanessa Barger (PC) 21:27, 2. Gabi Gaines (CC) 21:38, 3. Allison Hushett (O) 21:48, 4. Cierra Bell (M) 22:01, 5. Jaylyn Jarboe (PC) 22:09, 6. Zoe Wallace (WW) 22:13, 7. Jessalyn Maran (SV) 22:56, 8. Emily Schrader (M) 23:21, 9. Maddy Elmer (PC) 23:20, 10. Haylea Lawalin (PC) 23:29.
Girls' Junior High team scores – 1. Perry Central 26, 2. Springs Valley 49, 3. Mitchell 76, 4. Orleans 92, 5. Crawford County 102 (No team scores: Paoli, West Washington).
Girls' Junior High individual winner – Summer Gui Haume (PC) 12:10.
Boys' Junior High team scores – 1. Orleans 31, 2. Perry Central 54, 3. Springs Valley 72, 4. Mitchell 97, 5. Crawford County 127, 6. Paoli 167 (No team scores: West Washington).
Boys' Junior High individual winner – Xavier Alston (O) 10:16.