September 05, 2012From the shot of the start gun, runners from 30 teams stampeded down the open spaces of the North Harrison cross country course to leave a cloud of dust and smoke behind them.
Emerging from the herds of harriers at the 44th annual Cougar Classic North Harrison Invitational Thursday was a pair of North Harrison individuals, posting fast times in both the girls' and boys' race. Jonathan Reynolds had to hold off Corydon Central's Levi Taylor in the final mile to capture the bragging rights for the Cougars.
This isn't the first close call between the stellar runners thus far in the early part of the cross country season. At the previous Saturday's Columbus East Invitational, Reynolds nosed Taylor by 0.2 of a second. Apparently the time posted over the previous weekend (16:16) wasn't quite fast enough.
Thursday, both runners clipped the 16-minute mark, with Reynolds coming in at 15:53.02 and Taylor steps behind in 15:54.97.
"I knew he'd be coming for me, but I'm glad he was pushing me," Reynolds said. "We see Levi at most of our meets, and I'm really hoping he keeps it up; he's doing really well."
The race marked the first time Taylor has broken 16 minutes in a race, which had him glowing afterward.
"That's the first time I've gone that fast, so definitely pretty happy," Taylor said.
Results from the Columbus meet set up confidence in both runners. Taylor said it was exciting that he and Reynolds could run one-two to defeat individuals from bigger schools.
At the Cougar Classic, Reynolds said he was determined to win his final race on his home course.
"The last mile was pure adrenaline," he said. "With it being my last meet here, I had the drive to do the best I could. I wanted to push the lead at the beginning of the last mile and knew the second half of the last mile would come naturally."
Battling the heat and dust was part of the challenge. Taylor, however, battled through and gave Reynolds another run down the stretch.
"I just went out there looking to hang on," he said. "It felt like we ran away from the field pretty quick, but I didn't look back … First mile, I knew we were going pretty fast and I wasn't sure if we'd hold pace for the second mile. Then, we picked up late and, when I saw the clock, I said, 'Wow, we are going pretty fast.' "
In the team standings, Floyd Central placed first with 58 points, well ahead of second-place Perry Central (108). North Harrison (171) finished fifth, Lanesville (253) eighth, Corydon Central (318) 14th, Crawford County (340) 15th and South Central (474) 18th.
Floyd Central was paced by fourth-place finisher Zach Doebbler, running in 17:08. North Harrison's Curtis Wetzel placed 10th with a time of 17:25.
Cody Carlton was Crawford County's top finisher (18th, 17:39), while Lanesville's top, Travis Kaake, was 21st in 17:49. South Central's top showing was Dalton Terry in 91st.
In the girls' race, there was little competition for the speedy Ashton Bosler in Lady Cat blue and white. Runners attempted to keep pace with her in the first mile, but Bosler eventually pulled away, winning by 20 seconds. Her final time, 19:35.38, is her fastest of the year.
"I was afraid after the first mile that I went out too fast, but it ended up working," Bosler said. "I felt pretty good at the end. The time is about what I expected."
Bosler said she is getting into form after winning back-to-back meets packed full of runners.
"I feel I'm ahead of where I was at this point last year," she said. "It's always a big goal to win our home meet."
Floyd Central was the top girls' team, just as comfortably as the boys. The Lady Highlanders claimed four spots within the top 10, led by fifth-place finisher Alyssa Moore (20:30). Madison Barney (21:28) was seventh, and Jamie Bierman (21:29) was eighth. The Lady Highlanders finished with 37 points, while Jasper (120) was second.
North Harrison finished eighth with 224 points, while Lanesville was 15th with 324 points. Corydon Central, Crawford County and South Central didn't record full team scores.
Lady Cat harrier Shelby Lindsey finished 24th with a race time of 22:56.
Lanesville was led by Bailey Kaake's 31st-place showing, running in 23:26. Corydon Central's top finisher was Kristin Proctor in 63rd, while Crawford County's Yasmeen Yennes was 79th. South Central's best showing was Elizabeth Pettit in 105th.
Boys' team results – 1. Floyd Central 58, 2. Perry Central 108, 3. Forest Park 109, 4. Borden 114, 5. North Harrison 171, 6. Tell City 176, 7. Jeffersonville 245, 8. Lanesville 253, 9. Brownstown Central 269, 10. Salem 284, 11. Northeast Dubois 299, 12. Mitchell 303, 13. Jasper 305, 14. Corydon Central 318, 15. Crawford County 340, 16. Eastern (Pekin) 351, 17. Orleans 439, 18. South Central 474, 19. Southridge 529, 20. Scottsburg 563
Boys' individual results – 1. J. Reynolds (NH) 15:53, 2. L. Taylor (CoCe), 3. A. Newton (PC), 4. Z. Doebbler (FC), 5. T. Dowdell (Jeff)
Girls' team results – 1. Floyd Central 37, 2. Jasper 120, 3. Perry Central 120, 4. Southridge 141, 5. Bedford North Lawrence 144, 6. Forest Park 180, 7. Brownstown Central 211, 8. North Harrison 224, 9. Salem 224, 10. Tell City 273, 11. Scottsburg 279, 12. Orleans 280, 13. Northeast Dubois 303, 14. Borden 303, 15. Lanesville 324, 16. Mitchell 424, 17. Eastern (Pekin) 468
Girls' individual results – 1. A. Bosler (NH) 19:53, 2. C. Peter (PC), 3. H. Welsh (J), 4. S. Calhoun (Sa), 5. A. Moore (FC)