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Corydon's Taylor wins at Crawford

Wolfpack's Carlton second among junior runners

September 19, 2012
After holding back for the first half of the race, Corydon Central's Levi Taylor made his move to win the junior/senior division of the Crawford County Invitational cross country meet Saturday morning. Crawford County's Cody Carlton also had a good day, finishing second among the junior class runners.

Crawford County’s Cody Carlton finishes second in the junior division of the Crawford County Invitational cross country meet Saturday morning in a time of 17:22. Photos by Wade Bell
Taylor moved to the front group early and ran fourth at the halfway point. A half-mile later, Taylor made his move to the front and went on to get the win in a time of 16 minutes, 11 seconds.

"Most of the time I stayed behind them because I wasn't sure if I wanted to lead them," Taylor said. "About a half mile up (into the second lap), I kind of went up in front and tried to pull away from them then. Then, in the woods, I just let it all out."

"It was go big or go home," Taylor said. "If I die, I die. I might as well try for it, and I had a little something left at the straight-away. I think that sealed the deal."

Taylor has run under 16 minutes this year but knows he will have to do much better to meet his goal of reaching the state final.

"That would be pretty sweet if I make the state finals," he said. "I've got a pretty good shot if I keep it up and just keep doing what I'm doing and stay positive the whole way."

"Semi-state is usually 16-flat or under," he said. "I think I can go faster than what I've run already. I'm not trying to be cocky, but I think I can. I'm pretty confident I think I can. I would be happy if I can get in the mid-15:40s. If I broke 15:50, I'm not going to complain or anything. 15:45 would be a pretty good goal for me, if the course isn't muddy. It's usually pouring down rain there (at semi-state), but, if it's dry, I've got a pretty good shot at that. We'll see how it turns out."

Carlton ran in the main pack at the beginning of the race then moved into the top 15 of the juniors and seniors at the halfway point. He went on to finish in a time of 17 minutes, 22 seconds.

"It was pretty good, but I don't know what the problem was today," said Carlton, who admitted preferring to run on cold days compared to the warmer conditions of Saturday's race. "I couldn't breathe. … I wanted to try to get under 17 (minutes). It didn't happen. Better competition will help and better conditions, as well, a little cooler. I like sweatshirt weather."

"Cody is a natural runner," Crawford County coach Mark Boone said. "He can lay around all summer and come out here and run 18-something without doing anything. It's been hard for him to figure out what his talent is. He's just now starting to figure it out . He's won one race. He ran 17-flat at the Tell City course on the golf course. It's nothing but hills, and those were warm conditions."

"I'm looking for him to get better and better," Boone said. "He just has to figure it out and put the time in during the summer. He's yet to do that. Hopefully this summer he'll put in the time and you'll see his full potential that we all are aware of."

Carlton said he wants to challenge for the top spot in this year's Patoka Lake Athletic Conference meet, won last year by Perry Central's Alex Newton.

"I want to try to come in the top five," he said. "If I can, I want to beat Alex Newton from Perry."

Former Crawford County teacher, athletic director and cross country and track coach Mike Esarey (third left) is honored before the first race of the Crawford County Invitational cross country meet Saturday morning. Surrounding Esarey during a lighter moment were, from left, former runners Bill Harris, Chris Miller, Jeff Balmer, Charles Carver, Ross Hooten and Chuck Pirtle.
"Perry obviously is tough for conference," Boone said. "We're hoping to keep our second place. I think it's doable, but I've got young kids. I've got a young four, five and six, and it depends on how they respond to me. I think we've got a better team than we had last year. If you ask me that going into this year, I would have said no way. Even with Chase Broughton last year, I think I've got a better team this year, overall, top to bottom. They've got good times, and they keep lowering their times. I think it's possible to get second."

As far as the sectional, Boone said his team will have to work even harder to make the regional meet.

"In sectional, it's going to be hard because we've got a lot of good talent and a lot of good teams," he said. "I think you've got three locked-up positions. I believe North Harrison, Borden and Floyd Central are locked. Then, it is a free-for-all for the last two spots. We'll just have to wait and see how that plays out. I think it's anybody's guess how that might come out.

"Right now, we're shooting for getting out of sectional. There's a lot of good teams. Maybe Lanesville has more of a inside shot than some of us do. I still think anything can happen."

Bedford North Lawrence won the boys' overall in a combined time of 84:36 with Lanesville eighth (91:50). Northeast Dubois was 14th at 94:50, Crawford County 18th (96:03) and Corydon Central 19th (96:52). South Central finished 22nd in a time of 100:52.

South Central's Dauton Terry finished eighth (19:02) in the freshman boys' division, and Crawford County's Jared Massengale was 13th at 19:16. For sophomores, Lanesville's Andrew Kennedy finished 10th (18:16) and Gabe Sronce was 14th (18:42). Corydon Central's Jake Pitts finished 13th in the junior class with a time of 18:14. Lanesville's Travis Kaake and Brandon Price were 14th (17:29) and 15th (17:30), respectively, in the seniors' division.

Jasper won the overall girls' team title with a combined time of 108:19. Northeast Dubois was 12th (118:15), Perry Central 16th at 122:58 and Lanesville 17th at 130:03. Neither Corydon Central nor Crawford County fielded a full team.

In the girls' freshman division, Perry Central's Verna Schwartz finished 14th in a time of 23:19 and Corydon Central's Kristin Proctor was 18th at 23:45. Corydon Central's McKendra Fisher was 26th (24:58) and Maddie Zink was 35th (31:10). Lanesville's Emily Purdy was 31st (26:04).

Crawford County sophomores Gabby Napper and Yasmeen Yennes were 18th (23:27) and 19th (23:36), respectively, in their division.

In the girls' junior division, Northeast Dubois' Latesha Merkel and Lauren Betz both cracked the top 10, finishing ninth and 10th, respectively. Merkel finished the 5K in a time of 22:27, and Betz was eight seconds behind at 22:35. Paoli's Kelsey Smith was 13th in a time of 22:55.

In the girls' senior division, Lanesville's Caryn Eisert finished 10th in a time of 23:03, while teammate Erica Kennedy was 23rd at 24:53.

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