Wolverine boys distance themselves at Cardinal Invite
BLOOMFIELD - The pack mentality paid dividends for the White River Valley boys cross country team at the Cardinal Invitational in Bloomfield Monday.
WRV placed three harriers in the top four. Another pack of Wolverines finished in the top 15 as WRV outpaced all competitors.
The Wolverines won the boys race going away with 23 points to second-place Bloomfield’s 42. Shoals placed a distant third with 73.
“We’re proud of the boys team,” WRV cross country coach Claire Records said. “They’ve been working hard in practice. As we hit the midseason it’s starting to become apparent in each meet we have.”
Lighthouse Christian Academy, the Bloomington Bobcats, North Daviess, North Central and Sullivan were all represented. None had the minimum five runners required to record a team score.
North Daviess set the pace in the girls meet with 39 points, well ahead of Lighthouse Christian’s second-place total of 56.
It was a battle for second place with Bloomfield (60) and WRV (64) close behind Lighthouse.
For the boys, Lighthouse Christian’s Eric Larson was the individual winner. Larson covered the Bloomfield layout in 18 minutes, 11 seconds.
The next three finishers were clad in the navy blue of White River Valley.
Joe Records finished 37 seconds behind Larson for second place. Right behind Records were Dakota Sparks and Brayton Cornelius. Sparks ran in 19:03, six seconds ahead of Cornelius.
WRV’s next three - Beau Driscol, Blaine Gilstrap and Tanner Denham - also ran in a pack. Driscol ran 12th in 20:13. Gilstrap finished 14th in 20:51 with Denham one second behind.
“Both of our groups ran very well as a pack today,” WRV assistant coach Conner Hill said. “Our first three were like ‘boom-boom-boom’ as were our next three.”
Records added, “Our fifth and sixth men are really stepping up. And I think that reflects in our team scores.”
Dylan Richardson paced Bloomfield finishing sixth in 19:22. Richardson led early in the race but was unable to sustain his initial pace.
“Their one, two and three beating our number one really hurt us,” Bloomfield boys coach Bob Richardson commented. “It’s kind of been a back-and-forth battle between them and Dylan.”
Two Cardinal teammates also cracked the top ten.
Cameron Ross finished eighth in a time of 19:40. Austin Bond ran 10th in 20:01.
Also for Bloomfield, Jacob King was 17th in 21:08; Noah Cummings, 19th, 21:47; Mitchell Burch, 22nd, 21:55; A.J. Spies, 24th, 22:14; and Levi Patterson, 31st, 25:45.
“We just didn’t have it tonight,” Richardson said.
“As a whole team though we’re still getting better. We’ve still got three weeks before the sectional and that’s what we’re working towards.”
In the girls race, Bloomfield’s Ava Mattox crossed the finish line first in 22:23, 15 seconds ahead of WRV’s Christiane Davis. Davis’ teammate Jailyn Lundy was fourth in 22:46, five seconds behind Sullivan’s Sydney Pike.
“Ava did really well,” Bloomfield girls coach Ashley Patton said. “She’s continuing to improve. I’m excited to see where she’ll be at the end of the year.”
After that it was all North Daviess and Lighthouse in the top ten.
Bloomfield’s Hannah Walls finished 11th in 24:34. Next for the Lady Cards was Abby Hartzburg, in 18th place at 25:54. One spot behind Hartzburg was WRV’s Carley Sloan who finished in 26:23.
Bloomfield girls occupied the next two spots - Nicole Kilzer with her time of 26:39, followed by Emily Neighbors, 27:21.
Shelby Woods (B, 27th, 28:16); Emma Records (W, 34th, 33:04); and Julie Hudson (B, 35th, 33:57) were other area finishers.
“We didn’t run a very good race tonight,” Patton said. “We’re still dealing with some sore legs.”
Both teams face a quick turnaround. The Cardinals and Lakers are both running in a quadrangular meet Tuesday at Shakamak with the host Lakers and West Vigo.
And for all parties involved, the flatter, faster Shakamak course will be a welcome change after contending with the torturous hill in the back stretch of Bloomfield’s course.
“Actually we’re not too worried about the quick turnaround,” said Records. “We’ll use today as a good hard workout and we’ll be ready to race tomorrow. We’re looking for some fast times tomorrow.”
Patton agreed, saying, “It’s a faster course so I hope we run a lot better than we did tonight.”