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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

GHS picks up pair of wins on new course

Friday, August 29, 2008

Greencastle runners (from left) Jordan Lewis, Ben Wilson, Ryan Gillespie and Kyle Harlan run in a pack for the Tiger Cubs. These four runners would sweep the top four positions for GHS on Thursday.
The first cross country meet of the year can be an adventure. Add to that a brand new course, and no one is sure what to expect.

But for Greencastle's first home meet at the DePauw Nature Park, all came out agreeing that things had gone pretty well. The Tiger Cubs defeated county rival Cloverdale on both the girls' and boys' side Thursday evening.

The initial victory for the Tiger Cubs, though, came in finally having a course of their own.

"Making a decision on where the meet was going to be was a big thing because they've not had a home course here for several years. Every team needs a place to call home," GHS girls' coach Garry Anderson said. "It's very important for Greencastle, as any team, to have a home course. So the girls are happy about that."

Given the course's gravel surface and the number of hills, the times were not what one might expect, but it was certainly a good early season workout.

"The guys did pretty well. We had come out and run it a little prior to this," GHS boys' coach Mike Schimpf said. "I kind of estimated the times would be a couple minutes slow because it is a pretty challenging course. With that in mind, it was a great workout for them, and it's nice to get to compete against some people."

For the Clovers, who have several first time runners, simply completing the first meet was nice.

"Overall, it went pretty well," Clover coach Katie McLaughlin said. "It's a tough course for the kids to run because it has a few more hills than what we're usually used to practicing on. But overall, they did really well."

In the girls' meet, the Clovers were unable to field a complete team, so the Greencastle victory was assured from the start.

The Greencastle girls' cross country team runs as a single unit early in Thursday's race.
Sara Culler led the Tiger Cub effort, finishing first in 23:35. She was followed by Jasmine Dwigans in second and Kaitlyn Murtagh in third. Emily Gill finished in fifth, and Felicia Barger rounded out the Tiger Cub scoring in sixth.

Other finishers for GHS were Ivonne Martinez (seventh), Olivia Humphreys (eighth), Brittany Johnson (10th) and Sasha Query (13th).

Coach Anderson was happy, but not overwhelmed, with the performances.

"It would be hard to make an evaluation on this course because I couldn't see the girls for the great portion of the meet. We had a hard practice last night and I wanted to see how they would react. They came back and reasonably well, not great, but reasonably well."

For McLaughlin's girls' team, competing without team captain Jenna Lewis was quite a blow. However, the coach thought her squad responded well.

"For the girls, finding out today that our No. 1 runner and team captain wasn't going to be able to run was a little bit of a shock to us," McLaughlin said. "But the girls really overcame that. They all turned in great times -- better than what we expected."

Greencastle, likewise, had some younger runners who surprised themselves and the coach.

"Some of the younger ones were surprised about how a race would go, and they're happy with themselves, which is good. They didn't know they could finish like that," Anderson said.

"So for the first meet, on my coaching standpoint, I'd give it about a four out of 10. For the girls, I'd give it about a seven out of 10. That's pretty good," he added.

In the boys' race, Greencastle took five of the top six positions to defeat the Clovers 16-42.

Ben Wilson won the event for the Tiger Cubs, running a 19:07. Jordan Lewis, Kyle Harlan and Ryan Gillespie took the next three positions. Ryan Stevens closed out the GHS scoring with a sixth-place finish.

The other finishers for the Cubs were Nathan Eubank in seventh and Walter Chiarella in 10th.

For Schimpf, the meet was a success in both the short and long term sense.

"I'm in general pleased with everyone's effort," Schimpf remarked. "You get to this point where you start getting markers and you can kind of figure out what time this guy or that guy can do. What can you get them to do to approximate and work toward that goal. It's always helping with that refining of the goal settings. It's a good thing."

Kyle Chambers paced CHS with a fifth-place finish.
Junior Kyle Chambers paced the Clovers with a fifth-place finish. Brian Stout placed eighth, followed by Chuck Strunk in ninth. James Murphy placed 11th and Joe Fidler was 12th.

"We've had a couple boys who've walked during practice and I don't think we had one walk on this course. That was good to see," McLaughlin said.

With a young team, McLaughlin was happy with how her team came out and competed.

"I think their times today definitely boosted some self-confidence issues that they were having," McLaughlin said. "And then to run on a flatter course and watch their times go down a minute to two minutes is going to be a big confidence booster for them. I think they're really going to see their potential after the next couple of meets."

At DePauw Nature Park

Girl's Results

Greencastle 17, Cloverdale NS

Greencastle -- 1. Culler 23:35; 2. Dwiggins 23:54; 3. Murtagh 23:58; 5.gill 25:12; 6. Barger 25:47; 7. Martinez 26:28; 8. Humphreys 26:33; 10.Johnson 29:38; 13.Query 32:05

Cloverdale -- 4. Routh 24:42; 9. Schwomeyer 29:07; 11. Hegna 30:42; 12. Monnett 31:46

Boys' Results

Greencastle-16, Cloverdale-42

Greencastle -- 1. Wilson 19:07; 2. Lewis 19:38; 3. Harlan 19:57; 4. Gillespie 20:17; 6. Stevens 21:36; 7. Eubank 22:17; 10. Chiarella 26:28

Cloverdale -- 5. Chambers 20:43; 8. Stout 23:03; 9. Strunk 24:18; 11.Murphy 25:36; 12. Fidler 25:56

Next meet: Greencastle runs in the Danville Hokum Karem at 9 a.m. Saturday. Cloverdale will travel to The North Putnam Invitational at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

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