With just two weeks until the Putnam County cross country meet and WCC and sectional following shortly thereafter, teams are really concentrating on peaking for those big meets.
Based on Monday night, the South Putnam teams are heading in the right direction, as they completed a sweep of county rival Cloverdale.
The Eagle boys' took the top five positions in the meet, defeating Cloverdale 15-48. In the girls' meet, the Eagles edged the Clovers 26-30 to pick up their first win of the year.
SP boys' coach Brian Gardner was pleased with his team's performance, but would like to see them having to push themselves a little more.
In spite of this, Gardner knows his team is pushing and dealing with the tough practices that come this time of year.
"I thought we competed well. I saw our guys not necessarily just running in a pack, they were trying to actually better their time," Gardner said. "We've had some pretty hard practices coming up through this time. County and conference are coming up, and we're really pushing toward that time."
Tyler Heavin led the way in the boys' race, winning with a time of 19:09. Fellow senior Andrew Northrup was next in a time of 19:22. Tanner Barr was third, with Josh Olczak following in fourth. Paul Rubino rounded out the scoring for the Eagles in fifth.
Also in the top 10 for the Eagles were Andrew Kelly (7th), Jorge Cavell (8th), Jacob Parker (9th) and Tim Toland (10th).
For the Clovers, Kyle Chambers led the way, finishing sixth in a time of 20:14. Brian Stout was next for the Clovers in 15th, followed by Chuck Strunk in 17th. James Murphy placed 19th, and Joe Fidler was 21st.
Cloverdale coach Katie McLaughlin had to leave the meet early and was not available for comment afterward.
In the girls' meet, the Clovers' Nikki Routh won with a time of 23:53. However, it was the Eagles meet, and coach Elaine Bye was happy for her squad.
Amanda Lund led the Eagle effort with a second-place finish in 24:27. Madison Marsteller was fourth, followed by Brittany Fitzpatrick and Mikayla Cherry in fifth and sixth. Brittany Cox finished ninth, and Robbie Urton was 10th.
The Eagles have struggled with various illnesses and injuries this season, but the coach said things are getting where they need to be.
One of the runners struggling with these issues has been Jessica Stewart. Although she is still recovering from illness, Bye has had her running in races, but not pushing farther than she needs to go.
On Monday, Bye had Stewart run the first mile to get a taste of competition.
With the big meets approaching, both Eagle coaches like what they see.
"We're moving to where we need to be," Bye said. "We have some hard practice days coming up that we don't have meets, so we can get in some hard work there. We're looking forward to it. They'll be doing a good job."
Gardner knows he has a team that should be in the mix for county and conference, but also knows the times need to continue to go down.
"I think we're getting there," Gardner said. "We've got a very tight conference with Cascade, Greencastle, Monrovia and us. All four of those schools are in position. And I know North Putnam has three good runners. We've got to compete and our times have to go down.
"We're in a position where we can hopefully get to that point," he added. "I like where the guys' mindsets are and how hard they're working, but we've just got two more weeks where we can work and get after it."
Both South and Cloverdale have more than a week off before their next meet. The Eagles host Cascade at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1. The Clovers visit Eminence for a three-way with the hosts and North Putnam on Thursday, Oct. 2.
At South Putnam
South Putnam 26, Cloverdale 30
Individual results -- 1. Routh (C) 23:53, 2. Lund (S) 24:27, 3. Lewis (C) 24:50, 4. Marsteller (S) 26:13, 5. Fitzpatrick (S) 26:31, 6. Cherry (S) 28:04, 7. Schwomeyer (C) 29:04, 8. Hegna (C) 29:08, 9. Cox (S) 29:19, 10. Urton (S) 31:34, 11. Monnett (C) 31:58
South Putnam 15, Cloverdale 48
Individual results -- 1. Heavin (S) 19:09, 2. Northrup (S) 19:22, 3. Barr (S) 19:40, 4. Olczac 19:53, 5. Rubino (S) 20:04, 6. Chambers (C) 20:14, 7. An. Kelly (S) 20:26, 8. Cavell (S) 20:33, 9. Parker (S) 20:34, 10. Toland (S) 21:20, 11. Havlik (S) 21:21, 12. Arnold (S) 21:32, 13. Bowen (S) 22:00, 14. Hayes (S) 22:02, 15. Stout (C) 22:38, 16. Ruldolf (S) 22:43, 17. Strunk (C) 23:28, 18. Norman (S) 24:56, 19. Murphy (C) 25:13, 20. Flory (S) 25:19, 21. Al. Kelly (S) 25:22, 22. Fidler (C) 26:03, 23. Albright (S) 26:57, 24. Ashcraft (S) 29:28
Next meet -- South Putnam hosts Cascade at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1. Cloverdale travels to Eminence for a three-way meet with the Eels and North Putnam at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2.