GREENCASTLE -- Saturday's West Central Conference cross country meet at South Putnam High School, for the most part, went according to plan for Greencastle.
The Tiger Cubs nabbed three of the four conference team titles along with three individual first place finishers on a day where the temperature went from cool and pleasant for the junior high runners to unusually hot for the high school groups.
The day started off with a surprise team result after South Putnam's junior high girls squad tied Greencastle on points with 46 apiece and snagged the title away on a tiebreaker. Greencastle's Hannah Brattain won the race with a time of 12:32, forty seconds ahead of Cascade's Hadley Whicker.
Despite having three of the top six finishers, however, the hosts placed four runners inside the top 10, paced by Madie Egold's fifth place finish. With the scores tied through five runners, the sixth runner tiebreaker came into effect.
South's Michaela Scales finished 21st, whereas Greencastle's Whitney Weinschenk was 26th, allowing the Eagles to take home the first team title of the day. Cascade finished third with Cloverdale fourth and North Putnam fifth.
Greencastle's boys' junior high team didn't match Tuesday's perfect score but were still comfortable winners over Cascade with 24 points. Elijah Brattain took the top spot with a time of 11:06 while the rest of the squad finished in the top eight. Cascade edged South Putnam for second by six points while North finished fourth and Cloverdale fifth.
In high school competition, the junior varsity race saw Greencastle's girls and South Putnam's boys split their deep squads and pick up victories. Austin Bartee of Cascade won the boys race with a time of 20:15.
With Cascade and Monrovia arriving with full squads, Greencastle had slightly more competition in the girls' varsity race. The challenge was met with aplomb as Greencastle placed five runners within the top eight to run away with the WCC title.
Colleen Weatherford improved upon Tuesday's run, knocking off eight seconds from her county winning time to cross the line at 20:25. Claudia Monnett's 21:13 and Katie Douglas's 21:24 finishes, good enough for third and fourth, were good enough to get all conference places for Cloverdale and North Putnam. Mallory Glaze finished in 11th for South Putnam clocking in at 22:21.
Greencastle also snagged victory in the boys' race, though Cascade provided a stiff challenge. Levi Musson barely missed breaking 17:00 minutes to win the race for the Cadets and two others placed within the top nine. Greencastle gathered four of the top six spots, paced by Ryan Stevens' 17:07 finish for second place.
Hunter Barr landed a seventh place finish for South Putnam, edging out Cloverdale's Joe Rumley by a second with times of 18:00 and 18:01 respectively. Dalton Spear was North Putnam's best finisher of the day, placing 18th with a time of 19:58.
When asked about the races, the county coaches all seemed pleased with the times.
"Much better than Tuesday. Much better. We had a better grouping and we performed a little bit better than I saw on Tuesday night," said Greencastle girls coach Gary Anderson. "The kids were a little bit more determined and they've got one more step to go now and then follow it up with one step again. I was pleased. We got some good times and I was pleased with the whole seven. The entire seven ran well and our JV ran well.
"Timewise, wow. Weatherford did better than she had on Tuesday. I think they all did better than Tuesday. We had our first step. Now, it's towards sectional and tougher competition. Brownsburg is very, very tough. Plainfield has beaten Brownsburg twice. Avon's tough, so our road is paved a little different now," Anderson added.
"We ran much better overall on Saturday than we did last Tuesday for our County win," Greencastle boys' coach Craig Callahan noted. "Ryan and Tyler worked well together up front placing second (17:07) and third (17:17). They started fast, pacing hard and were able to hold that intensity throughout the race for the most part. Nathan ran a consistent pace up front also finishing fifth (17:43) overall. I'm really happy with the way Nathan has improved over the entire year. He's running a great pace for us right now."
"Hunter had the most impressive finish on the day. He's still running hurt as he has all year. The last 400 meters he was ninth and ended up finishing sixth (17:58). He closes really well and is able to find an extra gear that most guys can't at that stage of the race. Making up three spots was awesome for us as a team, really helped."
"I'm a lucky coach. I have the opportunity to coach some great talent. To place four guys on all-county on Tuesday and then turn around and place four guys on all-conference on Saturday as well is incredible," Callahan stated.
"I thought we had several good races. Our top finisher was Katie Douglass in the girls' race. She ran an outstanding race as a sophomore. I'm very excited to see what she was doing," North Putnam head coach Kevin Lutes beamed.
"It wasn't Paxton's best race, but we've talked about it and I think she'll recover pretty quick from it. With Katie, she was trying not to be nervous in the race and I think she came out today and didn't worry about too much except just going out and doing her best. I think that made the biggest difference.
"Dalton Spear, who's our number one boys runner, he ended up 18th. I know he was trying to get all conference today and he ran well. The rest of the guys, our senior, Jared Preecs, he finished about as strong today as he has been all season, so that was good to see.
"I know there was a couple of the boys that were already beating themselves up because there were more teams. I think the biggest key going into sectionals is not to focus on the teams that are here and just running the best that we can, picking up places, keep catching people," Lutes noted as something to work on before Tuesday.
"They went OK, about as I expected. I had them up a little higher, but they were what they were. The kids were actually very consistent with what they ran Tuesday," Cloverdale head coach Katie Mosley said. "They did have a few improved times from the boys side, which was great because they ran such a great race on Tuesday. Overall, it was pretty consistent. It's good for us to have consistency at this point."
"Joe was really disappointed with his finish but I was pleased with it. The weather was a little warmer and I think that kind of messed with us a little bit, especially with our morning practices. We got used to running in cooler weather and then came out in this. I was just really proud of the boys," Mosley added.
"Coming in, you could probably say we were in-between first, second and third place and we ran in that position," South Putnam boys' coach Brian Gardner noted. "I was proud of Hunter Barr and Shea Arnold for making all conference. Hunter ran his best time here and Shea ran his best time here as well on our course and for them to be able to accomplish, especially Shea as a senior, being able to accomplish that is great for him.
"It's excellent on his part for being able to work to get to that point. And then Hunter, being his first conference, it's a great accomplishment being a freshman and being all conference," Gardner added.
"Our times were, for our top two, right on course. Probably our top four or five were right equal with our times. We didn't improve as we'd like to have so in that aspect it was a great day to run and out times didn't necessarily go down. I'm not necessarily displeased. They competed and at the end of the day that's what you're looking for is guys competing," Gardner mentioned.
"It went well. I'm happy with their performances. They were close to their P.R.'s and they really went out there and chased down the girls I told them to chase down. Their finishes were excellent. They pushed it and didn't let anybody pass them. They did a really nice job," added South Putnam girls' coach Elaine Bye.
"They're comparable. Most of their times are within about 10 seconds of what they ran on Tuesday. Tuesday they got a lot of P.R.'s so we're within about 10 seconds of those."
With the sectional at South Putnam Tuesday, each coach had something they wanted to see from their squads.
"I think the first thing in a big race like that is guys have to go out and compete. You know, you've got to look at guys in front of you, that place could be the difference between you making it out of sectional or not. It could be the seventh guy or the first guy and on Tuesday that's going to be our big key. Just compete and go after places and see where things fall," Gardner said.
Bye added that, "I'd like to see my girls maybe group up and move up in places a little bit more. I'm just asking them to beat their times again and we'll do good."
It's a slightly different playing field for Cloverdale this year, moving into the South Putnam sectional for the first time.
"I had one advance out of sectionals last year and that was fantastic and I would love to have one advance out this year," Mosley said. "The problem is that this is a new sectional for us and I didn't know at the beginning of the year that this was going to be our sectional."
"I think there's a potential for one to get out. I know that Tuesday is going to be the last race for many of them and I just want them to go out and end their season on a positive note," Mosley concluded.
Anderson already has the road mapped out in his head.
"I want to get them to get out of there and into the regionals and then go from there. And I'd like to place in the top four, so we'll see what happens."
Lutes is ready to see his squads step up to a new challenge.
"Of course, I'd like everybody to run fast. We've got a lot of people that aren't freshmen but this is their first year running, so just get comfortable with racing and to get the experience a big meet to realize where they are within a big group. We run mostly just little meets," Lutes said.
"I'd like to see us, for one have fun but two, to push themselves and do the best that they can."
At South Putnam
South Putnam 46, Greencastle 46 (South Putnam wins tiebreaker), Cascade 58, Cloverdale 86, North Putnam 112 (Monrovia -- Inc.)
Greencastle 24, Cascade 49, South Putnam 55, North Putnam 105, Cloverdale 138 (Monrovia -- Inc.)
Greencastle 19, Cascade 62, South Putnam 72, Monrovia 74 (Cloverdale, North Putnam -- Inc.)
Greencastle 27, Cascade 47, South Putnam 63, Cloverdale 98, North Putnam 137 (Monrovia -- Inc.)
1. Brattain (G) 12:32; 2. H. Whicker (CA) 13:12; 3. Brush (G) 13:26; 4. Canfield (CL) 13:52; 5. Egold (SP) 14:03; 6. Hayes (G) 14:21; 7. Nield (SP) 14:48; 8. Jones (SP) 14:50; 9. C. Whicker (CA) 14:59; 10. DeLano (SP) 15:04; 13. Cross (CL) 15:16; 14. Bayless (NP) 15:17; 15. Spencer (G) 15:21; 16. McKinney (CL) 15:25; 17. Beasley (SP) 15:29; 19. Lowe (NP) 15:34.35; 21. Scales (SP) 15:39; 23. Laussee (G) 15:54; 24. Shaw (SP) 16:04; 25. Higgins (SP) 16:18; 26. Weinschenk (G) 16:24; 27. Kelley (SP) 16:57.42; 28. Wells (SP) 16:57.91; 29. Bottorff (NP) 17:20; 30. Marshall (NP) 17:25.11; 32. Davis (CL) 17:55; 33. Haywood (SP) 17:58; 34. Hawkins (SP) 18:13; 35. Rutenberg (CL) 18:22; 36. Ladd (CL) 18:23; 37. Harrison (NP) 19:05; 38. Tungett (CL) 25:13
1. Brattain (G) 11:06; 2. Fox (CA) 11:18; 3. Secrest (G) 11:35; 4. Shepard (CA) 11:59; 5. J. Lewis (G) 12:03; 6. Vandermark (SP) 12:13; 7. Grzesiek (G) 12:16; 8. Weinschenk (G) 12:24; 9. Franklin (SP) 12:35; 10. Modglin (CA) 12:41; 11. Trebor Mason (NP) 12:45; 12. Freeman (SP) 15:54; 13. Vittetow (SP) 13:10; 14. Trent Mason (NP) 13:11; 15. Schroer (SP) 13:15; 18. Berry (SP) 13:26; 21. L. Lewis (G) 13:37; 22. Wilson (G) 13:38; 23. Dwigans (G) 13:50; 24. Cody Evans (SP) 13:52; 25. Webster (NP) 13:55; 26. Speedy (SP) 13:59; 27. Sanders (SP) 14:01; 28. Branston (CL) 14:14; 29. Johnson (G) 14:16; 31. C. Lewis (G) 14:28; 33. Higgins (SP) 14:37; 35. Jones (G) 14:53; 36. Baugh (SP) 15:00; 38. Manners (CL) 15:08; 39. D. Monnett (CL) 15:17; 40. Sutton (NP) 15:44; 41. Wilson (SP) 15:51; 43. Kendall (NP) 16:29; 44. Roberts (CL) 16:34; 45. A. Monnett (CL) 16:54; 46. Mannan (CL) 16:55; 47. Mann (CL) 16:59; 48. E. Lewis (G) 17:31; 50. Murrell (SP) 18:35; 51. Caleb Evans (SP) 18:46; 52. Brown (NP) 18:50; 53. Mehraz (NP) 20:41; 54. Fulterson (CL) 20:59
Girls (Top Ten = WCC All-Conference)
1. Weatherford (G) 20:25; 2. Thompson (M) 20:53; 3. Monnett (CL) 21:13; 4. Douglas (NP) 21:24; 5. Cash (G) 21:36; 6. Wilson (G) 21:39; 7. Pickens (G) 21:44; 8. Gill (G) 21:49; 9. Musson (CA) 22:07; 10. Fredrick (CA) 22:10
11. Glaze (SP) 22:21; 13. Stephenson (NP) 22:43; 14. Nally (CL) 23:40; 15. Guthrie (SP) 23:47; 16. Haynes (G) 23:54; 17. High (NP) 23:59; 19. Miriah Cherry (SP) 24:16; 21. Fauvergue (G) 24:24; 22. Varvel (SP) 25:07; 26. Dean (CL) 27:03; 27. Beasley (SP) 28:12; 28. Mikayla Cherry (SP) 28:31
Boys (Top Ten = WCC All-Conference)
1. Musson (CA) 17:01; 2. Stevens (G) 17:07; 3. Hudson (G) 17:17; 4. Shepard (CA) 17:22; 5. Eubank (G) 17:23; 6. Mitchell (G) 17:58; 7. H. Barr (SP) 18:00; 8. Rumley (CL) 18:01; 9. Swinehart (CA) 18:04; . Arnold (SP) 18:09
12. Norlin (G) 18:36; 13. Bryan (G) 18:59.90; 15. Cavell (SP) 19:24; 16. T. Barr (SP) 19:42; 18. Spear (NP) 19:58; 19. Lund (SP) 20:01; 20. Kelly (SP) 20:07; 21. Cupp (CL) 20:14; 24. Nees (CL) 20:21.00; 25. Whitlock (CL) 20:21.35; 26. White (G) 20:25; 29. Hurst (SP) 21:22; 30. Hendershot (NP) 21:44; 31. Worthington (CL) 21:50; 32. Maners (CL) 22:11; 33. Preecs (NP) 22:29; 34. Mindiola (NP) 22:53; 35. Brackin (CL) 23:33; 36. Raupp (NP) 25:40