By CAINE GARDNER
INDIANAPOLIS -- At Saturday's Carmel Cross Country Semi-state, the team from Greencastle and Cloverdale's Claudia Monnett battled tough foes and an equally challenging course. The Tiger Cubs finished 19th on the day.
Greencastle was paced by Colleen Weatherford's 22nd place finish in a time of 19:33. GHS head coach Garry Anderson noted his team as a whole started the race as too fast of a pace, which resulted in not reaching the times they were chasing for.
Weatherford failed to place inside the top 15 to enable her to advance to the state meet, but wrapped up her season strong. During last Saturday's Ben Davis Regional, Weatherford's time of 18:27 broke the school record.
Anderson knew his top runner was capable of more, but sometimes it's just not in the cards.
"Of the girls here, she (Weatheford) was probably back about seven positions more than she should have been," he said. "But again, today people will do things they don't normally do. They will run 10 or 15 seconds faster than they normally run and that's just what happens. It's part of it.
"This is experience. We've had some meets that we've dominated people, but this is tough, tough competition."
Corrie Romer was the second Tiger Cub to cross the finish line in 111th place with a time of 22:21.8. Hannah Brattain followed Romer in 118th with a time of 22:35.6.
Anderson said he could tell by the looks on some of his runner's faces that they knew they started too fast and were concerned. He saw something a little different in Romer.
"The look on her face was a determined look, not a scared look," Anderson said. "Hannah Brattain came in third, another freshman, and that's where she's been running for us all year.
"Corrie has improved and improved all season and she ended it the right way."
Brittany Love was 127th overall with a time of 22:51.5, while Megan Haynes was 133 in a time of 23:00.9. Samantha Haynes was 137th in a time of 23:27.1 and Alex Stoffregen was 146th in a time of 24:43.5.
After enduring rain for much of Friday, the course was soft, but in good enough condition to host the semi-state, according to Anderson.
"I thought it was in pretty good shape, really," he said. "On the backside where they ran through water and it's pretty muddy -- maybe a quarter mile or a half mile of that, but up in these hilly areas, it was decent. The grass was tight and there were not too many muddy spots."
Anderson went on to say he knew the times were not what his team was hoping for, but with the season they've had, he wasn't going to complain.
Cloverdale's Monnett was the only other girls to advance to semi-state from Putnam County. She races in a tough pack, ultimately finishing in 69th place with a time of 20:48.8.
Cloverdale head coach Kyle Walter was pleased with how his senior performed on Saturday.
"I thought she ran well," Walter said. "It's a little different situation than she's ever been in before, but I was happy with how she competed throughout the race. The conditions were not ideal today, not the fastest times, but I was proud of how she ran."
This was Walter's first season at the helm of the Cloverdale cross country program and he said with a runner like Monnett, he would have liked to have been there a few year's earlier.
"I wish I would have had her for all four years -- I wish I would have came a few years earlier," Walter said. "By the same token, I'm glad I had here this year because she's a really talented runner. All season, race in and race out, we run a pretty rough schedule as far as number of meets, and she ran well in pretty much every one.
"She's been good about taking care of herself to stay injury-free. I don't know if she's going to go on to run in the future or not, we've talked about that a little bit, but if she does, any college program would be lucky to get hold of her. She's one of those kids that still has tons of untapped potential."