Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

October 10, 2012

PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Raider harriers excel

Northridge boys, girls sweep titles; O’Dell wins boys race

DUNLAP —  During the high school cross country season Olivia Golden never expected to be a sectional champion.

The Northridge junior made it a reality on Tuesday night at Ox Bow County Park by winning the individual title, covering the 5,000-meter course in 19:20 and leading the Raiders to the team championship.

“It’s feels unreal to win,” Golden said. “If you had told me during the season I could win I would not have believed it. At the beginning of the season I was anaemic. I’m taking iron pills and lots of vitamin C.

“My goal tonight was to stay with Sierra Moore (Elkhart Memorial runner who finishes second in 19:29). I stayed with her for the first 2K and then pulled ahead in the 3rd K.”

A year ago, the Raiders had their streak of 20 straight sectional titles snapped by Warsaw.

“I’m very excited about the way the girls ran,” Northridge coach Ryan McClane said. “They ran a smart race. The exact race strategy we talked about.

“Winning was a big thing for Olivia. This is a win for her over a quality runner in Moore. Olivia had her problems during the season, but she never gave up. She pushed right through things.”

Northridge totaled 24 points to finish first in the team standings. Memorial was second at 60, followed by Goshen 104, Wawasee 106, Concord 133, Fairfield 150, Elkhart Christian Academy 212, NorthWood 212, Jimtown 236 and Elkhart Central 250, Bethany Christian didn’t have a complete team.

The top five team and top 15 runners advance to the regional on Saturday at Ox Bow. The girls race begins at 9:30 a.m.

Also for the Raiders, senior Jennifer Schrock was third (19:35), senior Madie Royce fourth (19:57), senior Mandy Campbell sixth (20:03) and freshman Morgan Blyly 10th (20:14).

“Royce had a great night,” McClane said. “She missed three weeks of the season with walking pneumonia and she broke 20:00 for the first time. She has had a 20:00 personal best for a couple of years. She stepped up and was our third runner.

“Blyly was another one that stepped up. I put her in the lineup in place of (senior) Corinne Cominator. She ends up being our fifth runner. Seeing her makes you excited for the future of the Northridge program.”

The Goshen Redskins placed third in the team standings led by sophomore Adrienne Henke ninth (20:12), senior Jessica Wynn 19th (20:48), freshman Annelise Wiebe 22nd (21:03), senior Megan Graves 26th (21:32) and sophomore Tricia Place 28th (21:44).

“The girls ran well, but there is still room for improvement,” Goshen coach Mike Wynn said. “Our goal tonight was third, but we are going to have to step it up in Saturday.

“Having Wawasee finish just two points behind us opened our eyes. I think the girls realize now they have a challenge ahead of them on Saturday. I had hoped we could get a little closer to Memorial rather than  have Wawasee get closer to us.”

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