TERRE HAUTE —
Terre Haute North senior Chanli Mundy and Terre Haute South junior Jackson Bertoli won individually and helped make sure their teams posted convincing victories in the Vigo County cross country championships Wednesday afternoon at Rea Park.
In the 5-kilometer girls race, the No. 6-ranked Patriots had the top eight finishers — led by Mundy’s time of 19 minutes, 7.1 seconds — to outpoint South and West Vigo 15-50-85. Runner-up was North junior Jessi Conley, who crossed the finish line in 19:58.9.
“Things went pretty well,” assessed Mundy, who also won this race as a freshman in 2009 and as a junior in 2011. “I just wanted to keep a strong run. We have bigger goals for later on this season, so this is going to help us in October.”
Also worth noting is the injury-related absences of standouts Nikki Thiede, a junior from South, and TaPring Goatee, a senior from North. But that shouldn’t take anything away from Mundy’s performance.
“Chanli did run hard,” North girls coach Mike Dason noted. “She was very aggressive — not a bad time for running by herself. I’m very pleased. She came here wanting to win the county meet. Obviously, that takes a little wind out of her sails when Nikki’s not running. We’d like to have that competition, but I understand [why Thiede didn’t run]. TaPring’s not running because we’re trying to get her through some [knee] injuries and trying to get her ready for the state tournament.”
Meanwhile, Mundy described the course as “kinda boring.”
“It’s those moments when you just have to push yourself,” she mentioned.
From the South girls perspective, coach Ed Jarvis said Thiede is still dealing with plantar fasciitis in her foot.
“As a team, we’re doing better,” he continued. “It’s not all about Nikki. She wanted to be out here today, but she can’t. It’s one race a week [for her] and we have FlashRock [Invitational] on Saturday. That’s going to be almost a miniature state meet.”
Jarvis praised the effort of South freshman Katie Barton, who placed 14th overall (fourth among South runners) in 21:50.5 Wednesday.
West Vigo’s girls also were missing one of their top runners because Shaelynn White needed to tend to a family issue. The Vikings’ best finisher Wednesday was senior Acetha Tolerson, who was timed in 22:37.5 and placed 20th.
“All we were concerned about was our times,” West Vigo girls coach Steve DeGroote emphasized. “Finishing behind North and South doesn’t mean you’re not a good team. The kids ran hard. We’ve just got to stick with it and get healthy. By the end of the season, we’ll do OK.”
In the 5K boys race, South defeated North and West Vigo 21-41-82. Bertoli beat out sophomore teammate Spencer Danielson 16:44.5 to 16:45.3, although Bertoli may not have been running his hardest.
“We wanted to make sure we came out and got the win,” Bertoli explained. “This was really more of a team meet, making sure we came out and beat North… Personally, I felt pretty good. I wanted to take some guys along with me, hopefully get some new personal bests. Spencer Danielson has come a long way this year. He was running right behind me.”
“Jackson did what we wanted him to do and kinda paced our guys along,” pointed out coach Kyle Walsh, whose South boys team is ranked 15th in the state.
“He pulled Spencer to a personal-best time and second place. Spencer’s a sophomore and he’s ran the fastest time of his life in every single race this year. So he’s just getting better as the year goes along. It was exciting to watch those guys go one-two. Throughout that top pack, we had six, seven guys hanging in there, exactly like we wanted to have today. Doing that helped us win this meet.”
North boys coach Tom Dever said one of his usual top runners, Nathan Moshus, missed Wednesday’s meet because he rolled his ankle when he stopped on a rock in practice Monday. But he knew South would be difficult to beat anyway.
“This is kind of a mid-week meet for us,” Dever told the Tribune-Star. “We’re coming off a big meet last weekend at Brown County and we’ve got a big meet this weekend at FlashRock. So we’ve kinda trained through this.
“We need to compete a little bit better. I thought we let ‘em get away from us early on… We’re going to get better.”
North sophomore Peter Davis wasn’t far behind Bertoli and Danielson, finishing third in 16:52.4.
For West Vigo’s boys, their top finisher was sophomore Jonah Eckert, who came in 14th (18:08.9).
“I think he ran well,” West Vigo boys coach Bill Petscher said of Eckert. “It’s not his best time on the year, but I think he ran well.”
Petscher described his squad as “young and inexperienced.”
“We’re learning,” he added. “But I think the guys ran relatively well. It wasn’t their best race of the year, but they were fairly consistent. Like I said at the beginning of the season, I think we’ll continue to improve and hopefully be competitive by the end of the year.”
Team scores — Terre Haute North 15, Terre Haute South 50, West Vigo 85.
Top 30 — Chanli Mundy (THN) 19:07.1, Jessi Conley (THN) 19:58.9, Lindsay Welker (THN) 20:30.7, Laura Johnson (THN) 20:41.6, Mallory Sanders (THN) 20:45.9, Erin Buckallew (THN) 20:57.0, Annie Mullican (THN) 21:00.6, Sydney Dickerson (THN) 21:00.9, Rachel Stephens (THS) 21:02.7, Katie Schmidt (THS) 21:03.5.
Megan Howes (THN) 21:08.8, Kelsey Corr (THN) 21:27.8, Natalie Shanks (THS) 21:35.6, Katie Barton (THS) 21:50.5, Anna Nagy (THN) 21:51.4, Sami Holmes (THS) 21:59.5, Keeliegh Stigall (THN) 21:59.6, Kirsten Peterson (THS) 22:22.7, Aydee Dalina (THS) 22:25.0, Acetha Tolerson (WV) 22:37.5.
Morgan Morris (THN) 22:37.5, Maddie Plant (THN) 23:11.0, Kayla Dunagan (THN) 23:26.8, Kourtney Clark (THN) 23:30.1, Madison Smiley (THN) 23:38.1, Nicole Howe (THS) 23:40.0, Taylor Bunch (WV) 23:46.2, Sam Losier (THS) 23:52.1, Heidi Mattick (THN) 23:56.7, Kenzie Smokstad (THN) 24:11.4.
Team scores — Terre Haute South 21, Terre Haute North 41, West Vigo 82.
Top 30 — Jackson Bertoli (THS) 16:44.5, Spencer Danielson (THS) 16:45.3, Peter Davis (THN) 16:52.4, Justin Clapp (THN) 17:04.5, Isaac Wonderlin (THS) 17:08.7, Jack Harbaugh (THS) 17:16.2, Devon Fuson (THS) 17:18.1, Logan Hambrock (THS) 17:30.4, Jerad Fuson (THS) 17:34.5, Levi Elrod (THS) 17:49.8.
Jakob Decker (THS) 17:53.2, Travis Clapp (THN) 18:02.8, Dru Keith (THN) 18:06.0, Jonah Eckert (WV) 18:08.9, Matthew Barley (THS) 18:13.9, Stephen Koos (THN) 18:19.7, Chase Cresgy (THN) 18:27.8, Tyler Nemeth (THN) 18:28.6, Andrew Major (THS) 18:29.8, Harry Chambers (THN) 18:33.4.
Brice Snowden (THS) 18:35.0, Derek Braun (WV) 18:47.4, Caleb Paauwe (THN) 18:51.1, Jay Beddow (THN) 19:00.1, Austin Romanelly (WV) 19:01.7, Grant Potts (THN) 19:05.2, Briar Herb (THN) 19:32.2, Blake England (THS) 19:42.8, Kyle Jackson (THS) 19:45.7, Jake Kissinger (THN) 19:49.3.
Next — Both of South’s teams and North’s boys will compete Saturday in the FlashRock Invitational at Carmel. West Vigo will run Tuesday against Northview and Clay City at Northview. North’s girls will participate in the Culver Invitational on Sept. 22.