The timing couldn’t have worked out much better for the Valley Cross Kickoff high school cross country meet Saturday morning at LaVern Gibson Championship Course.

Not only did the 652 runners who participated get to enjoy — for the most part anyway — much cooler weather than they’d been training in recently, but the event was completed and a brief awards ceremony conducted before the bad weather took over.

The resulting thunderstorm did prevent host Terre Haute South from celebrating what would have been one of the earliest Senior Days in history, but there’ll be other days for that.

“It was good weather,” South’s Cael Light agreed after the boys race that was run first. “I was actually hoping for it to rain a little.”

“It was a lot cooler than it has been,” agreed Northview freshman Halle Miller, who was the Wabash Valley’s top representative in the girls race that followed. “I’d rather have it hotter than cold though. I’d rather have 90 [degrees] than 30.”

Perhaps spurred by the temperatures in the high 60s, competitors in the boys race came out blazing — particularly Brebeuf’s Jack Kovach. He was just a few strides away from finishing the first race of the season in under 16 minutes, more than 20 seconds faster than the winner of the same event a year ago, and had plenty of company in the sub-17-minute category.

Two of those were Light and his South teammate Matt Gambill, who finished sixth and 11th respectively. Light was nearly a minute faster than he was in 2018.

“I came into this race as more of just a test run,” Light said afterward, “but I definitely did a lot better than last year. My training evolved during the summer, thanks to having a training partner like Matt.

“We [the Braves] came with a chip on our shoulder today too,” Light continued, “since [Terre Haute] North won the [recent Midnight] River Run.”

The Braves wound up seventh as a team and the Patriots — who had Nolan White under 17 minutes — were 10th. But not far behind Light, Gambill and White were Stuart Bennett and Thomas Chapman of Northview, also under 17 minutes, and the Knights finished fourth as a team to lead the Wabash Valley pack.

Conference Indiana rivals of the Braves and Patriots, Bloomington South and Bloomington North, were second and sixth respectively. And an ominous surprise — and apparently another potential semistate rival to watch for the Knights, Braves and Patriots — was a third-place team finish by Jasper.

Brebeuf had two of the three dominant individual runners in the girls race too, but both of them were run down late in the race by Lowell’s Karina James, whose winning time was 76 seconds ahead of the fourth-place runner.

Miller outdueled South’s Lily Barton and Micah Peals in a three-way battle for ninth place and the Knights — led by four other freshmen and sophomore returnee Evie Noel — were again fourth as a team.

“It was exciting,” Miller said of her first varsity race. “I was real excited to start the season; I’d only run a 3K [instead of the standard high school 5K distance] on an actual course . . . we hope to get faster though.”

South finished ninth as a team, with Clay City slipping past North to finish 12th with the Patriots 14th. 


Boys results

Team scores — Brebeuf 87, Bloomington South 98, Jasper 108, Northview 127, Batesville 157, Bloomington North 166, Terre Haute South 184, Westfield 208, West Lafayette 212, Terre Haute North 215, Bedford North Lawrence 303, Gibson Southern 317, Lafayette Jeff 412, White River Valley 432, Eastern Greene 441, Brown County 480, North Putnam 510, Southwood 517, Clinton Prairie 580, Clay City 582, West Vigo 583.

Top 10 — Jack Kovach (Breb) 16:05, Jackson Miller (J) 16:20, Braden Sweet (Swood) 16:34, Jack Gillard (BS) 16:36, Drew O’Neil (J) 16:38, Cael Light (THS) 16:38, Krisha Thirunavukkarasu (Breb) 16:38, Josh Miller (BS) 16:44, Abe Eckman (J) 16:47, Neal Alderson (BS) 16:51.

Northview — Stuart Bennett 16:54, Thomas Chapman 16:58, Corbin Butts 17:08, Braden Norris 17:20, Carter Mullenix 17:40, Jared Parkey 18:16, Zach Hapenny 18:39, Logan Graf 19:14, Hunter Strain 19:19, Braeden Knerr 19:26, Hank Slater 19:33, Miles Haviland 20:02, Tucker Thiel 20:20, Xander Shillings 20:29, Hunter Brown 20:32, Wesley Heiliger 21:30, Russell Butts 21:55, Gavin Jones 22:38, Connor Loughmiller 23:44, Hayden Slater 25:21, Michael Street 32:32.

Other South — Matt Gambill 16:52, Trey Browne 17:27, Eric Haworth 17:59, Isaac Hults 18:26, Tate Alcorn 19:25, Mason Cranford 19:31, Timothy Smith 19:42, Nathan McIntyre 19:44, Nick Bement 19:46, Gavin Oxley 20:21, Matthew Chaney 20:31, Sam Mallory 23:28, Ben Kocher 25:51.

Terre Haute North — Nolan White 16:54, Dylan Zeck 17:01, Ian Gadberry 17:52, Patrick O’Conner 18:10, Alex Ross 18:17, Paul O’Conner 18:40, Reece Lady 18:50, Isaac Ross 18:50, Davin Vanvactor 18:51, Anthony Adams 18:59, Trevor Ley 19:10, Braeden Heaton 19:11, Evan Adams 19:40, Jordan Way 19:45, Logan Nicoson 19:51, Garrett Wrightsman 19:54, Nate Egan 19:58, Nathan Roberts 20:07, Andre’ Ponsot 20:28, Michael Aimone 20:34, Hayden McCarty 20:51, Preston Dowell 21:15, Daniel Waltrip 21:21, Josiah Webb 21:26, Austin Fitzgerald 21:33, Kayden Keller 21:37, Gavin Conner 21:56, Isaac Kelly 22:22, George Shagley 24:33, Zach Miller 27:15, Ben Jaeger 28:48.

White River Valley — Joe Records 17:22, Eli Crites 18:59, Parker Stone 19:25, Tucker Kirkhoff 19:36, Tristen Kirkhoff 20:31, Brandt Driscoll 23:42, Brayton Robbins 26:13.

Clay City — Jacob Hogg 19:19, Ashton Schultz 20:19, Karter Neiswinger 20:22, Wyatt Adams 21:18, Clay Brown 21:29, Daniel Lowder 22:00, Braydon Baumgartner 22:50, Brock Skelton 23:38.

West Vigo — Levi Saude 18:35, Bryce Stateler 20:01, Griffin Akers 20:43, Trae Scott 21:39, Patrick Stewart 24:02.

Girls results

Team scores — West Lafayette 58, Westfield 114, Bloomington South 116, Northview 119, Lowell 126, Batesville 141, Brebeuf 147, Leo 216, Terre Haute South 225, Mt. Vernon 247, Jasper 295, Clay City 375, Gibson Southern 385, Terre Haute North 388, Bedford North Lawrence 486, Clinton Prairie 507, Owen Valley 509, North Putnam 514, White River Valley 529, West Vigo 533, Eastern Greene 556.

Top 10 — Karina James (Low) 18:29, Madeline Keller (Breb) 18:42, Zoe Simmons (Breb) 18:55, Caroline Jordan (WL) 19:45, Andi VanMeter (J) 19:53, Lily Pinckley (Bates) 19:57, Alli Steffey (WL) 20:09, Halle Miller (Nv) 20:24, Lily Barton (THS) 20:25, Micah Peals (THS) 20:31.

Other Northview — Evie Noel 20:38, Maisie Eldridge 20:58, Briley Shillings 21:28, Katie Morrison 21:31, Delaney Trout 23:51, Yahaira Martinez 25:41, Lindy Berry 25:51, Abby Bailey 29:00, Hannah Slater 31:00, Brianna Langdon 32:18, Addie Goodwin 36:38.

Other South — Ava Rose 22:37, Kaylee Auterson 23:01, Crispin Ewen 23:27, Kaya Tanner 23:34, Sophia Ewen 23:46, Aeryn Bradley 24:09, Sonya Woolston 24:24, Emma Shober 26:47, Maddie Klink 26:55, Diana Ikanovic 32:09.

Clay City — Macy Tucker 22:15, Lauren Thomas 22:53, Carlee Unger 22:57, Cambri Booe 23:17, Tara Arthur 26:59, Celeah Burton 27:24, Jadison Robinson 40:18.

Terre Haute North — Lauren Zeck 22:07, Emma Holder 23:05, Brinlee McCloud 23:29, Nahlee Gordon 23:49, Dru White 24:29, Hannah McBride 24:32, Haylee Chumley 25:40, Kaylen Gustafson 26:57, Taylor Lovett 27:09, Emma Lyunch 27:28, Kelsey Torpy 28:01, Kendall Crews 29:10, Hannah Petscher 29:26, Kaitlyn Burns 30:13.

White River Valley — Christiane Davis 22:45, Patricia Soliday 24:31, Anna Gamble 26:11, Olivia Cornelius 27:16, Lily Kuehn 37:04, Emma Records 39:17.

West Vigo — Sara Callecod 23:01, Maci Easton 24:25, Jasmyn Maurer 26:57, Sadie Herring 27:38, Whitley Hoesman 29:38, Kaelyn Hensley 31:31, Gretchen Parsons 31:46.

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