BY TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — Kokomo’s boys cross country team won the 17-team Tipton Invitational on Saturday with 52 points, aided by a sizzling time from meet winner Jeremy Breedlove. Wes-Del was second with 79 and Tipton third with 84. Maconaquah was ninth with 206. Taylor was incomplete.
Breedlove was first in a time of 15:57. Also for the Kats, Ethan Sharp was fifth in 16:56, Jordan Fivecoate was eighth in 17:14, Jadyn Whitehead was 18th in 18:05, and Colten Pearce was 20th in 18:18.
“The course was not as fast as we thought it was going to be because it was wet, it was muddy, it was slippery around the turns, and we still ran within two seconds of our all-time [best] team time so we were pretty happy with the way we ran,” Kokomo coach Ricke Stucker said.
“That’s the second time [Breedlove] has been under 16 minutes and that is very rare in cross country. You don’t break 16 minutes very often. Usually if you do, you’re a school record holder and going to the state tournament. If we can keep him healthy, he’ll go pretty far in the tournament series I think.”
Nathan Gonzalez led Tipton with a third-place finish in 16:40.
For Taylor, Stephen Sholty was 64th in a time of 20:50, Kaleil Rucker was 69th in 21:04, Nick Denman was 73rd in 21:18, and Alex Guy was 85th in 22:26.
“I think the cool weather actually gave them [a boost]. Three of them had season-best efforts,” Taylor coach Matt Carlile said. “It was a good course for them.”
New Prairie Invitational
Eastern, Western and Northwestern took part in the Class 2A race at New Prairie, which is the semistate site. The Class 2A race brought together approximately 30 schools. Eastern opted to move up to Class 2A from the smaller Class A.
Individually, Eastern’s Lewis Duke led all locals with a second-place finish in 16:16.8. Western’s Matt Grider was third in 16:23.
“Lewis continues to run very well,” Eastern coach Brandon Mink said. “He was probably only 13th place around the mile. He didn’t neccesarily pick the pace up so much as that he paces so evenly, the other guys come back to him. He just really knows how to time his final surge and kick. The last mile, he went from sixth to second, just picking guys off right at the end. It was an exciting way to finish the race.”
Eastern’s other runners were: Brenton Cherry (107th place, 19:04.3); Trevor Buchanan (129th, 19:44.6); Matt Kerner (147th, 20:19) and Evan Hursh (176th, 21:39.6).
Western’s other top runners were: Riley Carter (30th, 17:28.4); Caleb Maddox (45th, 17:50.8); Auston Davenport (49th, 17:54.8) and Austin Elliott (74th, 18:24.7).
Northwestern’s top runners were: Zach Duranto (40th, 17:37.2); Shad Jakes (72nd, 18:20.3); Charlie Neher (96th, 18:47.9); Taylor McLain (122nd, 19:30.4) and Josh Perry (145th, 20:16.7).
“Zach Duranto ran a pretty good race, a very good race,” NW coach Dave Stevens said. “We had two or three other guys that ran course bests. I was pretty proud of that.”
Southwood won the 17-team invitational with a score of 54, Hamilton Heights was second with 82, and Maconaquah was third with 86. Cass was sixth with 158, Tipton was seventh with 178, and Kokomo was 10th with 202. Taylor was incomplete.
Olivia Winegardner was fifth to lead Maconaquah in 20:39. Also for the Braves, Kate White was sixth (20:43), Vanessa Frazier was 17th (21:59, Amanda Shinn was 28th (22:41) and Bekah Shinn was 44th (24:29).
Katheryn Myers led Tipton in 26th in 22:38. Cimmanon Andrews was 10th in 21:03 to lead Kokomo.
Paige Welsh was 38th to lead Taylor in a time of 23:41, Ashley Nguyen was 62nd in 27:09, Aly Davis was 77nd in 29:17, Kiley Williams was 79th in 33:15.
“The weather conditions were just ideal and three of them had season-best times,” Taylor coach Carlile said.
New Prairie Invitational
Eastern posted a sixth-place finish in the 26-team Class 2A race at New Prairie, which is the semistate site. Eastern moved up to Class 2A (the bigger of two races) to test itself against potential regional and semistate opponents. West Lafayette took the team title.
The Comets put three runners in the top 20 — Carly Jones (13th, 20:00.3), Avery Ewing (17th, 20:24.1) and Jessie Sprinkles (19th, 20:24.4). Also for the Comets, Kaylie Forgave was 57th in 21:42.6 and Elyssa DeAngulo was 94th in 22:45.1.
“I was hoping to get those three girls in the top 20 so we accomplished that goal,” Eastern skipper Mink said. “The more we can get those girls working together during races, that’s just going to help us down the road. We were pretty much dead-on what I was hoping for points-wise. We were just a few points back of Rochester, which is in our regional. We nipped them earlier in the year at the Western Invite and they nipped us this time.
“Kaylie Forgrave did a great job in a big event,” Mink added, noting the race had about 200 runners. “She just worked her way up through the race.”
Western and Northwestern also ran in the Class 2A race.
The Tigers’ Taryn Thor led all local runners with an eighth-place finish. She covered the course in 19:18.8. The Tigers’ other top five runners were: Karly Sprouse (80th, 22:19.4); Kinda Gingerich (85th, 22:27.5); Jensen Freeman (95th, 22:45.8) and Nicole Crocker (98th, 22:50.1).
“Taryn ran very strong for the eighth-place finish,” NW coach Stevens said. “She’s led us all year with sub-20 minute races. I was really proud of her getting a medal. The rest of my girls, two through six, ran within less than a minute of each other. That was very good grouping. I’m really glad to see that, that benefits you the rest of the season.”
Western’s top five were: Nicole Hampshire (16th, 20:11.7); Samantha Luginbuhl (53rd, 21:35.6); Emma Nixon (72nd, 22:05.7); Jama Claxton (87th, 22:30.4) and Taylor Nunan (107th, 23:17.1).
“Nicole did an excellent job once again, exceeding her goal. Last week at Maconaquah she set the school record with a 19:53, so for her to turn around and have another consistent race was great to see,” Western coach Joni McCracken said. “Overall, all the girls did a nice job having the opportunity to run on their semistate course.”
Taylor won three of the four positions to take the eight-team tournament with a total of 28 points. Western Boone was second, Benton Central third, Western was fourth and Carroll was eighth.
Taylor ace Jack Lipchik won the No. 1 singles competition defeating a rival from Carroll 6-0, 6-0, beating Western’s Judson Quinn 6-2, 6-1, and topping a WeBo player for the title 6-1, 6-1. Quinn, who had topped Lipchik on Thursday during a MIC showdown, entered Saturday’s match unbeaten.
“That’s the best Jack’s played all year,” Taylor coach Dave Wise said. “Against the Western boy, [Quinn] had just beat him and the Western boy was undefeated going into that match, so the 6-2, 6-1 win was a really impressive win. Jack’s day was outstanding.”
The Taylor 1 doubles team of Austin Douglas and Cole Schroeder beat Benton Central 7-5, 6-2, beat WeBo 6-4, 6-2 and ended with a victory over Delphi’s squad 6-2, 6-4 in the final. And the No. 2 tandem of Camden Kimbler and Casey Glick beat Western’s Kaleb Howard and Luke Florek in their opener 4-6, 6-3, 10-8, then beat BC 6-0, 6-2, and last beat WeBo’s tandem 6-3, 6-2 in the championship.
Connor Leicht went 1-2 at No. 2 singles, topping a Delphi rival 8-2.
“Both doubles teams had some really good matches throughout,” Wise said. “At the coaches meeting, we certainly weren’t the favorite. Benton Central and Western Boone were both 10-2 on the season. There were some good matches, but we just played solid doubles all day long.”
Northwestern earned a second-place finish in Knox’s eight-team invite.
The Tigers’ top showing came at No. 1 doubles where Will Devaul and Joel Austin went a perfect 3-0 and won the title.
Also for the Tigers, No. 1 singles player Clayton Douglass (2-1) and the No. 2 doubles team of Kyle Douglass and Brayden Chou (2-1) had runner-up finishes.
“I was proud of our whole team. They kept their composure and competed all day which is all I could ask for as a coach,” NW skipper Matt Woods said. “Noah Cardwell stepped in at 3 singles for us and got a big win. The thing with these individual tournaments is that each win is worth at least some points. Our guys really took that to heart and put the team above themselves.
“We are very young but the experience these young guys are getting is priceless. Will and Joel finally got their mojo back at 1 doubles after struggling for a week or so and it’s just in time for the home stretch.”
Richmond 4, Kokomo 1Muncie C. 4, Kokomo 1
Against Richmond, Kokomo’s No. 1 doubles team of Erik Bowen and Brad Dockemeyer won 6-1, 7-6. And against Muncie Central, the No. 2 tandem of Jake Farkas and Blake Brookshire won 6-1, 6-0.
“I really feel like our guys fought and we competed hard in both matches,” Kokomo coach Shawn Flanary said. “The scores may not show it but they were very winnable and close, we battled every spot. We had a good day at doubles. Muncie Central came in with I think an 11-3 record, Richmond came in with a 9-3 record, just two good teams.”
Kokomo is 5-11 overall and 1-4 in NCC play.
Eastern won the four-team tournament, beating Taylor 25-15, 25-16 in the opening round and beating North Miami 26-24, 26-24 in the title match.
“It was a good day. I felt like it was probably the most consistent that we’ve played this season so I was very happy with that,” Eastern coach Missy Mavrick said,
“We’ve struggled with putting oursevles in a hole in several of our matches this season and that’s something that we did not do, especially in that championship match. We held the lead that match and was able to finish it off.”
The Comets (11-6) had several contributors. Lizzy Mavrick totaled 23 kills, 19 digs and 11 serve receptions over the two matches. Also for Eastern, Hannah Williams recorded eight kills, 11 digs, five blocks and 15 service points, Gabby Castillo had 11 kills and four blocks, Quinlyn Hochstedler had 49 assists and 10 points, Courntey Clark had 17 serve receptions and 15 digs, Hannah Broo had 13 points and a dozen serve receptions and Maddie Vint had 13 points (five aces) and 10 digs.
Tri-Central beat Kouts 25-22, 22-25, 15-7, then beat Caston 25-20, 25-16, and then beat Tri 16-25, 25-15, 15-6 in the championship to win its own six-team tournament.
Whitney Revolt had 26 kills for the day, and Shelby Ramsey had 25. Tara Davis had 48 assists. Haley Farris had 69 digs and Cecelia Rayl had 45. Ramsey had nine blocks and Hadley DeWeese had seven. Farris had 22 service points and Kaylee Colbert had 15.
“We played really well,” TC coach Ron Byram said. “Haley and Cecelia did a great job of serve reception, which then led to a fairly strong offensive performance. Kloe Derossett has worked her way into a back row position and made a lot of key defensive plays.
The Trojans improved to 10-8 on the season after winning all five matches this week.
“They had a goal for the week to win all five. They went out and did it [Saturday],” Byram said.
TC hosts Carroll on Tuesday. The varsity match has been moved to 5:30 p.m. because Carroll doesn’t have a JV squad.