By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — Western cross country standout Matt Grider had a race to remember Saturday.
Grider roared to victory in the Western Invitational at Oakbrook Valley, turning in a course-record time of 15:57 and becoming the first to crack 16:00. Runner-up Cooper Williams of West Lafayette tied the old record of 16:08.
“Matt looked great,” Western coach Gary Jewell said. “That’s a really good time for this course. Our course can be slow or it can be fast depending on how you run it. Matt went out conservatively, then hammered the middle part of the course in the second and third kilometers. He showed why he is one of the best in the state.”
No. 10-ranked West Lafayette won the meet with a score of 34. No. 9 Westfield (41), No. 17 Terre Haute South (124), Kokomo (155) and Western (160) rounded out the top five in a field of 15 complete teams. Tipton was ninth, Northwestern (314) was 12th, Maconaquah was 15th and Eastern had an incomplete team.
Former Western standout Kyle Walsh is Terre Haute South’s coach. Jewell noted Walsh’s squad ran without its top two runners.
Western’s other runners included Auston Davenport (26th, 17:44), Jacob Bradshaw (40th, 18:22), Caleb Maddox (45th, 18:28), Mark Boss (52nd, 18:44) and Riley Carter (53rd, 18:47).
“We ran better than we did last week when we were at Fountain Central, but we can be a lot better than this,” Jewell said. “Riley Carter had a little [asthma] problem with the humidity and it’s a little dusty out there. That badly affected his race. He is normally our No. 2 runner.”
Kokomo coach Ricke Stucker liked his squad’s showing. The Kats cut 12 seconds off their team time and reduced their gap time (1-5) by 39 seconds. Five of their top seven runners set personal-best times.
The Kats’ top five runners were: Jeremy Breedlove (ninth place, 16:54); Jordan Fivecoate (23rd, 17:38); Ethan Sharp (24th, 17:39); Max McHaney (48th, 18:35) and Jadyn Whitehead (56th, 18:49).
Northwestern’s top five runners were: Zach Duranto (31st, 17:58); Charlier Neher (43rd, 18:26); Taylor McLain (76th, 20:07); Josh Perry (78th, 20:10) and Josh Garner (96th, 21:46).
“We had a really tough week of practice and I think the heat got to some of them a little bit [Saturday], but I thought they did all right,” Northwestern coach Dave Stevens said. “We had two or three guys set course bests.”
Eastern’s girls squad led the local contingent in the 13-team invitational by placing fourth.
West Lafayette won the meet with a score of 37, Carmel was second at 41, Fishers was third at 99, Eastern was fourth with 163, Western was ninth with 212, Northwestern was 10th with 254, Maconaquah was 12th with 310, and Tipton was 13th with 379. West Lafayette’s Lauren Johnson was the overall winner in a time of 18:50.
Avery Ewing was 18th to lead Eastern in a time of 20:18. Jessie Sprinkles was 22nd (20:39), Carly Jones was 23rd (20:41) and Kaylie Forgrave was 42nd (22:03) and Elyssa DeAngulo was 67th (23:41).
“It was our first 5K,” Eastern coach Brandon Mink said. “Most of the girls that have had experience ran better this year than in previous years. I was especially pleased with our fourth and fifth girls. Kaylie Forgrave, it was her first 5K ever and she did a great job. And Elyssa DeAngulo, it was the first time she’d really nailed down a fifth spot for us. She really came through for us and took quite a bit of time off from where she had been.
“The top three really came through too. To nail down a fourth place was really special considering the caliber of teams that were there this year.”
Taryn Thor led Northwestern with a ninth-place finish in 19:25. The Tigers’ other top runners were Kindra Gingerich (57th, 23:19), Karly Sprouse (64th, 23:35), Rachel Johns (70th, 24:04) and Nicole Crocker (77th, 24:30).
“Taryn broke our school record. The old record was 20:00 so she broke that by 35 seconds,” NW coach Dave Stevens said. “I’m not disappointed in the girls’ performance. We ran really hard this week.”
Western (4-0-1) will be playing Mishawaka in the championship game of the invitational on Monday after beating Michigan City Marquette 4-0, and tying host Plymouth 2-2 in two games.
In the game against Marquette, Mason May led Western with two goals, and Jordan Roe and Chris Carter each added a goal. Nick Bewley, Zac Simpson and Nick Downing each had assists, and Panthers goalie Edgar Sanchez came up with five saves.
Downing and Roe each scored a goal in the tie against Plymouth. May added an assist, and Sanchez had nine saves.
“The whole team effort was awesome,” Western coach Mike Roe said. “Both games we played were like a highlight reel. The Boys passed the ball well. It was a great opportunity for us.”
EASTERN 1, CARROLL 0
Jordan VanMater scored the winner deep in the second half on a feed from Darren Bellow to lift the Comets to victory. Delon Tuggle had seven saves in the nets for Eastern.
“[Carroll is a] tough team over here, they’ve got a really good goalie,” Eastern coach John VanMatre said. “We had several good opportunities and he did a great job stopping us. They had several good looks also. All seven of the stops Dalon had we needed. It was a tough battle. We didn’t score til three minutes left in the game.”
RICHMOND 3, KOKOMO 2
Kokomo (2-2, 0-1 NCC) battled back from a 3-0 halftime deficit, but it wasn’t enough in a one-goal loss.
“We were constantly down on Richmond’s side of its goal 80-percent of the time,” Kokomo coach Kevin Duggins said. “We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities, and Richmond did. We are a little rusty right now.”
Taylor Coram and Cheyenne Eltrighan each scored a goal for the Wildkats, and goalie Catherine Skaggs had three saves.
HOT DOG INVITATIONAL
Taylor (0-2-1) lost its opener in the invite 1-0 to host school Frankfort, then tied Tri-Central 1-1 in the consolation match.
Against Frankfort, goalie Lydia Owens had 13 saves.
“We played pretty well in that game, but we’re playing right now with 12, or at least [Saturday] we did,” said Taylor coach John Piotrowicz, whose team is dealing with injuries. “They had a lot more subs and [could maintain more] pressure and that was the difference.”
In the third-place match, Taylor’s Savannah Delgado scored in the first half to open the scoring after a feed by goalie Owens. TC equalized midway through the second half.
“We played much better [Saturday],” Piotrowicz said. “That’s just our third match of the year so this week we’ve been trying to get organized. I think our defense has definitely come together, so we need to get the front end next.”
Eastern posted a 2-1 record in the invitational with victories over Southern Wells (25-15, 25-16) and Lakeland (25-10, 25-20). Northfield beat Eastern 26-28, 25-19, 15-10 in the Comets’ middle match of the day.
“I thought we played a lot more consistent, which is something we’ve been working on. I thought all the girls did a good job with that,” Eastern coach Missy Mavrick said. “I thought against Northfield, we played excellent defense. They have about three good hitters and we did a great job blocking against them also.”
Lizzy Mavrick totaled 29 kills, 36 serve receptions and 24 digs over the three matches to lead the Comets (5-5). Also for the Greentown gang, Hannah Williams had 18 kills, a dozen digs and 22 service points; Gabby Castillo had 18 kills and three block kills; Quinlyn Hochstedler had 75 assists, seven kills, four blocks and two block kills; Hannah Broo served 16 points (four aces); and Courtney Clark contributed 20 serve receptions and 20 digs.
Tri-Central went 1-2 in the Manchester Invitational. The Trojans opened with a victory over the host Squires (25-21, 25-19), then dropped matches to Lakewood Park Christian (25-17, 25-18) and Tippecanoe Valley (25-21, 25-17).
Hadley DeWeese had 16 kills for TC. Tara Davis had 27 assists.
North Central Invite
Kokomo took part in North Central High School’s 16-team invitational, which featured 14 ranked squads. No. 11 Terre Haute South won one of the flights and No. 2 Carmel won the other.
The Wildkats played in the same flight as Terre Haute South. The Kats finished last. Jake Farkas and Joey Hurlocker provided a highlight with a win at No. 2 doubles against a Valparaiso tandem.
“A day like this can help us learn a lot,” Kokomo coach Shawn Flanary said. “For a lot of our guys, this is their first year of varsity tennis so any time we get the opportunity to go play against the best, it can only make us better. I think it was a good learning experience. I think we showed progress at many of the positions throughout the day.
“We have to get better. Hopefully this was a step in that direction.”
Culver (180), Peru (193), John Glenn (206)
Peru moved to 9-3 following the split in a weather-shortened match. Mallory Zorn and Madison Deniston each shot 44 to lead the Bengals, Olivia Sharp had a 51 and Mallory Struble had a 54.