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West Lafayette boys, girls are leaders of the City/County pack
September 23, 2013Lafayette Jefferson High School
After coming off a big double win at the Western Invitational on Saturday, the West Lafayette boys and girls cross country teams kept the momentum going by sweeping to comfortable victories in the City/County meet at the Tippecanoe Amphitheater Tuesday evening.
Third-ranked West Lafayette occupied the first six places in the girls race for a perfect score of 15 points to runner-up Harrison’s 53. West Side’s Delaney Barber led the Red Devil pack with a time of 20:12.
The Red Devil boys were nearly as impressive. Evan Johnson, Dominic Patacsil, Cooper Williams and Jake Cohen essentially ran across the finish line at the same time (17:04), but Johnson was awarded first place.
Eighth-ranked West Lafayette scored 21 points to outdistance Lafayette Jeff (49). Broncho runners Cayce Griffin and Zach Vandiever finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
“We did exactly what we wanted to do today,” West Lafayette coach Steve Lewark said. “I’m lucky because I don’t have to motivate these kids. They have high expectations and goals, and they go out and work for them.
“The boys are ranked eighth, but they want to be in the top 5. The girls finished second in state last year and while we may not have the same depth as last year they are determined and want to repeat.”
That showedas the Red Devils concentrated on running in packs to push their teammates.
“We wanted to come out here and get a City/County title,” Cohen said. “Our momentum is at an all-time high. We want to be able to keep this going to maybe a semistate title and go further if we run the right times.”
Barber, who helped West Lafayette upset No. 1 Carmel at Western on Saturday, agreed that team performance took precedence.
“We were just hoping to get PRs and push each other as a team,” Barber said. “We really tried to encourage each other. I think it helped our mental standpoint as a team.”
Harrison’s Olivia Johnson managed to get in the mix with the West Lafayette runners, finishing seventh at 20:29.
“It was great to be up there and run against them,” Johnson said. “My goal was top five but that didn’t happen. It was a good race for today but I hope to be better throughout the season.”
Lafayette Jeff beat out McCutcheon 49-60 for second place in the boys division. The Mavericks’ Justin Berryman and A.J. Funk finished seventh and eighth, respectively.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way the boys competed,” Lafayette Jeff coach Dave Howell said. “They did a great job. Now we have to go back to work tomorrow and be ready to run here again on Saturday.”
McCutcheon coach Larry Boener said Funk’s time of 17:15 was uplifting, and he hopes it is a breakthrough.
“He really stepped up, ran a PR, something he hadn’t done since his sophomore year,” Boener said. “I think that was a big thing for him mentally.”