West Lafayette 8 remain leaders of City/County girls' pack - McCutcheon boys also extend reign
September 5, 2012West Lafayette Jr.-Sr. High School
West Lafayette’s girls cross country team knows what it will take to win astate championship.
After narrow losses to Carmel in the Greyhounds’ invitational earlier this month and last weekend at Purdue, the Red Devils know they’ll have to find a way to outscore the two-time defending state champions at the state finals.
“We’re going to get them. It’s only a matter of time,” said WL senior Bobbie Burgess, who broke Jessica Gall’s school record with a 17:56.7 at the Carmel Invite two weeks ago. “Just being this close to them right now is huge for us.”
On Tuesday, the Red Devils didn’t have to worry about Carmel and instead eased to another City/County title by taking the top eight spots. Burgess was followed by Cailey Daluga, Delaney Barber, Kristen Johnson and Lauren Johnson to give WL a perfect score of 15 points.
McCutcheon’s boys repeated as City/County champions behind a 1-2-3 showing. Jacob Wickes won the race in 16:48.87 followed by Mason McKinney and Jacob Wethington.
The Mavericks placed their five scorers in the top 14 to outscore runner-up West Lafayette 31-42.
“Me and Mason have just been battling it out. It came down to the end and we were pushing each other. It was anybody’s game,” Wickes said. “I wouldn’t be here without him. That’s all I’ve been chasing in practice was Mason every day, chasing him every day and seeing if I can compete with him. He still kicks my butt in a lot of workouts, but we push each other.”
Harrison’s Jacob Payne and WL’s Jake Cohen rounded out the top five boys.
In the girls race, WL’s strategy was to group together and pace Susan Hubbard, who finished eighth, to try to get her a personal record.
“It felt like we were just on a regular tempo run and having fun and cheering on a teammate we were trying to get a PR for,” Barber said. “It’s nice going up that hill and not feeling tired. It’s a real confidence booster because you just ran under 20 minutes, but it felt easy.”
Harrison’s Sarah Childs and Megan Boone finished ninth and 10th respectively and were the only non-WL runners in the top 11. Harrison freshman Olivia Johnson, the Raiders’ top runner, did not compete after tweaking an ankle on Saturday.
With the City/County meet behind them, the Red Devils begin their march towards chasing down Carmel.
“We know what we’re capable of at this point and as long as everyone stays healthy, we aren’t beatable,” Burgess said. “That is such a good feeling. It sort of puts a target on our back. Carmel knows we’re coming for them, but we’ll take that.”