On Saturday, October 5, the New Castle Girls’ and Boys’ Cross Country Teams traveled to Pendleton Heights High School to compete in the Hoosier Heritage Conference (HHC) meet. After training for weeks in high temperatures with high humidity, the weather had changed on Saturday morning and was very conducive for racing. Temperatures were in the high 50s to low 60s, skies were sunny, with no wind, and low humidity. As is the case with most sports, the HHC is a very competitive conference and athletes must perform at a very high level to earn All-Conference honors. Week after week the Trojan Harriers have challenged themselves and tested their resolve to push their limits over the course of the 5K distance. Cross Country is a sport where each athlete knows going into each race that they are going to have to push through the pain to see where their limits lie. The Trojan harriers all gave everything they had during HHC competition. All the New Castle athletes showed up to race and compete to the best of their abilities with goals for a personal best, a varsity roster spot, or for All-Conference.
The New Castle Girls, again competing with an incomplete team, made their presence know at the HHC meet on Saturday. Freshmen Lydia Harvey and Ella Garvin have had a very strong first season for the Trojans and on Saturday they stepped-up their game even more. Both Harvey and Garvin had well defined race strategies before the starting gun, as they have raced against most of their HHC competitors multiple times earlier this season. Both executed their plans well as the entire race as they stayed near the top of the field of 48. At the start Harvey got out with the leaders and established herself in third place by the 800 meter mark. Harvey looked very strong, confident, and on a mission throughout the race to place in the top three. Top runners from Greenfield and New Palestine broke away from the pack very early in the race and that left Harvey by herself in third with a large pack behind her in hot pursuit. After breaking away from the pack, Harvey ran the entire 3.1 miles by herself with the leaders in sight and the next pack about 80 to 100 meters behind. Harvey eclipsed the first mile right where she wanted to be with a split of 5 minutes 57 seconds and held strong the second mile with a 6:25 split. During the final mile, Harvey continued looking confident with the pack slowly closing in on her. In the final 800 meters the pack continued to close and Harvey knew if she wanted to hold in third place she would have to find her final kick to the finish line. In the last 200 meters dug deep to surge to the tape with a New Palestine runner in hot pursuit. Ultimately, at the finish line Harvey had stood her ground in 3rd place holding onto a 2 second gap over the fourth place runner. It was an incredibly impressive race by Harvey earning All-Conference honors and her time of 19:45.49 was a personal best by over seven seconds and within six seconds of the New Castle girls 5K school record.
Garvin also ran an exceptional race. During the previous few weeks, Garvin had put in a series of consistent meets and solid workouts that displayed every sign that a breakout race was in her near future. Saturday was that day. Garvin had her sights on an All-Conference (top 15) placing. From the start, Garvin positioned herself within a pack of competitors within striking distance of the top 15. Garvin’s first mile split of 6 minutes 19 seconds was a blistering pace, 15 seconds faster than she had eclipsed any first mile yet this season. Garvin’s second mile was an equally impressive 7:06 split as she stayed within the top 20 battling back and forth with other competitors every step along the way. In the brutal last mile of the race Garvin was as high in the standings as 18th place as she ran one of her fastest final mile splits of the season while continuing to trade places with other opponents. At the tape, Garvin finished 19th with a personal best of 21:28.51 which was twenty-five seconds faster than she had ever run before. Junior Audra McClure, had a solid race while struggling with extreme pain in her lower back. McClure fought through the pain and finished with a solid time of 31:53.60.
The NC girls team start their State Tournament competition next Saturday, October 12 at 11:15am with the Sectional Meet hosted at Connersville High School.
Trojan Girls Results Summary:
Place Time Name
3 19:45.49 Lydia Harvey
19 21:28.51 Ella Garvin
48 31:52.60 Audra McClure
Complete HHC results can be found at the following links:
Girls Varsity Results: