CENTER TWP. | Brian Blaylock had an advantage on a wet and rainy day at the Crown Point sectional Tuesday at Lemon Lake Park.
"It's fun (to run in the rain)," the Lowell runner said. "Nobody likes to race in the rain, so it's such an advantage if you like to and I don't mind it."
Blaylock finished first, individually, with a time of 16:16. His goal was to run under 16:15, but he was happy with his finish considering sloppy, course conditions.
Host Crown Point won both the boys and girls team trophies.
The Bulldogs had five runners finish in the top eight boys. The girls squad had five in the top 10 to win Crown Point's eighth consecutive sectional championship.
C.P.'s Tyler Gray was neck and neck with Blaylock until the winner made his move at about the two-mile mark. It was a little earlier than Blaylock planned and Gray expected.
"It kind of threw me off a little bit, but it was great on his part," Gray said. "It was a good race and Saturday (in the regional) should be even better."
Hobart's Celena Guerrero defended her individual title on the girls side. She posted a winning time of 19:30 despite what is either a stress fracture or "really bad tendonitis," she said.
Guerrero runs in meets, but hasn't practiced in three weeks. She rides the eliptical "aqua-jogs" in the pool, instead.
"I tried running earlier this week but I stopped because it hurt. And I've been taking anti-inflammatories and it's gotten better," Guerrero said. "It wasn't excruciating (during the race), so hopefully it's just tendonitis."
Guerrero's teammate Mindy Whidden finished second, 25 seconds later.
"We knew Kayla (McGurk) would probably be our biggest competition and she was from C.P.," Guerrero said. "So, we really wanted to try to sneak in there and finish 1, 2."
The other girls team advancing were Hobart, Hebron, Andrean and Hanover Central. On the boys side, Hobart, Lowell, Hebron and Merrillville will move on.
Blaylock had the only official time in the boys race. The timing mechanism got wet and failed to record times. A backup stop watch hadn't had its memory cleared before the race. The order of finish was accurate.