HOBART | She pushed, pulled, dragged, and dug.
As a result, Griffith junior Taylor Austin won her third straight Northwest Crossroads Conference individual cross country title Saturday at Big Maple Lake, defeating Andrean's Becca Conley by 16 seconds with a time of 19:10.
Last week at the Highland Invite, Conley decimated the competition in winning by 28 seconds.
"Last week, Becca beat me by a lot. I was really sore last week and I just wanted this one more," Austin said.
Austin, who doesn't like the course, and Conley were obviously in a league of their own, as they were the only two to break the 20-minute range.
"It's full of potholes, uneven footing and is very rocky," said Austin. "But I was able to push through the course and pain. Thanks to our hard work in practice, it made it easier for me because my teammates push me so hard."
After finishing second in Highland last week, KV took the girls conference title for the second straight year and third in five years thanks to freshman Michelle Kent's personal-best time of 20:39.
The Kougars had four girls finish in the Top 15.
"For the last couple of weeks, we've been on a roll," KV coach Lane Lewallen said. (Boys coach) Tim Adams' workouts got us going and I'm so proud of our seven girls. The strong conference helps prep us for the postseason and we're running with a lot on confidence."
On the boys side, Highland senior Jake Baranowski rebounded from last week's third-place finish at the Highland Invite by beating Lowell's Kyle Eller, who won last week.
Baranowski won the rematch by five seconds in 16:19.
"I used last week to motivate me for this week," Baranowski said. "Every week gets tougher and you just have to push a little bit harder."
The Hobart boys took the overall title with 59 points, just two ahead of Andrean, by having six runners finish in the Top 20.