Prep cross country | Regional preview

LaCrosse cross country teams both qualify for regional for first time

2012-10-12T19:00:00Z 2012-10-13T01:26:07Z LaCrosse cross country teams both qualify for regional for first timeJim Peters jim.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com
October 12, 2012 7:00 pm  • 

With an enrollment of about 100, there aren't that many more students walking the halls at LaCrosse High School than Valparaiso has on its cross country teams.

But the beauty of the sport is you need only five for a team score.

The Tigers, with 15 runners between their squads, advanced both the girls and boys to today's New Prairie Regional, the first time it's been done in school history.

"It hasn't been a boys and girls team. It's been one team," LaCrosse coach Brian McMahan said. "Being so small and having one coach, it's easy to see yourself as one team. They practice together and do the same stuff. Of the 15 kids, seven of them are seniors, and they really wanted it."

The LaCrosse boys placed a solid third at Tuesday's Rensselaer Sectional, paced by Nate Rhodes (fourth) and Riley Charlesworth (12th). The Tigers girls claimed the fifth and final qualifying spot, edging North Newton by six points.

"We knew the boys were going to get out," McMahan said. "The girls, after their weak finish in the PCC, we weren't sure of their chances. It felt similar to two years ago, when the boys made it. Everyone ran a perfect race for us. The only place to run in LaCrosse is on the street. We run on pavement year-round, so they're used to flat courses like Rensselaer."

Three LaCrosse girls recorded personal bests of more than a minute.

"It feels really good," said Taylor Guse, who placed 12th. "We didn't think we were going to make it past the sectional. Everyone was surprised we did. It shows how much work we've put in. We've done a lot of work we haven't done in the past, and it's paid off."

The regional berth is the girls' first since 1997, and the feat wasn't lost on the school's towns of Wanatah and LaCrosse. The team bus received an escort from the Dewey and Cass township fire departments about three miles from the high school all the way to Wanatah and back. As they drove north up U.S. 421, residents cheered the teams along the county roads, with tractors and combines flashing their lights on the side roads. Supporters followed the parade to Wanatah, where people came out of their houses to applaud them. By the time the bus made it back to LaCrosse, there were about 30 cars following the parade.

"It was like nothing I've ever experienced, the two towns coming together as one," Guse said. "It was neat to see. The whole bus ride, everyone was really excited. We were all yelling out the windows."

The teams were also honored with a pep rally after school Friday.

"(Wednesday), everyone was coming in and congratulating us," Guse said. "There's more school pride than in the past. It's something I'll definitely remember later on."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Who was the area's best baseball player this season?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Featured Businesses