MERRILLVILLE | Things become a lot easier when a runner can't see his or her nearest competitor after only a lap or two.
Bishop Noll's Sal Cordova jumped out to an early lead in the 1,600-meter run at the Andrean Invitational on Friday. When the Warriors senior crossed the finish line, his closest competitor was more than 100 meters back.
"Bringing down the time every meet, that's the motivation right there," Cordova said. "Working toward conference and winning conference, that's my motivation."
Andrean swept the team scores, though, winning the boys with 166 points and the girls with 152.
Cordova posted a time of 4 minutes, 37.06 seconds, a personal record and a second better than the personal best he set at the Highland Invitational on Wednesday.
"All the offseason hard work, it comes in now, and it's starting to pay off," Cordova said. "I think it's just about wanting to do it and getting in the right mindset."
Alyson Janiga was in a similar situation for the host 59ers in the girls version of the 1,600. Her 5:58.98 was nearly 30 seconds in front of the second-place finisher.
"(Teamates Kellyn Vale and Kaycee Crist and I) have this on-going joke that we don't race our competitors, we race each other," Janiga said. "We're always thinking, 'This is the time I need to beat, because I need to beat her.'"
Janiga said her goal was to hit 5:40, but Andrean was running its third meet in four days. She also won the 3,200 meters.
"I was kind of really tired. I warmed up really early," Janiga said. "It's been a long week."
Bishop Noll's Shana Cooper won the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and ran a decisive leg on the 400-meter relay.
"I was thinking (when I took the baton), 'I've got to get this. We've got to win,'" Cooper said. "Every time I get that spotlight, I just want to go get it, go win. I think I kind of took it over."
Anthony Flemming was nearly a foot better than his closest rival in the long jump. The Hammond senior posted a 21-3 jump, more than a foot better than his own jump Wednesday.
"It feels good, but I know I can do better," Flemming said. "We've got three weeks, and I've got to get to a 22 (-foot jump). I think I can get to that."