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JASPER - Jasper's cross country invitational is generally a preview of the sectional to be held on the same course two weeks later.
That should be encouraging to Perry Central's boys team, which won the invitational by 48 points over runner-up Heritage Hills Tuesday.
"The guys had a nice meet tonight," said Perry Central Coach Jason Barnett.
Tell City finished fifth in the 10-team meet with 122 points, though the Marksmen ran without their No. 1 runner, Alex Fenn, who is expected to be back for the PAC meet and sectional.
The news was less encouraging for Perry County's girls teams, as Tell City finished fourth and Perry Central sixth.
All five Perry Central scorers in the boys race placed in the top 20 of the 121-runner field.
Jake Schwartz was fifth in 16:55, Michael Ernst ninth in 17:19, Eric Scheiber 11th in 17:21, Ian Bashor 13th in 17:42, and Neal Schwartz 20th in 18:15.
Three other Commodores finished in the top 50. Jacob Schwartz was 27th in 18:27, Noah Gatwood 40th in 18:59, and Kyle Troesch 50th in 19:21.
Freshman Darian Allen led Tell City, placing 22nd in 18:20.
Jordan Alvey was 23rd in 18:22, Devin McDaniel 25th in 18:25, Nick Bower 28th in 18:29, and Jeremy Kellems 34th in 18:43 to complete the Marksmen's scoring.
Justin Peter, 35th in 18:48, also finished in the top 50.
"Overall I'm pretty pleased, with what we had," said Tell City Coach Chris Hollinden.
"Our two freshmen are really starting to step up and we've got a good pack right now. There was only nine seconds between our first and fourth guys, which would normally be our second and fifth guys."
Tell City freshman Sarah Goffinet placed second in the girls race in 20:38. Teammate Tiffany Davis was fourth in 21:15 and Andyn Rowe was 10th in 21:41.
Brittany Waninger was 32nd in 23:16 and Erika Hauenstein 58th in 25:32 to complete the Marksmen's scoring.
Perry Central ran without No. 1 runner Rachael Rayford, whose podiatrist told her not to run for nine days because of a swollen bone in her right foot.
And Brianna Crockett, usually the team's No. 2 runner, dropped out with a mile left when she turned an ankle.
Still the Commodores had three of the top 15 finishers.
Susan Schwartz placed fifth in 21:23, Lavina Schwartz sixth in 21:25, and Amy Schwartz 15th in 22:12.
Robbi Thomas was 61st in 25:50 and Katie Schwartz 81st in 27:51 to complete the Commodores' scoring.
Heritage Hills won the meet with 70 points, 28 ahead of runner-up Northeast Dubois.
"It looks like Heritage Hills is favored to win the girls sectional now," said Barnett. "But we probably would've beaten them if we had all our girls healthy. They had four in the top 15 but we could've had five in the top 15.
"I definitely think we can make it to the regional even if Rachael can't run (in the sectional)."
Perry Central will run the PLAC meet at Paoli Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Tell City will compete in the PAC meet at Southridge Saturday. The girls race will start at 9:45 a.m. and the boys at 10:15 a.m.
Boys team scores: Perry Central 49, Heritage Hills 97, Barr-Reeve 102, Forest Park 120, Tell City 122, Northeast Dubois 122, Jasper 144, Paoli 153, South Spencer 245, Southridge 248
Girls team scores: Heritage Hills 70, Northeast Dubois 98, Forest Park 100, Tell City 100, Jasper 110, Perry Central 136, Southridge 152, Barr-Reeve 163, Paoli 183