By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Race conditions were ideal – except for the early wake-up call for a 9 a.m. start. Autumn Spence would have preferred a few more moments of sleep. She was awake when it counted.
Spence churned through the rugged BNL course in 19:56.70, moving into second place on the all-time school leaderboard for races on the home track, and finished 14th overall in the annual Ted Fox Invitational on Saturday morning.
BNL finished 8th in the 14-team field with 247 points. In the boys meet, the Stars were 9th among 15 teams with 310 points.
Spence and the rest of the girls field spent the 5k day in chase mode behind Edgewood star Annalyssa Crain, a threat to win the state individual title later this season. She hardly broke a sweat while winning in 18:45.65, and her sister Clara was second in 18:48.89.
That level of competition brought out the best in Spence, who kicked into gear during the second mile.
“I love this race,” Spence said. “We finally have a whole bunch of girls I can just run with. It was a good race. The first mile is just pure adrenaline. I have to stay focused on the second mile, that’s where I work.”
BNL’s Grace Tanksley was 26th overall in 20:50.31.
In the team battle, No.11 Bloomington North (50 points) edged No.10 Floyd Central by 3 points. No.18 Northview was third (61) and No.23 Bloomington South was fourth (68) in a regional-quality field.
In the boys race, Cole Baker paced the Stars while finishing 59th overall in 18:18.10. The fast-improving junior has made a move in a fluid team pecking order.
“I’m definitely getting faster,” Baker said. “It’s mainly the start. I’m getting out faster and holding that pace.”
Cameron Haste was 61st in 18:23.12 and Colton Sons was 66th in 18:31.25 as the Stars packed together in the middle of the field.
“You can’t ask for better competition,” BNL coach Jonathon Calhoun said. “It was a great race, and our goal was to beat our times from our last time here. And we succeeded with that. They put great effort into it.
“Cole has been stepping it up. He’s snapped in the middle of the race and just turns it on. It’s all about that second lap and catching people.”
Terre Haute South’s Matt Gambill was the individual winner in 16:00.91.
No.9 Floyd Central, with three finishers among the first seven to the line, easily won the team crown with 38 points, followed by No.13 Northview (68), No.14 Bloomington South (82) and No.12 Bloomington North (90).
The Stars will compete in the Hoosier Hills Conference races at Jennings County on Oct. 3.
TED FOX INVITATIONAL
Saturday at BNL
Team scores – Floyd Central 38, Northview 68, Bloomington South 82, Bloomington North 90, TH North 111, Jennings County 149, TH South 184, Roncalli 261, BNL 310, Brownstown 312, Orleans 321, Edgewood 333, Mitchell 356, Seven Oaks 446, Paoli 488
Top performances – 1. Matt Gambill, TH South 16:00.91; 2. Weston Neville, FC 16:04.23; 3. Hunter Griffin, FC 16:09.47; 4. Nolan Bailey, BN 16:15.86; 5. John Asplund, BS 16:16.41
BNL – 59. Cole Baker 18:16.24; 61. Cameron Haste 18:18.98; 66. Colton Sons 18:31.25; 76. Isaac Williams 19:08.33; 91. Jacob Simmerman 19:38.94; 100. Ryan Wright 20:08.23; 103. Zane Thompson 20:20.68
Team scores – Bloomington North 50, Floyd Central 53, Northview 61, Bloomington South 68, TH South 151, Roncalli 204, Columbus East 214, BNL 247, Jennings County 263, TH North 277, Mitchell 310, Orleans 359, LC Christian 391, Paoli 404
Top performances – 1. Annalyssa Crain, Edgewood 18:45.65; 2. Clara Crain, Edgewood 18:48.89; 3. Jaydon Cirincione, FC 18:57.98; 4. Gnister Grant, Northview 19:14.01; 5. Rachel Allison, BN 19:14.01
BNL – 14. Autumn Spence 19:56.70; 26. Grace Tanksley 20:50.31; 77. Kaitlyn Phillips 23:03.55; 100. Ella Peek 24:26.51; 113. Emily Bartlett 27:11.95; 122. Emma Baumgart 29:47.11