Led by the season-best performance of Esmeralda Rodriguez, the Lafayette Lady Commodores won the Class 4A division at Saturday’s Southerntees Challenge held at the New Albany Sportsplex. Rodriguez ran the 4K race in 16 minutes, 31 seconds, good for second place overall. The Lady Commodores finished third as a team overall. Peyton Hammann was the next top LHS girls finisher as she recorded a 17:40, good for ninth overall. Rachel Starnes was 21st with a 17:52. Nikki Kesler was 26th with an 18:01, while Taylor Selby rounded out the top five finishers for LHS with a time of 20:57. Shantel Pope, Brooke Mardis, Ashlynd Smith and Mary-Hannah Caulder also competed in the meet.
The varsity boys finished fourth overall at the meet. Derek Hart recorded his third-straight personal best time to lead the Commodores in the 5K race. He was fourth overall with an 18:10. Ivan Lopez followed with an 18:51, good for 28th. Jacob Roberts finished 47th with a 19:58, T.J. Hollis was 52nd, while Sam Faulkner was 59th.
Also running for the varsity boys were Wes Brown, Will Alexander, Addison Roush, Kris Crow, Travis Lyles, Nate McChesney, Gabe Champion and T.J. Parsons.
Middle school results
Lafayette’s middle high team finished fourth overall. Christian Foster led the team with a ninth-place finish (16:48) on the 4K course. Nic Hollis was 22nd, Foster Roush was 25th, Ryan Mardis was 66th, Tucker Anderson was 72nd, while Grayson Mays was 81st.
Lafayette did not have a junior high girls team compete, but a special one-mile race was set up for sixth graders. Julianna Mikell led the Lady Commodores in that race with a first-place finish in the girls division and third overall. Lilly McElreath also competed and finished third in the girls division and fifth overall.
“We had a very good day. Our runners are still improving,” LHS coach Ben Mikell said. “Esmeralda and Derek did what they are supposed to do which is set a good example by racing hard, and the less experienced runners followed their lead.”
Lafayette will return to action Saturday at the MC/Watson Ford Invitational in Clinton. (October 3, 2011, Page 3B)