DUNLAP — Elkhart Memorial's Morgan Dyer crossed the finish line Saturday at the County Clash walking with a limp.
But no worries.
Dyer is 100-percent healthy and once again in possession of a first place finish at the County Clash at Ox Bow Park.
"I was just regaining myself," said Dyer about her limp. "No problems."
Morgan finished first in the girls race with a time of 19:06, which comfortably beat second place runner Haylee Hile from Northridge, who ended up with a time of 19:44.
"It means a lot to be able to perform at my substantial best and win this race," Dyer said. "This is our last year at Elkhart Memorial and my last year being a high school runner."
Dyer, who led the entire race, was asked if she had a strategy going into Saturday's competition.
"I had a couple strategies," Dyer said. "One was to go aggressive at the start. I felt good during the race so I said I my as well take it (from the start)."
She wasn't satisfied with her time.
"I'm not very happy with it," Dyer said. "I ran a 19:02 at my Tuesday race (against Northridge and Warsaw). I don't think I was as focused today as I was earlier in the week. But that comes with preparation in the morning. I was a little rushed this morning so things sometimes get a little thrown off. But things still went well for me."
Running at Ox Bow Park has brought great joy to Dyer during her high school cross country career.
"People say that they dread Ox Bow Park," Dyer said. "But I love it because I have an emotional attachment to it. I've won a lot on this course. I really like this course because I have a feel for it and I know how to run on it."
Penn easily won the girls race with a scored of 44. Second place Northridge totaled 81.
Placing in the top 10 for the Kingsmen were Brooke Neal (5th, 19:53), Morgan Gannon (6th, 19:59), Mackenzie Holland (8th, 20:31) and Aislynn Alkire (10th, 20:36).
"I'm really happy with our performance," said Penn girls cross country coach Michael Clements. "We went out there and were aggressive. I like how we competed today. For the most part, we're where we need to be this time of year."
Other local girls in the top 10 were Concord's Summer Cooper (3rd, 19:45), Fairfield's Carol Haldeman (4th, 19:46) and Northridge's Ali Bache (9th, 20:35).
Penn also won the boys race, as the Kingsmen finished with 57 points, which was 11 points better than second place Goshen.
Mishawaka's Casey Quintana won the boys competition with a clocking of 16:27. Northridge sophomore Jack Moore placed second with a time of 16:31.
Moore is the brother of former Elkhart Memorial cross country and track standout Brooke Moore, who is currently a runner at Indiana State University.
Jack talked about the impact that his sister has had on him.
"She's kind of like a role model to me," said Jack. "She worked really hard in high school and I want to be like her and go to college and run like she did."
It took awhile for Jack to have success as a cross country runner. He didn't even finish in the top 25 last year at the County Clash.
"I didn't do very well last year (at the County Clash)," Jack said. "I wasn't really committed last year so my season wasn't all that great.
"I'm listening to the coaches more this year. They really do a lot for you. Coaches tell you what to eat for breakfast and to get your sleep. I also ran a lot in the summer."
Moore's time on Saturday was a personal-best. His previous best showing was a 16:42 at the Huntington North Invitational on August 24th.
"I've just been waiting to break that," he said. "I'm hoping to get in the low 16's."
Other local boys in the top 10 were Elkhart Central's Jose Quinones (3rd, 16:34), Goshen's Drew Hogan (4th, 16:35), Cole Johnston (8th, 16:53) and Tommy Claxton (10th, 17:01), Penn's Mariano Retzloff (5th, 16:48) and Carter Kaser (6th, 16:49) and Northridge's Jaxon Miller (9th, 16:56).
Team scores: Penn 44, Northridge 81, Elkhart Central 142, Elkhart Memorial 159, Mishawaka 167, Fairfield 173, Concord 188, SB St. Joseph 203, NorthWood 211, Goshen 234, SB Riley 237, SB Adams 272, Bethany Christian 287, Elkhart Christian 366, Marian 411.
Top 25: Morgan Dyer (EM) 19:06, Haylee Hile (NR) 19:44, Summer Cooper (Con) 19:45, Carol Haldeman (FF) 19:46, Brooke Neal (Penn) 19:53, Morgan Gannon (Penn) 19:59, Sarah Beshara (Mish) 20:23, Mackenzie Holland (Penn) 20:31, Ali Bache (NR) 20:35, Aislynn Alkire (Penn) 20:36.02, Sophia Yordy (Gos) 20:36.94, Kaitlin Burden (NW) 20:38, Chynzie Howell (FF) 20:40.28, Clare Ritchie (NR) 20:40.47, Nicole Marshall (Penn) 20:44, Reagan Hoke (Penn) 20:47, Ava Gillis (Penn) 20:53, Maddie Mischak (Adams) 20:59, Adley Keim (EC) 21:02, Brooke Richardson (EC) 21:09, Lauren Dibley (EC) 21:13.20, Emma Hodges (EC) 21:13.36, Alexis Kintzele (SJ) 21:21, Marissa Kenney (Ril) 21:23, Emilie Allen (NW) 21:25.
Team scores: Penn 57, Goshen 68, Mishawaka 147, Northridge 166, SB Riley 169, Concord 188, NorthWood 190, Elkhart Central 197, SB Adams 197, SB St. Joseph 199. Elkhart Memorial 221, Elkhart Christian 272, Fairfield 391, Marian 391, Bethany Christian 422.
Top 25: Casey Quintana (Mish) 16:27, Jack Moore (NR) 16:31, Jose Quinones (EC) 16:34, Drew Hogan (Gos) 16:35, Mariano Retzloff (Penn) 16:48, Carter Kaser (Penn) 16:49, Will Neubauer (Adams) 16:52, Cole Johnston (Gos) 16:53, Jaxon Miller (NR) 16:56, Tommy Claxton (Gos) 17:01, Marko Enriquez (SJ) 17:03, Sami Mirza (Adams) 17:06, Josh Temeles (Penn) 17:10, Ryan Diaz Perales (Gos) 17:14, Kevin Liddell (Ril) 17:16, Jason Juarez (Penn) 17:18, Ben Boardley (Penn) 17:22.49, Luke Owings (Con) 17:22.49, Teagen Rodriguez (EM) 17:23, Josh Juday (SJ) 17:25, Danny Sanchez (Mish) 17:27.14, Ryan Hoopingarner (Mish) 17:27.60, Tony Maxwell (ECA) 17:28, Joey Rutten (Penn) 17:32, Josh Bevier (ECA) 17:34.