LONG GROVE — Presley Case went into the final half-mile of Tuesday's 5,000-meter run at Scott County Park chasing Iowa City Liberty freshman McKenzie Logan.
"She was in front of me by quite a ways," Case admitted.
After finishing behind Davenport Assumption's duo of Joy Ripslinger and Julia Schumacher at the North Scott Invitational last season, Case was determined not to leave with a second- or third-place ribbon this time at her home meet.
The North Scott sophomore made a strong push in the closing 600 meters to eventually pass Logan and capture the individual title in 20 minutes, 7 seconds.
"A lot of girls get me in that second mile, which is something I need to work on," Case said, "but I knew if I stayed close it would be a good race at the end.
"I like to stay behind (the competition) until the last second. It worked out today."
Powered by Case, Class 4A 10th-ranked North Scott had seven of the top 10 finishers to claim the seven-team meet with 16 points. Davenport Central was second with 57 points and Davenport Assumption took third at 67.
North Scott's Sommer Clydesdale was third (20:32), Maddie Case fourth (21:02), Abbi LaFrenz sixth (21:30) and Brenna Kundel eighth (21:48).
"Coming in, I was a little bit nervous but then realized this is my home course and I've got to give it all I've got," Clydesdale said. "I was strong coming into it and I felt confident. It was a good race."
The Lancers reached the state meet last season. With all the key performers back from that team, North Scott is poised to make another leap this fall.
Its pack has gotten tighter.
"My freshman year, there were just a couple of us," Clydesdale said. "Last year we became a little bit more of a girls team and this year we're all together."
Presley Case said the Lancers are motivated to improve upon last year's state showing.
"It is really cool to see how far we've come, but we've just got to keep shooting for the people in front of us," Case said. "There is more we can keep doing."
Davenport North's Zach Schocker compiled his second win of the season in the boys race. The senior finished in 17:04, 12 seconds ahead of Davenport Central's Drew Thompson.
Schocker, who has been the Wildcats' top runner for four years, seized control of the race just after the mile and a half mark.
"It is my last season and I've got to leave everything out on the course," said Schocker, who won a meet in Clinton earlier this fall. "In my eyes, I want to leave a legacy for my school.
"With a win like today, I can walk a lot taller and feel a lot better after running a crummy race in Cedar Rapids last week. I'm prepared for the rest of the season."
Schocker never has qualified for the state meet.
"That is my biggest goal this year," he said. "I just need to keep pushing."
North Scott won the boys title with 36 points. The Lancers had four in the top eight with Jackson Schrock (third, 17:28), Owen West (sixth, 17:55), Gabe Jensen (seventh, 17:59) and Chase Porter (eighth, 18:03).
West and Porter are freshmen. North Scott has only one senior in its top seven.
"I love how our team is improving and we're winning meets now," Schrock said. "We have a lot of freshmen coming in and finishing second and third in races for us.
"Last year, it was more about what place am I in and my time. This year, we're all together and pushing each other."
Davenport North was second with 62 points and Assumption third at 85.