The Henry County cross country team closed out their season on Saturday by hosting the Class AA regional championships at the Highlands Renaissance Park in Eminence on a cold, rainy day.
The Cats ran well, but failed to qualify anyone for the state meet in the highly competitive races.
Lilly Golden led the girls’ team with a season best time of 22:23.
John Bates led the boys’ team with a time of 19:04, just five seconds off his personal record, which was set at Woodford County two weeks ago. Freshman Josh Logsdon set a personal record in finishing 3rd for the Cats in a time of 20:03. Junior Eddie Jones had a season best time of 20:27, and finished 5th for the Cats.
Gabriella Karas of Collins High School and four other girls met the standards for national elite status in the girls’ race. Karas ran a blistering 18:09 to beat her competitors by more than a minute. Brianna Wolken of Mercy, Erin Edmonson of North Oldham, Erin Wilson of South Oldham and Grace Whitworth also of South Oldham all finished the race in less than 19:45 to meet the standard to be considered among the nation’s elite runners.
In the boys’ race, Devon Fielding of Collins won in 16:56 to make it an individual sweep for the Titans.
Because of the large field of teams, five schools qualified for the state meet in the girls and boys races.
In the girls race South Oldham won the team honors and will be joined by North Oldham, Bullitt East, Mercy and Christian Academy in representing the region at the state meet.
In the boys’ race, North Oldham won the team championship and will be joined by Collins, South Oldham, Bullitt East and Christian Academy.
The Wildcats finished 9th in each race.
“I thought it went really well,” Coach Victoria Michels said. “The kids ran well. Lilly ran really well. It was a cold day so that made it a little tough for them. We just have a very young team. Our top three boys are sophomores. Lilly is just an 8th grader. I feel like in a couple of years down the road these kids are really going to wow some people.”
Michels also felt that hosting regional for the first time went well. “Our parents came out and were really great and the next time around when it comes to us, it should go really smoothly,” she said.
Coach Ricky Drawbaugh was positive regarding the season and the young team. “We had a really good season with most of our runners setting personal records,” he said. “With the young team, hopefully, we can improve on what we did this year and make it a goal to qualify for state.
“This year my goal was to build confidence as runners and for the most part we improved there. We will continue to work on this next year and add qualifying for state as well. The regional meet went without any hiccups. I am proud of the hard work that all the kids put in this year and hope that it translates well for next year.”
35-Lilly Golden 22:23(SB); 50-Katherine Buckler 23:46; 54-Micah Lineman 24:50; 55-Izabelle Miller 25:00; 69-Cathryn Fischer 27:47
41-John Bates 19:04; 46-Jesse Mann 19:29; 53-Josh Logsdon 20:03 (PR); 54-Austin Peyton 20:06; 56-Eddie Jones 20:27(SB); 60-Chase Slone 20:57; 62-Brandon Handley 21:09