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For the first time since Scott McClamroch has been coaching the Eminence cross-country team, the Warriors won’t be in unfamiliar territory when they line up for their regional-championship meet this Saturday in Danville. Now, he hopes that will translate to an above-average performance for his young but improving squad.
With the state’s new alignment this fall, Eminence made the jump in Class A from Region Two to Region Five, which left the Warriors with a completely new look in the most important race of the season. The new region includes North Central Kentucky Conference schools — teams Eminence raced against during the regular season. In previous years, Eminence had no idea what the competition would be like with no races during the regular season against any of its regional opponents.
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“We know more of what to expect this year,” said McClamroch, who has been coaching the team for three years. “I like the move. We’ll just go out and try to finish the season strong.”
The race will be run on what is supposed to be a flat course in Danville, which starts and finishes at Admiral Stadium Campus on the high school’s track. The fast course, opposed to the hillier courses the Warriors have run on all season, should leave the runners with fast times. The girls’ race is scheduled to start at 3 p.m., followed by the boys’ race at 3:45.
McClamroch will have to narrow his girls’ varsity team from nine runners to seven before Saturday, while junior Trey Hernandez and sophomore Juan Robles will represent EHS in the boys’ varsity race.
All of the EHS runners will have a goal to run personal records for 5,000 meters, while Hernandez will also have the goal of qualifying for the KHSAA Kentucky State Cross Country Championships the following Saturday at the Kentucky State Horse Park in Lexington. The top five individuals not on one of the qualifying teams, which will be determined based on how many teams show up on race day, will advance.
Hernandez barely missed a qualifying spot last fall as a sophomore.
“He’s been a little banged up from football the last few weeks but he should be ready to go,” McClamroch said of Hernandez, who runs cross-country and plays football. “I think it will take a sub-19:30 to make it, which he hasn’t done this year but I think he can.”
The Warriors will race against Augusta, Bracken County, Burgin, Carroll County, Danville, Deming, Frankfort, Gallatin County, Kentucky School for the Deaf, Lexington Christian, Nicholas County, Owen County, Paris, Sayre, St. Patrick and Trimble County.
Based on the most recent state rankings from the Web site www.KYtrackXC.com, Lexington Christian (ranked No. 5 in Class A), Trimble (No. 7) and Burgin (No. 9) will be the teams to beat on the boys’ side, while Trimble (No. 3), Lexington Christian (No. 7) and Danville (No. 10) are the top teams are the girls’ side.
Individually up front in the boys’ race, Chris Elliot of Lexington Christian is ranked No. 5 and teammate Will Mullett is ranked No. 6. In the girls’ race, Kaitlin Snapp of Danville is ranked No. 1, Danielle Hoop of Owen is ranked No. 5, Rachel Ditto of Lexington Christian is ranked No. 6, Emma Ditto of Lexington Christian is ranked No. 7, Allison Joyce of Trimble is ranked No. 12 and Jessica Cooley of Trimble is ranked No. 19.
Region Five is one of the top regions in Class A, but the Warriors are ready to go.
“We’re young and all of our runners have improved over the season although our times might not reflect that,” an upbeat McClamroch said. “I think we will finish our season very strong.”
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