LEXINGTON, Ky. – One year after missing out on the KHSAA Cross Country State Class 2A meet, Christian Academy’s girls’ cross country team found the ultimate redemption.
Buoyed by posting three runners in the top 10 and four in the top 16, the Centurions won their first team title Saturday afternoon at the Kentucky Horse Park. Christian Academy’s 64 points ended the four-year reign of Ft. Thomas Highlands, which finished in second with 93 points.
“We’ve been talking about this since last spring,” CAL coach Lowery Stallings said. “We knew we had all the pieces coming together, and that’s been the goal since the very beginning of the season.”
It was a day for team reigns to end as North Oldham’s boys saw Lexington Catholic end its six-year run of team titles. Still the Mustangs surprised some people by ending up on the award stand, finishing second.After a season of turmoil started with their head coach leaving just a couple weeks before the school year started, coach Brian Crumbo said his young team, which has just one senior, handled adversity well.
After a season of turmoil started with its head coach leaving just a couple weeks before the school year started, coach Brian Crumbo said his young team, which has just one senior, handled adversity well.
“They ran the best race this season on the day it counted,” Crumbo said. “I don’t think there’s anybody over there bemoaning. They did as well as they could do.”
Individually, Warren East’s Jacob England won a back-and-forth race with Shelby County’s Matthew Paverd, beating the Rockets senior to the finish line by just a couple strides in the boys’ race.
Meanwhile, LexCath’s Michaela Rinehart dominated in her final state cross country meet, beating Rockcastle County’s Victoria Dotson by more than 1:08.
GIRLS RACE: Reinhart dominated the race from nearly the beginning. She overtook Dotson in the first 600 meters and gradually pulled away. As she made the final turn toward the finish line, there was no runner around to occupy her thoughts“I was just thinking that I was so glad that I’ve gotten to run with such a great team for the last four years,” said Reinhart, who finished in 17:57.18.
“I was just thinking that I was so glad that I’ve gotten to run with such a great team for the last four years,” said Reinhart, who finished in 17:57.18.Christian Academy’s girls talked before the race and knew that the LexCath senior would jump out to a blistering pace. The key to their strategy was to not yield to temptation and try to track her down.
Christian Academy’s girls talked before the race and knew that the LexCath senior would jump out to a blistering pace. The key to their strategy was to not yield to temptation and try to track her down.
“I knew she was going to win and pull away from the field,” said CAL’s Kaylee Wilson, an eighth grader who finished eighth. “We talked about because she gets out fast, we didn’t really want to go out faster than we normally do.”
Senior Clara Lynch finished in sixth place and junior Maddie O’Dea finished in ninth. The senior said she got a feeling approaching the starting line with her teammates that something special was about to happen.
“It was kind of emotional because of being a senior, it’s our last shot,” Lynch said. “When I saw that, I figured the emotions and just our hard work would pay off.”
BOYS RACE: England and Paverd traded the lead throughout the race, with the Warren East junior starting out in front. Paverd overtook him a short time later, posting a sub-eight minute time at the halfway mark.
“I wanted it to go out hard because I seem to race better when it goes out hard,” Paverd said
He held that lead for the through the two-mile mark, but England was able to overtake him as they neared the finish line. Still, Paverd held around gamely and appeared to be making up strides down the final chute. However, it was not enough, as England clocked in at 16:05.08, a couple of seconds faster than Paverd.
“I’m known for a terrible (late) kick,” he said. “I was just glad I was able to stick it out.”
Lexington Catholic placed five runners in the top 20 to beat North Oldham 61-73, with Shelby County finishing third. Individually, CAL’s Steven Ott finished third just ahead of North Oldham’s Alex McClarty.