SOUTHERN HARRIER CLASSIC
September 15, 2012 @ GE Field in Somerset, KY
The Southern Harrier Classic will take place on Saturday morning in southern Kentucky with a mix of local and out of area teams going head to head.
The Varsity Girls race is headlined by traditional Class A powerhouse St. Henry. St. Henry came into this year losing six of their top seven runners from last season starting out ranked #10 in the Pre-Season. They quickly flipped that around at Tiger Run with some impressive performances led by Samantha Hentz and Taylor Connett. Hentz has been out the last two weeks, so this week will show if she is facing a serious injury or something minor. In the first set of 2012 KYtrackXC.com Class A State Rankings they had moved up to #3 which is still a little uncomfortable for St. Henry as they are use to being #1. They will look to use their depth to overrun the rest of the field and come in as they easy pick to win.
The individual race is headlined by senior runner Megan Smith of Danville. Smith is running XC for the first time this year after a couple successful years of distance in track. She won her first race this year last Saturday at the EG Plummer Invitational and finished second Thursday at the Boyle County Invitational. She should receive pressure from the ultimate veteran Kelly Brown of Bell County. Brown easily has more experience running on the Varsity than anyone in the state of Kentucky. The experience should come in handy against the new XC runner, Smith. Brown won last week at the Beast in the East. Taylor Connett leads St. Henry and has filled the role of #1 which will help drive her to the front of the pack. At Tiger Run she was 11 seconds behind Brown.
The Varsity Boys race should be led by Pulaski County up front. Pulaski is coming off two wins at the AJ Special and the EG Plummer Invitational led by Mason Blevins. That trend should continue this weekend in their hometown. They will receive competition from Letcher County Central and DeSales. Both teams opened up the year ranked in the top 10 of their classes and have started slowly. Letcher County has Chase Cates and Austin Bolling up front who should both contend for top 10 spots. DeSales a pack running team has had injury and scheduling issues to get their full squad on the course. Right now they are led by the duo of Matt Graven and Jonathan Mattingly, who both need to make appearances in the top 10 if they are going to get close to Pulaski County.