Lexington Catholic Invitational
Every year in Kentucky two of the biggest meets are the Franklin County Invitational and the Lexington Catholic Invitational. Both, of course, have the ultimate drawing card, the Horse Park where the State Meet is held. The trend continues this year with a showdown this Saturday in Lexington as the top ranked teams in the state gather to see who is primed for a good end to the season. On the girls side, all three of the #1 teams meet to see which class is the truly the best. For the boys, the race is comparable to the Class AAA Meet of Champions races from the 1990s at the Horse Park, with nine of the top ten AAA boys teams scheduled to run.
Assumption and duPont Manual raced at the Great American Cross Country Festival last month in the Nike Race of Champions, with Assumption coming out on top. The two top-ranked teams meet once again this Saturday. Assumption, coming off a second place finish at the New Balance Jersey Shore Cougar Invitational, is led by AAA #2 ranked sophomore Ellen Daly. duPont Manual, led by AAA #5 Brooke Hurley, has not competed as a team in a Saturday meet since Great American. Five other teams ranked in the AAA top ten will be on the course, as will AA #1 Bell County and A #1 St. Henry.
Eastern sophomore AAA #3 Sarah Turi (19:01) ran the fastest time in the state last week with her win at the Hillbilly Run. Class #1 Kaitlin Snapp from Danville will meet head to head with the front trio of St. Henry: #2 Emily Fette, #3 Maria Frigo, and #5 Karen Lageman. Former Greenwood runner Rachel Hanson, who now runs for Rossview (TN), is coming off a victory at the Marshall County Invitational and should be near the front of this race.
This is a Class AAA face-off with nine of the top ten teams in attendance. #1 Woodford County, led by senior Chris Rice, conquered then #1 Trinity the last time they met at the Trinity Invitational. Two weeks ago at the Franklin County Invitational, on the same course, #3 Daviess County beat #4 Saint Xavier to win the race. They will both try to contend with Woodford and Trinity as will Class A #1 St. Henry, led by junior Gordy Dooley who currently holds the fastest overall time in the state.
Other top individual contenders are AA #1 Nathan Liversedge and AAA #1 Ryne Smith. Former #1 Brian Long of Saint Xavier could be a factor but is coming off an injury. Forty boys ranked currently in the state, including seventeen of the top twenty AAA, are running, along with many more who may step up and show what they have been training for this season.