I knew I goofed when I woke up today. It was pretty clear from the fact that I woke up at 9:45, when the first race started at 9:30 at the Lexington Catholic Inv. that something had definitely gone awry. That something was the fact that my dumb self must have turned my alarm off when it went off at 7:30 and went back to sleep before I could even realize what had happened. Flustered and frustrated, I sprinted out to my car and got on my way to the Horse Park. Admittedly missing the first two races of the day, an honest recap is simply not possible. However, what I have come up with instead is a breakdown of the meet based on Small School or Large School races where I will organize the results into a couple categories. Outstanding Performance is exactly what it says. Recognizing athletes and teams that ran great races relative to their “typical” performances. Performer to Watch will point out performances that, while they may not have been the “best” of the day, are still notable and could be a team/individual to keep your eyes on while state approaches. Something to prove will point out performances that show who has the potential to do well at state, but may not be shining through right now.
Large School Races
Boys Outstanding Performances
• Patrick Gregory – Butler – Maintaining his unbeaten streak against KY competition, Patrick has been “The Guy” from KY this year. Also, his victory today was in defense of his title from last year’s race.
• St. Xavier – The boys from St. X have come into Lex Cath two years in a row ready to take care of business, and take care of business they have. While their victory today with “only” 40 points may not have been as impressive as their score of 22 last year, with two guys with sub 16 potential and their 3-8th runners all coming in together ranging from 16:32 – 16:44 on the state course, they look to be in a prime position to add more trophies to their illustrious legacy.
• Madison Central – Holy Cow! The 10th ranked team in AAA came to the state course looking to make a statement and boy, did they come up big. Taking second place over regional foe Pulaski Co. and the myriad of other top ranked teams is something they can definitely use as a springboard into the post-season races.
Boys Performers to Watch
• Brennan Fields – Madison Central – I have a feeling the unranked top runner from Madison Central may find himself in a different position come Monday. He certainly picked a great time to PR and place 3rd at Lex Cath. While he may not yet have sub 16 potential (and after today even that is up for debate) definitely keep and eye on this one over the course of the season and the next few years.
• The Dowdy Twins – South Oldham – I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure how to tell them apart in uniform, but I do know that these two young athletes have been the epitome of consistency this year. With some of their best performances coming in the past few weeks, their top 10 performances at Lex Cath are not something to miss. Factor in that each race they are a unit able to work together (almost like they’re brothers or something…) pushing each other and Stan Clark, who always seems to get the best out of his runners at the right time, coaches them.
Boys Running with Something to Prove
• Chase Geary – Muhlenberg Co. – Look, it’s not secret that the AAA State Champion last year has faced some nagging injuries that have hindered him. But, if there is anyone who knows what it’s like to have people count you out and then show up big when it counts, it’s Chase. Last year, he was somewhat of a “surprise” (as much of a surprise can be whilst running sub 16 most of last year) performance at the state meet and its clear that the potential is there. Hopefully, he will find that mojo again and make state much more interesting for all of us.
• Cooper High School – While I know they were missing Zach Stewart at Lex Cath and they’re performance looks less than stellar, relatively, I’m putting them in this category for another reason. Each year St. X and Trinity are always the two dogs contending for a state title and top spots on the podium and it always seems like another school pokes its head in the mix and takes a shot at the champs. Well, this year that school is Cooper. With a 3-headed beast up front and a solid 4 and 5, this team could easily steal a spot away from one of the “favorites” this year.
Girls Top Performances
• Whitney O’Bryan – Daviess County – The last time O’Bryan ran on the State Course she ran a 18:38 in nearly perfect conditions. Today in the cold, wet, constant rain, she ran an 18:20. Couple that with the fact that she had yet to be beaten by any one from KY and we may see another sub 18 performance at the state meet.
• Caroline Grogan – Oldham Co. – Caroline also ran much faster today than she ever has at the New Horse Park, despite the frigid conditions. Her second place finish today and her just tough nosed, never give up running style really set her up well for the kind of race it was today and the kind of race State usually produces.
• Daviess County – Well, anyone who is on twitter and follows Barry Haworth will know how high he is on this Daviess County team. Well, Mr. Haworth was correct in that when Daviess brings out the big guns, they are a force to be reckoned with. Defeating higher ranked Sacred Heart is not something to overlook and with a very solid 1-2- punch in O’Bryan and Reynolds this team could make a potential run at a state title.
Girls Performances to Watch
• Abby Reburn – Bullitt East – This young runner has been consistently dropping time over the course of the season all culminating to her breakout performance today at Lex Cath. While currently unranked, her top 10 performance today will certainly not go unnoticed and could potentially give Bullitt East an extra push to a potential podium spot.
• Jenna Flairty – Campbell Co. – Jenna has probably been just outside the top 20 rankings for some time, but her 11th place finish at Lex Cath today over several ranked runners may give her the confidence to continue to push her way further and further up in the rankings.
• Oldham County – Never count out a team that has at least 2 solid runners up front each and every race (similar to Daviess Co, mentioned above) and a solid pack behind them. That also describes Oldham County and their solid 3rd place finish today at Lex Cath should be enough to prove that they are another team that is definitely in the mix for the podium come November.
Girls Running with Something to Prove
• Sacred Heart – A perennial favorite in AAA, this team definitely has the means and the talent to take a podium spot and even more so claim a state title. However, with the unfortunate lack of Maggie Allen this year, it is safe to say their quest for top honors has been more difficult than expected. Never count out a Rick Heim team and never count out teams with a tradition of success and Sacred Heart fills both of those qualifications.
• Emma Valle – Lafayette – A newcomer to the High School running scene, she has already achieved great success this season. Her performance today was by no means a disappointing performance, but look for her to solidify her position within the upper echelon of Class AAA talent in the next coming weeks and let everyone know that she is not just a flash in the pan, but is here to stay for many years.