Assumption is back in Portland, Oregon for the third year in a row at Nike Cross Nationals. The state of Kentucky had individual qualifier for the first time ever in Madisyn Peeples of Bowling Green.
All of these ladies race today at 1:05 PM Eastern.
The ladies of Assumption have combined the greatest three year run in the history of Kentucky as a team. After last year, the ladies looked they had the potential to be one of the best in the nation and there was a ton of excitement around them. But then the injuries happened. 2012 Class AAA State Champion Bailey Davis was knocked out for all of track season. #2 runner and 2012 Class AAA 800m State Champion Katherine Receveur turned up hurt right before track regionals, shutting down her season after the Kentucky Dream Mile in May.
Everyone knew the team would still be good this fall but the major questions centered around these two. The team still had a ton of depth including 2-time defending State Champion in the 3200m Emily Bean. Senior's Kenzley Defler and Kate Crawford were back along with super frosh Megan Carrico.
The season started with the front two having Bean and Defler take center stage as the leaders of the team. KYtrackXC.com asked Head Coach Barry Haworth about this and he said, "My challenge to both Emily and Kenzley has been that they become the new leaders. Just because you’re told to lead, doesn’t mean you will, and while it wasn’t necessarily a natural role for Emily and Kenzley to just dive into, both have come a long way and are starting to mature into their new roll. They understand that we look at them to not only lead in races, but help carry us forward at practice, before races and after, etc. On the days that no one feels like running, their commitment to leadership can’t be any different than when everyone’s happy and looking forward to running. That’s a difficult role to fill, a role that requires great maturity and a lot of character, because when other girls may not feel it on any given day, Emily and Kenzley are expected to be leaders no matter how they feel. Like I said, that mentality takes great maturity and a lot of character, and both Emily and Kenzley have done a wonderful job of embodying that mentality."
The team rolled through the season fighting through the injuries and ultimately achieved the rewards of their success with another trip to Portland. They won Great American in North Carolina reminding everyone they were still a threat with Davis and Receveur back in the fold running tentatively from injuries.
They won the Kentucky State Championship with Emily Bean leading the squad with a 4th place finish, Davis was 5th, and Defler ended up 8th. They won Nike Cross Southeast with Bailey Davis leading the group with a 6th place finish overall. This entire season Coach Barry Haworth readied this team for December working through those early season injuries. Congratulation to the ladies for their hard work!!
Emily Bean answered some questions this week about NXN
1) Describe this season from an ups and downs perspective.
Downs - Started off with a bunch of injuries. It was hard to have motivation knowing we had to run without our top 2 runners.
Ups - We were able to still be great, plus we are finishing the season healthy and everyone is running well.
2) Winning NXN SE once again, how did that feel?
This year was more of a shock bc we were not expecting it. Our goal was to qualify. Getting the win was a confidence booster and surprise!
3) Besides running, what else are you looking forward to in Oregon this weekend?
I'm looking forward to meeting new people. It's not very often you are around a large crowd that has a common obsession with running.
4) How quickly did you check the forecast for Oregon this weekend to see if huge amounts of rain were scheduled?
I didn't even have to check the weather. Immediately after we qualified we had multiple people tell us it would be dry. We're happy to hear that bc I don't think it could get much worse than last year.
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