The 2014 Cross Country Season is among us with pre-season races starting this week for some. To really understand this season coming up in some classes, especially in AAA Girls you have to talk about the Class of 2014 graduating. This class leaving opens the door for many teams across the state and shows how building constant depth year after year is key.
It will be odd and even a maybe a little more interesting watching a cross country race this season in Kentucky. Several of the stars who have been staples on the big teams that have been on top for many years now are gone. No more Daviess County 1-2 punch Whitney O'Bryan & Amelia Reynolds, the Assumption girls will look totally different, the Bowling Green five-some will no longer cruise together through the mile. The unofficial spot as #1 boy in XC is wide open as well with the loss of three really good front-runners in Patrick Gregory, Daniel Southard, and Chris Striegel.
The Class of 2014 has blown up the girls depth chart in XC and the boys top list, so congratulations. Look what all of you had to go and do. Seriously though, this class will have long lasting impressions especially on the girls side. The Assumption seniors helped take XC to a whole new level in Kentucky with Nike Cross Southeast titles in 2012 and 2013. Gregory leaves behind a top five 1600m mark All-Time and Southard's 3200m State Title over Striegel was a all I have to say WOW race.
Assumption's success over the last four years was built on early success at the state level in 2007 and 2008. But the Class of 2014 took it to the next level at Nike and on the national scene. Emily Bean, Katherine Receveur, Kate Crawford, and Jessica Byrd were all 9th graders on that 1st Championship 2010 team. Bailey Davis and Kenzley Defler joined the next year and that class was ready to tear up the history books. Bean, Davis, and Receveur won multiple track state titles as well along with a 3200m Relay State Record.
The ladies of Bowling Green are in the same boat, a team that would have normally been taking down state titles in any other four years was really good led by the Class of 2014. Ciara Scott, Lauren Wheeler, and Sarah-Emily Woodward all were difference makers and constant veterans for that group. I was at the Purple Strider Invitational three years ago, and BG rolled through the mile mark all together in cruise mode which was a sight to see. The pack of five along with returners Madisyn Peeples and Brittney Hansen made everyone work that much harder for a runner-up trophy.
On the girls side it is not all about the teams, O'Bryan & Reynolds have ruled Owensboro and WKY since middle school, Meagan Smith has been the queen of Class A for the last couple years in track and XC. Caroline Grogan topped her two sisters in XC and leaves Oldham County without a Grogan for the first time in close to 10 years. Caitlin Carroll from Sacred Heart was arguably the most improved distance runner in Kentucky last year in her senior year.
Now that the Class of 2014 is out of the way, it is time for others to shine. The boys race for #1 is wide open with anyone of at least 15 possibilities at least in the running. See the KYtrackXC.com Pre-Season Poll from July. The girls team race in Class AAA will still have Assumption in the mix but several teams will be right there with them very close (note building depth helps.)
The big key to take from the Class of 2014 is that they helped set a new standard and it is time for the state to keep that going. So good luck to the 2014 group in college. It is time for 2015, 2016, 2017, and maybe even 2018 to make some noise for themselves and the state of Kentucky.
Article I wrote in July 2012 about the Class of 2014 after their Sophomore Year
Class of 2014 Top 10 Times in High School
|1.||17:44.80||Bailey Davis||Assumption||2014||11/24/2012||Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional|
|2.||17:47.14||Katherine Receveur||Assumption||2014||09/14/2012||Trinity/Valkyrie Invitational|
|3.||17:49.00||Whitney O'Bryan||Daviess County||2014||11/30/2013||Foot Locker South Regional|
|4.||17:55.00||Amelia Reynolds||Daviess County||2014||11/30/2013||Foot Locker South Regional|
|5.||18:14.30||Emily Bean||Assumption||2014||11/30/2013||Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional|
|6.||18:22.00||Caroline Grogan||Oldham County||2014||11/30/2013||Foot Locker South Regional|
|7.||18:28.20||Kenzley Defler||Assumption||2014||09/28/2012||Great American Cross Country Festival|
|8.||18:38.40||Kate Crawford||Assumption||2014||11/24/2012||Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional|
|9.||18:42.10||Caitlin Carroll||Sacred Heart Academy||2014||09/14/2013||Brown County Eagle Classic|
|*** MILESPLIT US FIRST TEAM ELITE 18:45.00 ***|
|10.||18:49.00||Meagan Smith||Danville||2014||10/19/2013||Run for Your Lives|
|1.||15:14.20||Patrick Gregory||Butler||2014||09/14/2013||Forest Park XC Festival|
|2.||15:18.60||Nicholas Waltman||Sayre||2014||10/29/2011||KTCCCA Meet of Champions|
|3.||15:19.80||John Spencer||Lafayette||2014||09/14/2013||Bluegrass Cross Country Invitational|
|4.||15:25.00||Chase Geary||Muhlenberg County||2014||11/24/2012||Foot Locker South Regional|
|5.||15:31.00||Daniel Southard||Daviess County||2014||11/30/2013||Foot Locker South Regional|
|6.||15:34.50||Chris Striegel||St. Xavier (Lou)||2014||10/05/2013||Great American Cross Country Festival|
|7.||15:39.26||Michael Caldwell||Bishop Brossart||2014||09/17/2013||Campbell County Championships|
|8.||15:44.00||Keith Prive||Greenwood||2014||11/30/2013||Foot Locker South Regional|
|*** MILESPLIT US FIRST TEAM ELITE 15:45.00 ***|
|9.||15:46.17||Derrich Stauble||Trinity (Louisville)||2014||10/19/2013||Shamrock Invite|
|10.||15:46.70||Max Mudd||St. Xavier (Lou)||2014||10/05/2013||Great American Cross Country Festival|