Winning: A 35 Year Perspective


Do genes make a difference when it comes to running ability?  Looking at the Kentucky State Cross Country Meets from 1979 and 2014 may help to answer that question.

Sacred Heart's 2014 Class AAA state title was apparently meant to be if you go back to the events of 35 years earlier.  Three of the top five runners from last Saturday have direct connections to the 1979 Class AAA Kentucky State Cross Country Championship.  

Last Saturday Sacred Heart frosh Kathleen Simms crossed the line first in Class AAA to win her 1st Kentucky State XC title.  Her sister, Samantha, was 11th overall, both helping to lead Sacred Heart to a state championship as a team.  Winning reigns in that household as their fathe, Jerry, was the #2 runner on the 1979 St. Xavier State Championship team back in his high school days.  He was 3rd overall that day in Louisville running a 16:14.

The 1979 Class AAA State Champ Joe Buechler in 15:46 happens to be the father of Megan Buechler, Sacred Heart #2 and 7th place overall last week in Class AAA.  Joe went on to win the race that became Foot Locker South in 1980.

In a non-SHA connection, but still 1979, 2014 fourth place finisher Alena Sapienza-Wright from duPont Manual is the niece of the 1979 Class AAA Runner-Up Jim Sapienza, formerly of Trinity & Dartmouth College.  Sapienza-Wright is the daughter of Jeanne Sapienza formerly of Central, 1984 Class AAA 3200m Run State Champ in track and four-time Top 5 finisher in XC at the Kentucky State Cross Country Meet. 

If you want to win state in 2049, you better start planning and building now.



1979 Class AAA Kentucky State Championship Meet Page

M 5,000 Meter Run - Finals
Place Athlete   Team Result Points
1 Buechler, Joseph 11 St. Xavier (Lou) 15:46.00 1
2 Sapienza, Jim 11 Trinity (Louisville) 16:10.00 --
3 Simms, Jerry 12 St. Xavier (Lou) 16:14.00 2


2014 Class AAA Girls Kentucky State Championship Meet Page

F 5,000 Meter Run - Finals
Place Athlete   Team Result Points
1 Simms, Kathleen 9 Sacred Heart Academy 18:15.02 1
4 Sapienza-Wright, Alena 9 duPont Manual 18:46.10 3
7 Buechler, Megan 11 Sacred Heart Academy 19:19.72 5
11 Simms, Samantha 12 Sacred Heart Academy 19:33.89 8