WATCH LIVE: THE TRINITY/VALKYRIE INVITATIONAL
BEGINS AIRING ON SEPTEMBER 17 AT 7:00 AM
You'll be hard-pressed to find a more stacked Kentucky event - especially in the regular season - than the two-day Trinity/Valkyrie Invitational.
Of the top 30 boys' time leaders this season, 22 are scheduled to run in the Trinity/Valkyrie, including this year's top five runners to date. For the girls, just 18 of the top 30 are on the entry list - including the top three. *whew*
Let's share some quick facts about the runners at the top of those lists.
(Kentucky season time ranking in parentheses)
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Cooper Wasson (1st): The Bluegrass United Home School sophomore hasn't competed since setting a PR of 15:03.39 to win the Tiger Run, hosted by St. Xavier on Aug. 27. He finished second in his only other race this year (Central Kentucky Run for the Gold) with a time of 15:22.86; that is the second-fastest time by any Kentuckian this fall. He ran fifth in this event last year (15:28.06).
Sami Hattab (2nd): Like Wasson, the St. Xavier senior also last competed in the Tiger Run, and also ran a PR there (15:34.34). Five runners are between Wasson and Hattab on the seed list, four of them from outside Kentucky (more on the Kentuckian in a moment).
Adam Patel (3rd): The North Oldham junior set his PR in ... the Tiger Run on Aug. 27 ('twas a good day on the course for many of this event's participants). Patel ran fifth there with a 15:35.12. His 15:50.85 the week before would qualify as a top-10 time this year, too.
Caden Miracle (4th): Last year's winner in the Class 2A KHSAA State Cross Country Championships set a PR, 15:37.01, in the Lynn Camp Invitational last weekend. Miracle, a senior out of Bell County, will compete for the fifth straight weekend; he's one his last three races
Riku Sugie (5th): If not for a senior teammate, Sugie would've won a lot of local races last season - and a couple state titles in spring's Class 2A KHSAA Track and Field Championships. He ran a PR (15:37.34) at the Tiger Run this year.
Drew Moore (7th): While he boasts the seventh-best time (15:57.50) this season, Moore's third overall on the seed list with a 15:29.49. That mark, his first sub-16 minute effort, came at the Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championships in December. His only other such effort came in last weekend's Mason County Invitational.
Peyton Nash (8th): The Grayson County senior picked up his second career win last weekend at the CHHS Fairgrounds Frenzy, and ran a PR (16:00.49) in the process. He was just a few seconds slower in the Tiger Run, where he finished 11th overall in a field that featured several of the same runners.
(Kentucky season time ranking in parentheses)
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Ciara O'Shea (1st): Since 2018, the Madison Central senior (and recent University of North Carolina signee) has finished runner-up only once in a Kentucky meet - the 2020 Haunted Woods Classic, in which she finished second. She's since won 11 straight races in the state. Her stiffest competition, per the seed list, could come from Savannah Rivera, a Knoxville runner whose best time is 17:53.81. O'shea's PR is 17:08.90; she approached it in her only competition this season, the Central Kentucky Run for the Gold (17:09.23).
Chesney McPherson (2nd): McPherson's PR, 18:12.97, is the second-fastest time of the season. She earned it at the Owensboro Invitational on Sept. 3, her second win in as many trips this season (she won the Tiger Run with an 18:23.88).
Ella Johnson (3rd): She's the fastest Class 2A runner in this year's field. Johnson opened the 2022 season with a PR - 18:18.02 - in the Central Kentucky Run for the Gold, behind only O'Shea.
Tula Fawbush (5th): The Oldham County junior won the Rumble Through the Jungle last weekend (18:45.14) and was third in the Run for the Gold (18:22.74). Her career best, 18:04.70, puts her as the third overall seed behind O'Shea and Rivera.
Addison Moore (6th): Only O'Shea and Fawbush were faster than Moore at the 2020 Class 3A KHSAA State Cross Country Championships; she was in seventh grade at that time. Moore set a PR, 18:26.96, in the Southern Harrier Classic on Saturday. She'll likely be pacing the entire state in due time.
Jessica Secor (7th): Secor is the only runner in the field who's bested O'Shea in Kentucky; she was the winner of the 2020 Haunted Woods Classic, bettering O'Shea by about six seconds then. Her PR (18:05.90) came as a freshman in a Nike regional and she approached it again last December (18:06.48).
Emily Liddle (9th): Liddle ran 18:49.31 at the Tiger Run, third there behind McPherson and an Indiana runner. The Bluegrass United Home School junior PR'd in last year's Tiger Run (18:19.44) and three weeks later ran fourth (18:41.57) in this event, behind O'Shea and two other runners who've graduated.
Savannah Mooney (10th): She's 19th overall on the seed list but Mooney's time (18:57.14) is the 10th fastest this season. The Bullitt East freshman finished fourth in the middle school 4K here last year.
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O'Shea in two prior meets ran this race in 17:40.40 (2020) and 17:51.43 (2021). The meet record is 17:23.76, set by Ohio's India Johnson in 2016. If the conditions are favorable, that's well within reach for the North Carolina commit to break this weekend.
The boys' meet record is less likely to fall. It's stood since 2001, when St. Xavier's Bobby Curtis set it at 14:44.00.
Wasson and Hattab are the only returning Kentuckians who placed in the top 10 last season. Sugie is the only other returning Kentuckian who finished in the top 20.
Four middle school girls enter the 4K with sub-16 minute times: Caroline Mooney (East Running Club, 15:39.10); Millie Huang (North Oldham Middle School, 15:41.50); Abigail Carnes (Blessed Sacrament, 15:42.00); and Alexandra Burg (Blessed Sacrament, 15:55.80).
Ayden Taylor (Christian Academy Middle School) comes into the boys' 4K with the only sub-14 minute seed time (13:45.85). Immediately trailing him are Lincoln Krezmien (North Oldham Middle School, 14:03.04) and Garrison Gilvin (Our Lady of Lourdes, 14:06.60).