Class AAA Region 1
Individual Favorite: Chase Geary (Muhlenberg County)
Geary, a sophomore, has made the leap from developing runner to the one of the best in the state as he been ranked among the top 10 in Class AAA all season long in the KYtrackXC.com State Rankings. He has bested his regional foes week in and week out this fall. Just two weeks ago at the Fast Cats Classic he won with ease by 33 seconds against Apollo and Daviess County’s best.
In what should come as no surprise to anyone, this is a showdown between Daviess County and Apollo. They have flipped back and forth all season on who should be the favorite to win.
Daviess County is much more of a pack running team that has been led by Cameron Quisenberry and Daniel Southard this fall. Senior Brad Sikes was expected to lead this team and was slow to start from issues with injuries. This past Saturday he turned it around and pulled out the victory at the Apollo Invitational on the regional course. The rest of their group will be close to the front with normally a less than 30 second gap between 1-7.
Apollo has been more inconsistent at times this season. They have been led by Alex O’Bryan, Tristan Durbin, and Dusty Johnson at times. They have the ability to place at least two in front of the Daviess County’s first runner and that will be the key to them winning. To neutralize Daviess County’s advantage in depth, Apollo has to be solid at 1-5. They have little room for error to beat the Panthers, especially in a small field where Apollo cannot take advantage of their strength up front.
Owensboro and Marshall County will go after the third and fourth spots from the region. Marshall County has reliable Kyle Barry up front, who has been mixing it up with the Daviess County and Apollo front runners. He has a legit shot of finishing second behind Geary. Owensboro has Zac Garrard who should be in the top 10. The closer he is to Barry, the easier it will be for Owensboro to finish third. Marshall is solid at #2 with Troy Lampkin, but Owensboro 2-5 are within thirty seconds of him led by Jeff Keeley and James Egbert. Marshall County will need a big days out of Barry and Lampkin to bring home third place.
Christian County is a young bunch who will be a threat down the line and Graves County is much improved this year and is another team that should mix it up and make a run at state berth in the next year or two.
Predicted State Qualifiers
Teams: Daviess County, Apollo, Owensboro, Marshall County
Individual Qualifiers: Chase Geary (Muhlenberg County), Logan Hurd (Christian County), Kyle Wilson (Henderson County), Garret Bell (Graves County), Dillon Whitehouse (Muhlenberg County)
Individual Favorite: Whitney O’Bryan (Daviess County)
O’Bryan, a sophomore but already a veteran is the easy choice to win the race. She has been one of the best runners in the state all season long and has bested all her regional opponents without push. Her focus will be on the next week with the Kentucky State Cross Country Championship which she will attempt to win. She and her Daviess County teammates, Amelia Reynolds and Claire Payne could run as a pack helping to push them along attempting to finish 1-3 and break the competition mentally. Muhlenberg County’s Alliah Fueller will try to break up the Panther party and stay near O’Bryan as long as possible going after second place.
Daviess County should come away the victors for the team title. They could possibly go 1-3 with O’Bryan, Reynolds, and Payne along #4 Abby Eades finishing in the top ten as well. The question of how low the score is comes down to the how well #5 Kelly Boling and # 6 Emily Leach finish.
With four teams looking most likely qualifying for the Kentucky State Cross Country Meet, Muhlenberg County and Graves County will go after second and third with Owensboro right there as well. Muhlenberg County has Fueller leading the way with veteran Lindsay Mathis filling the role of #2. Graves County is led by a strong front three in Sydney Anderson, Josie Lavey, and Lisa Teems. Each of them was within nine seconds of each other at the Christian County Invitational last Saturday. Owensboro is a pack of five and led by Rachel Keeley up front. Keeley finished seven seconds in front of Graves County’s Sydney Anderson at the Fast Cats Classic two weeks ago. Madisonville North Hopkins will try and move up into the top four and spoil the party.
Predicted State Qualifiers
Teams: Daviess County, Muhlenberg County, Owensboro, Graves County
Individuals: Rachel Northcutt (Marshall County), Leslie Burns (Apollo), Julia Borders (Madisonville NH), Allyson Elliott (Henderson County), Abbie Haynes (Henderson County)