Class AAA Region 2
Individual Favorite: Keith Prive (Greenwood), Marcus Terrell (North Hardin), and Josh Price (Central Hardin)
This race is wide open with any of the above being able to cross the line first. Prive and Terrell are the main names with Josh Price being the newcomer to the threat list to win. Prive and Terrell have gone head to head only once this season at the Purple Strider Invitational all the way back on September 10th. That day, Prive had the advantage with a 17:11 compared to Terrell’s 17:22. With no matchups since then it is hard to place one ahead of the other.
Price put his name into the race with his victory at the Lincoln Trail Conference Meet last week. The victory was over Terrell who finished fourth that day. Granted the gap was only three seconds, but this is further proof of how wide open the individual race really is. Not to mention North Hardin’s Tyler Breeds and Central Hardin 8th grader Christian Wright were within 10 seconds of Price as well.
Right now only seven schools have had five runners compete this season so it is vital all show up and start the race Saturday. If not this region will only receive three berths to the Kentucky State Cross Country Meet and some very solid teams will sitting at home the following week.
The favorite is AAA #10 North Hardin to win the region. They have beaten cross county rival Central Hardin multiple times season including recently at the Lincoln Trail Conference and the Dragon Invitational at South Oldham. North Hardin has Terrell (mentioned above) leading with Meade County transfer Tyler Breeds close behind. Then they have a pack that mixes up the order with Eddie Weaver, Brandon Igns, Isaac Arroyo, Josh Ortega, and Geo Kapalungan. Their strength at that regional will be their pack which is bigger and much more loaded than the other teams in the region.
Central Hardin can compete with North Hardin through four with Price and Wright leading. Hunter Hood will have to be in front of NH’s third along with # 4 Michael Price and #5 Jared Daughterty not getting beaten by NH’s sixth or seventh man.
After those team this race gets nasty. Four squads are battling for one or two team berths. John Hardin, Grayson County, Greenwood, and Bowling Green are all right there within reach.
Grayson County has a solid foursome leading the way in Carter Cannon, Zach Berry, Clay Priddy, and Brent Crawford. This pack will need someone to break into the top ten for this team to seize the moment for third place.
John Hardin is stronger up at #1 than Grayson with Nathan Crowdus and is very solid at #2 Johannes Boulware. They fall back quite a bit at the fifth spot though.
Bowling Green is always a gutsy bunch it seems. Very similar to Grayson County needing someone to get into the top ten with the rest close behind, they are led by Connor Laramore, Daniel Collins, and Kyle Johnson.
Greenwood has the best #1 of the bunch with Prive and Nick Howell at #2, the rest will probably be too far out of the action to get a state berth.
Predicted State Qualifiers
Teams: North Hardin, Central Hardin, Grayson County, Bowling Green
Individual Qualifiers: Keith Prive (Greenwood), Nathan Crowdus (John Hardin), Mason Dunbar (Barren County), Johannes Boulware (John Hardin), Nick Howell (Greenwood)
Individual Favorite: Katie Lever (John Hardin)
Deciding to focus on running this fall, Lever has established herself as one of the best in Class AAA and the easy pick to win this region on Saturday. It probably will not be as easy as she would like with a strong Bowling Green fivesome chasing her, this is Lever’s race to take.
Class AAA #2 Bowling Green wins, enough said. Seriously though, they could possibly go 2-7 after Lever comes in. Even if that does not happen they are looking at six runners in the top ten. This team will do as much or as little as they want to win on Saturday in preparation for their showdown with AAA #1 Assumption the following week in Lexington.
It looks like four teams will come out of the region; a fast improving Barren County team will go for second led by Ally Davis and Megan Bunch. The front two have lowered their fastest time to right around the 20 minute mark with Taylor Davis not far behind. The depth up front for this squads will help drive them to second.
John Hardin is solid a 1 with Lever and a surging 8th grader named Sarah Swartz in the second spot. She recently was third at Lincoln Trail Conference race beating the Central Hardin group.
Central Hardin looked to be in a close race with Central Hardin, but #1 MacKenzie Pennington has not run since September dealing a huge blow to the squad. They still have Abbie Chandler and Michelle Navarro to lead the way.
North Hardin looks to be sitting in on the outside of the state berths led by Katie Gilbert and Jillian Shufelt. Their front three will need to break into the top 12 area for this group to make it.
Predicted State Qualifiers
Teams: Bowling Green, Barren County, John Hardin, Central Hardin
Individual Qualifiers: Chaley Trail (Grayson County), Katie Gilbert (North Hardin), Jillian Shufelt (North Hardin), Hannah Stanfield (Warren Central), and Katherine Smith (North Hardin)