LEXINGTON CATHOLIC CROSS COUNTRY INVITATIONAL
October 20, 2012 @ New Horse Park in Lexington, KY
Hosted by Lexington Catholic Timing/Results: AllTrax Timing
Large School Boys Race
The large school boys race this year is loaded with many of the top individuals in Class AAA including 14 of the top 16 runners in the current KYtrackXC.com Class AAA Rankings. Six of the top 10 teams are in attendance as well for what should answer some questions about the pecking order for the AAA State Meet on November 10th.
Class AAA #1/ US #5 St. Xavier leads the way going into the meet with a serious possibility of scoring under 25 points to win. AAA #1 Connor Sheryak, the defending State Champion in Class AAA leads the way for the Tigers. He along with Sam Lewis make a nice 1-2 combo up front, but the strength of this team lies in the pack. Nick Reader, Max Mudd, Chris Striegel, and Thomas Cave will not be far behind and should be all over the front of this race. All six runners are ranked better than 11th in Class AAA right now. The last time the "A" squad ran, they were defeated for the first time this season at Great American by US #1 Christian Brothers Academy (NJ.) Other than that, they are undefeated including wins the last two weeks without the top runners competing.
AAA # 3 Daviess County will battle with #5 Eastern for second place on Saturday. Daviess led by AAA # 6 Daniel Southard and #9 Cameron Quisenberry beat Eastern at the end of September at the Greater Louisville Classic. Their strength up front at 1-2 gives them an immediate advantage over Eastern's pack. Eastern's top four has an season average time between 17:13 and 17:20 showing just a seven second gap.
The race behind them will be interesting as teams look to move up for the post-season. Local teams such as Paul Dunbar and Tates Creek will duke it out along with Cooper out of the north and Pulaski County out of the southeastern part of the state.
The individual race is another match-up between Sheryak and Lewis from St. Xavier and Butler's Patrick Gregory. Gregory bettered both of them at Tiger Run in August, while Lewis got both at the Trinity Invitational. Sheryak then beat both at Great American. Regardless of who wins, this race should be really close. The St. Xavier pack will then mix it up with the best in AAA (pretty much look at the Top 20 from this week in Class AAA.)
Large School Girls
The boys race gives us a nationally ranked team and the girls race does not disappoint either in this regard as Assumption, AAA #1 and US #5 come into Lexington. Assumption won Great American in North Carolina over a higher ranked Saratoga Springs (NY) squad, the last time the "A" squad competed. Their only loss this year was at the Valkyrie Invitational over current MileSplit US #1 Carmel (IN.) The top two Rockets runners, Bailey Davis and Katherine Receveur come in ranked #1 and 2 in Class AAA with the rest of the top five coming in ranked better than 13th. The pack will attempt to score under 30 at Lexington Catholic, but faces a tougher team competition than St. Xavier does in the boys race. The AAA girls races brings in 9 of the top 10 teams in Class AAA. The lone hold-out is #4 Oldham County.
Assumption is the easy choice to win, the choice is just by how much. #2 Bowling Green faced them at the Valkyrie Invitational and Great American with Assumption winning by nearly double. The pack of Bowling Green is led by a surging Madisyn Peeples. The 8th grader has crossed into the 18s the last two times she has competed including a 18:34 the last time out at SKY Conference last week. BG's pack is their strength, they seem to flip-flop places on the team each race. The team will need big times days out of the girls to challenge Assumption.
Sacred Heart, duPont Manual, and Daviess County are in the next group of teams. They all went head to head at Greater Louisville with SHA winning. They each have tremendous strength in the front trios. Sacred Heart has Maggie Allen up front, Manual has defending AAA State Champ Cassidy Hale, and Daviess County has the 1-2 combo of Whitney O'Bryan and Claire Payne. Daviess has the strongest three, but sits a little further back at 4-5 than Manual and SHA.
The rest of the top 10 met at Greater Louisville as well and will duke it out again.
The individual race is a state preview. Davis and Receveur have both been sub 18 this season multiple times and look to the favorites. The last to win on this course with this group was Hale, so it is her ground to defend. Maggie Allen won at Greater Louisville beating O'Bryan and Payne up front. Watch out for Assumption #3 Emily Bean as well. Overall this girls race is probably the best race of the day.
Small School Boys
The biggest news of the day is that Jacob Thomson (Holy Cross) is skipping the large school race and competing with his teammates in the small school race. He has made his presence known nationally this fall with victories at Tiger Run and the Trinity Invitational, along with a runner-up finish at Great American. He is currently ranked #6 in the latest MileSplit US Top 25 and has been as high as #3 this season. The biggest question is can he run the fastest time ever on the new horse park course (15:33.)
To get the time, he will need some help from Lexington Catholic's Nicholas Laureano. The senior finished fourth overall at the Trinity Invitational beating all the Class AAA runners to the line. If he can keep contact with Thomson through two miles that will help both of them tremendously.
The Class A battle for second will be playing out in this race with Jonathan Taylor, Nicholas Waltman, Eric Baugh, and Michael Caldwell all going head to head. The only missing pieces are Owen County's Hunter Trenary and St. Henry's Daniel Wolfer. Taylor has had some big performances this year and looks to be the favorite, but Waltman has the best pedigree as far the past goes. He has been hindered by a minor injury and will look to show he is back into top form.
This team race is wide open and whoever wins will have a pretty large score. AA #2 Covington Catholic comes in as the favorite with the host school, Lexington Catholic AA #3 close behind. AA #5 Edmonson County and #6 Bullitt East are others schools from AA to mix it up. Highlands will be in the mix depending on whether or not the whole squad runs.
Small School Girls
Last week at the Dragon Invitational it was AA #1 South Oldham v. #2 North Oldham with South winning. This week it is #2 North Oldham taking on #3 Highlands. At the St. Xavier Invitational (OH) at the end of September, both teams ran but in separate races. Just using the times from the meet, North Oldham was stronger with Erin Edmundson rolling up front. Now three weeks later they go head to head in the same race. The gap between the top three schools in Class AA is not a large one at all, so this race will show a lot for the state meet in three weeks.
Highlands will try to hammer the front with the Ossege's (Lauren & Sydney) and Molly Mearns. North Oldham will counter with Edmundson, Marissa Lowe, and Maggie Fiorito. Whichever group comes in first will beat the other. North Oldham will rely more on a closer 1-5 pack than Highland which is stronger up front.
Class A #1 St. Henry will be in the mix as well led by Taylor Connett. They will need Samantha Hentz to be competing to hang with the AA combo up front. Hentz came back last week to run at the St. Henry Invitational after being out for over a month.
Individually this race will have the Highlands glad up front to go along with Edmundson, but the real interesting race is between Karly Gawarecki (Holy Cross), Megan Smith (Danville), and Philippine Couturier (Sayre.) Three-time Class A State Champ Maddox Patterson has been knocked out by a bout with illness and will be returning for the regional race in two weeks. The race behind her is between the three above. Gawarecki was on top at the Greater Louisville Classic and will look to continue that trend. Either way, the result will have major affect on the post-season.