Cross country preps for 2012 season

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By Kristin Beck

When new student Austin Crank reported to his first day of school at Carroll County Middle School, he did not expect it to also be his last. By the end of the day, the former Madison, Ind. student had been moved up from eighth to ninth grade because the cutoff dates are different — July 1 compared to October 1 — in Indiana and Kentucky.


As a result, Crank brings the total number of high school boys signed up to run for Carroll County Cross Country up to 10, making it the “biggest high school boys team that I’ve ever had,” head coach Joe Creager said. On the flip side, the team only had two high school girls sign up. There also is one middle school runner and two elementary school runners on the team.

Cross country teams must have a minimum of five runners to score as a full team. At some courses, seven runners is the maximum and the lowest two scores are dropped; other courses allow 10 runners, but teams must declare their top seven beforehand, Creager said. “By having seven, we’re not bound to having all of those kids’ scores contribute to our team score.”

Carroll County also will be able to earn points for its boys team toward the conference All-Sports award. Last year, the team had enough girls to count toward the award, but not enough boys.

Carroll County will host its lone home meet of the season on Sept. 11 at General Butler State Resort Park. A new KHSAA rule change dictates that all NCKC schools must participate in four of the six NCKC meets to be eligible for the conference championship meet at Owen County Oct. 9. Because Carroll County is the most central location for the NCKC teams, Creager said he expects a good turnout.

Those who ran the course last year will note one change: the return of the lap around Butler Lake. Creager said the lap was added back in after a one-year hiatus after the gravel lot was installed around it. Because the course must still be the same distance, runners will not race around the playground area near the railroad tracks this season, he said.

Another schedule highlight is Sept. 22 when the varsity team will be competing in Madison while the elementary, middle school and JV teams travel to Walton-Verona for the Happy Feet Invite.