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The Lexington Catholic Invitational looked more like an October state cross country championship than a normal Saturday race.
Nine of the top ten ranked teams in Class A along with four top teams from Class AA division toed to the line this past Saturday morning in Lexington at the Kentucky Horse Park, home of the Kentucky State Cross Country Championship.
Before the race started, the #4 ranked Lady Raiders were picked to finish 6th overall in the tough field of the top 22 teams. However the girls from Trimble County must have not gotten the memo because they came out and finished 4th overall and knocked off the #3 team in the state, Villa Madonna. The Lady Raiders placed 2nd to all Class A schools. Only #1 ranked St. Henry who won the meet bested the Lady Raiders.
Junior, Allison Joyce led the Lady Raiders by finishing 16th overall in 20:50. Sophomore, Brandi Chappell followed close behind placing 18th overall in 20:53. Jessica Cooley finished 30th in 21:23. 7th grader, Erin Gonterman came up big for the Lady Raiders by finishing 64th in 22:39. Hannah Davis placed 91st in 23:35. Alex Rand finished 118th in 24:21. Danyal Adams placed 137th in 24:54. And Jessica Smith finished 141st in 25:18. The Lady Raiders’ team average was 21:52. Allison Joyce and Brandi Chappell both received medals for their performance.
Coach Vincent added,“We are definitely excited about this finish. Our goal was to place in the top 5 and we did it. We were very strong up front with Allison, Brandi, and Jessica running well. The difference was the gutsy performance of our 4th and 5th runners. Erin and Hannah really stepped up today. Though we still have work to do and the season is far from being over this finish was very encouraging for us.”
The #5 ranked, Trimble boys’ placed 12th overall in the tough field of 26 teams. The Raider boys’ finished 6th overall out of all Class A division schools however. #6 Owensboro Catholic edged the Raiders out by placing 11th overall.
Junior, Taylor Ball led the Raiders by placing 38th overall in 17:45. Justin Perkins was Trimble’s next finisher. Perkins placed 66th overall in 18:21. Senior, Kyle Bland coming back from an injury finished 91st in 18:48. Kyle Howdyshell placed 121st in 19:16. Kevin Bailey finished 121st in 19:16. Mike Baird finished 157th in 20:08. Matt Stethen placed 162nd in 20:16. Chris Bailey finished 177th in 20:54. Jade Wheeler finished 182nd in 21:04. Christian Apel placed 186th in 21:17. And Cory Bailey finished 204th in 22:35. The Raiders team average was 18:40.
“We wanted to finish within the top 6 of the Class A schools today and we accomplished that goal. #6 Owensboro Catholic got us today however they ran well. We got a big race from Taylor Ball and Justin Perkins. It was also great to have Kyle Bland back in the top 5. We missed Daryl today however. Like the girls, we still have a lot of work to do however the confidence is present and this team isn’t satisfied. The guys are focused right now to have our “perfect” race.”
The Runnin’ Raiders compete in the North Central Kentucky Conference Championships in Williamstown Oct. 18.