Runnin’ Raiders perform well in season ending meet at St. Henry

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By The Staff

The Runnin’ Raiders closed their regular race schedule Oct. 25 at the St. Henry Invitational in Florence, Ky. The race featured top ranked Class A schools such as #1 ranked St. Henry, #2 Walton Verona, #4 ranked Lexington Christian and several top ranked Division AAA teams.

The #3 ranked Lady Raiders ended the regular season on a positive note, finishing fifth overall in the highly competitive meet attended by 15 teams. The Raiders tallied 138 points and a team average of 21:31.

Top ranked St. Henry, with 39 points, won the meet followed by Dixie Heights’ 85 points. Second-ranked Walton Verona finished with 123points followed by Cooper High School with 133 points.

The Lady Raiders’ Brandi Chappell had a big race by finishing third overall and running a personal best 20:14. Teammate Jessica Cooley placed 18th in 21:07. Allison Joyce finished 27th in 21:29 and Erin Gonterman placed 41st and ran a personal best 22:12. Hannah Davis finished 49th with a personal best 22:53.

Danyal Adams placed 50th in her personal best 22:55 and Alex Rand finished 57th and ran a personal best 23:06. Jessica Smith placed 75th and ran a personal best 24:27. An injured Kelsie Courtney, running in her first race in four weeks, placed 88th in 26:30.

Coach Jeff Vincent said, “This is the break out race I’ve been looking for from Erin, Hannah, Danyal and Alex. They came ready to run today and it showed by all of them running a personal best time. Our top three girls ran well, too. Brandi was outstanding today, as was Jessica. Allison was a bit discouraged after the race, however with her drive and focus I have no doubts she will bounce back for region and state. As a team, we will need to be faster at state to accomplish our top three finishing goal, but these girls will be ready for the challenge. Our sights are on the Region 5 Championship race now. We want to bring Trimble County home another region championship trophy.”

The seventh ranked Raider boys team also finished the season on a positive note. They placed fourth overall in a loaded field of top teams from A, AA and AAA schools. St. X won the meet with 28 points.

Cooper placed second with 83 points and Class A number one St. Henry placed third with 85 points. The Raiders finished fourth with 182 points and a team average of 18:11. No. 3 ranked Walton Verona placed 11th with 280 points and fifth ranked Lexington Christian placed 10th overall with 268 points.

Taylor Ball finished the season blazing through the chute in 17:24 placing 23rd overall. Following Ball was teammate Daryl Heveline, finishing 34th in 18:00, a personal best time. Kyle Howdyshell placed 37th in a personal best of 18:14 and Justin Perkins finished 42nd in 18:33.

Kyle Bland placed 46th in 18:45, Mike Baird finished 56th with a personal best time of 19:09 and Matt Stethen placed 66th in 19:31. Jade Wheeler finished 76th in 19:53 and Kevin Bailey placed 78th in 19:58. Chris Bailey finished 90th in 21:21 and Brandon Liter crossed the finish line 92nd in 21:31, which was a personal best time.

Of the Raider boys, Vincent said, “What a great way to end our regular season. Placing in the top four in a race like this is a pretty big accomplishment. We got a big race from all of our guys today. To see their smiles and pride after the race was priceless. I was hoping this race would give us the confidence we need before going into the post season and it did just that. We now turn our focus to the regional championship meet. Our guys want to bring home a championship very badly. Lexington Christian Academy will be tough to beat, however we will be up for the challenge when the time comes.”

The Runnin’ Raiders get a much needed rest this week to prepare for the Region 5 Championship, held Nov. 8 at Admiral Stadium in Danville, KY. The boys’ varsity race begins at 3 p.m. followed by girls’ varsity at 4 p.m.