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The Trinity/Sacred Heart Invitational this year again was the most competitive and biggest race in the state of Kentucky.
The event featured 16 state-ranked teams from the commonwealth and 11 ranked squads from Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee, including the nationally ranked squad from Carmel, Ind.
In the girls race, the Lady Raiders finished 17th of 28 teams. The squad ran without senior Allison Joyce, who is recovering from an injury. Despite the finish, Trimble girls improved their team average time from last year’s 21:41 by six seconds, running a team split of 21:35.
Jessica Cooley led the Lady Raiders by placing 57th in 20:37. Erin Gonterman ran a personal best time of 20:41 to place 64th. Brandi Chappell finished 70th in 20:52. Kylie Wilberding finished 133rd in 22:49 and set a new personal record. Sixth-grader Kirsten Baird placed 136th in 22:54 and also set a new PR; her classmate Morgan Chappell also set a PR, placing 148th in 23:28. Senior, Alex Rand placed 151st in 24:01; Colyn True finished 155th in 24:04 (PR); and Jessie Smith placed 190th in 24:23.
“I was happy with how the girls ran today,” Coach Jeff Vincent said. “We didn’t place very well, but that was expected running without Allison. We still have a lot of work to do; but this is a tough bunch of girls. They will be ready come state time.”
In the boys race, the Raiders placed 23rd out of 30 teams also running without one of their senior standouts, Taylor Ball. Like the girls, the boys improved their team average time (17:56) by 57 seconds from last season’s 18:13 to this season’s 17:56. And, the squad’s top five runners each set a new personal best time.
Daryl Heveline and Justin Perkins blazed across the line in 17:07 and 17:08, respectively, to place 75th and 77th. Both set a new personal best and school record for fastest 5K time. Kyle Howdyshell also set a new personal best time of 17:45 and placed 126th overall. Christian Apel’s new PR is 18:44, and placed 175th. Connor Ball’s new PR is 18:57, which placed him 179th. Mike Baird finished 190th in 19:35; Tray Robbins placed 201st in 20:45; Kevin Bailey finished 267th in 21:07; And Cory Bailey placed 271st in 21:19.
“Wow! I can’t think of a better word to describe their performances,” Vincent said. “After last weekend’s race, I got after the boys pretty hard. I questioned their pride and competitiveness. They responded well today; improving 57 seconds from last season is incredible.”
Vincent said the boys also still need to work hard, but “this bunch showed me some fight today.”
The next cross-country race Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Franklin County Invitational, the home of the new Kentucky State cross-country course.