Trigg sends team to state for first time in 17 years
by Scott Brown, Sports Editor Email Scott
Nov 09, 2004 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the first time in 17 years, Trigg County will be sending a boys team to the state cross country meet.

The Wildcats finished third out of seven teams, easily qualifying for this weekend’s championships in Lexington.

Three Wildcats finished in the top 20, and strong finishes by their numbers four and five runners helped Trigg County beat Ballard Memorial by 19 points. The top four teams qualify.

"I’m really pleased with the third place finish, and it really helped to have the race on our home course," said Wildcat head coach Mike Wright. "It gives us a course we know. We practice here and have two to three meets here a season. They just know the course."

Sophomore Zack Wright led Trigg County with a seventh place finish in 18:54.

Teammate Corey Harrison celebrated his 17th birthday with a 13th place finish in 19:40.

Freshman A.J. Bridges, who played soccer then moved over to the cross country team, was 19th in 20:35.

Seventh grader Zeke Wright was 27th in 21:36, and Adam Williams was 32nd in 22:16.

"Everyone had a good day for us, but I thought Zack had a tremendous race to finish seventh, and Corey ran strong as always," Wright said.

Trigg’s pack also finished well, with Chase Thomas coming in 43rd in 23:43, and Landen Burcham placing 44th in 24:32.

St. Mary’s Matthew Shoulta, the defending Class A state champ, won the race with a time of 17:04 over the 3.1-mile course.

Hancock County’s Zack Haydon was second in 17:26, helping the Hornets to the boys’ team title with 25 points.

Hancock, who placed five runners in the top nine, easily beat runner-up St. Mary by 20 points.

After Trigg County, Ballard Memorial was fourth and Fulton City sixth.

On the girls’ side, Trigg County didn’t have a great team score but still managed to qualify four runners for the state meet.

Melissa Taylor was Trigg County’s top runner with a 29th place finish in 30:16.

Leigh Whitney Groves was 30th in 30:54, while Skylynn Fortner (32nd, 32:57) and Kanisha Frye (34th, 35:26) also qualified.

Trigg’s fifth runner, Ellen Freeman, finished 35th in 38:59 and missed qualifying by one spot.

"I’m proud of our girls. We just missed sending a team back to state, but those that ran are going to receive something for sticking with something and finishing something," Wright said.

Hancock County eighth grader Lindsey Young won the race in 20:48, beating St. Mary’s Katherine Shoulta by 44 seconds.

St. Mary had three of the first nine runners to cross the finish line and won the meet with 36 points.

Dawson Springs took second and Hancock County, missing one of the state’s top runners in Robin Bivens, was third with 55 points. Bivens sat out the race with a sore throat.

Murray was fourth with 91 points, and Trigg was fifth with 145 points.

For Wright and Harrison, they will be making their third straight appearance at the state meet. Wright was 54th last year, while Harrison, battling injuries all season, was 167th.

Bridges will be making his second appearance at the state meet after a three-year absence.

The other four runners will be making their first appearance at the state meet.

As a team. Trigg County will tally a complete team score at the state meet for the first time since 1987.

"We’ve always had one or two good runners during that stretch but never enough to qualify. Our region has always been tough, but this year we put seven runners on the line who could compete," Wright said.

On the girls’ side, only Taylor has previously been to the state meet, finishing 172nd last year.

"There are runners in our school who could make us competitive every year," Wright said. "The key is getting them out, and the trouble is there’s so many sports in the fall competing for them."

The meet will be run Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park Campground in Lexington.

The girls’ Class A race starts at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with the boys to follow at 10:15 a.m.

Admission to the meet is six dollars.
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