On the way to the meet, the Wildcat runners had a chance to get their first look at the course that will host the Region I Meet at Vastwood Park in Lewisport in Hancock County.
“It’s an amazing course. There are some hills like I’ve never seen before. It’s difficult to say the least,” said Wildcat head coach Mike Wright, who also added he wasn’t very enthused about having to drive two hours and 40 minutes to compete at the region level.
The boys’ team will be trying to become the first Wildcat team to qualify for the state meet in consecutive years in 18 years.
Trigg finished third last year, with Zack Wright the lone Wildcat to finish in the top ten at the region meet.
On the girls’ side, Trigg County will send a young but experienced team to the starting line Saturday.
Last year, the Lady Wildcats didn’t qualify for the state meet as a team but did send four runners to the state meet.
The girls’ race is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m., with the boys’ race to follow at 1:15 p.m.
The top four teams and top seven runners not on those four teams qualify for the state cross country meet Nov. 12 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
At the Meet of Champions, the Wildcat varsity team finished the Class A race in seventh place, with Trigg packing together four runners in the top 34 places.
Michael Polanec was Trigg’s top runner with a 26th place finish in 18:16, followed across the finish line by Zack Wright in 32nd with a time of 18:38 on the 3.1-mile course.
Corey Harrison finished 33rd in 18:39, and Zach Storms was 34th in 18:41.
“Used to, four runners in the top 35 would have been enough to win the state meet, but now you have to have five in the top ten,” said head coach Mike Wright, who was referring to St. Henry, who had the top four runners in the race and five of the top 12.
Jay Jolly crossed the line in 70th place in 20:25, while Chase Thomas was 109th in 22:51, and Grady Cofield was 111th in 23:24.
St. Henry’s Reggie Bieger won the race and bettered 122 other runners with a time of 16:32.
In the girls’ varsity race, sophomore Taylor Bryant had a personal best time of 26:53 and finished in 95th place.
Kanisha Frye came in 99th in 27:16, followed by Melissa Taylor in 100th place (27:17), and Leigh Groves in 101st place in 27:26.
Danville sixth grader Kaitlin Snapp won the Class A race, topping 113 other runners with a time of 19:29 on the 3.1-mile course.
In the boys’ sixth grade and under race, Trigg County fifth grader Romaine Cunningham finished in eighth place out of 422 runners in the non-classed race. Cunningham ran the 2.4-mile course in 11:58, which was 36 seconds behind race winner James Brown of Bell County Middle School.
“Romaine has a shot to win that race next year. He was one of the fastest fifth graders in the race,” Wright said.
Landon Sumner finished 308th in 15:35, while Matt Brokering was 396th in 17:57.
In the girls’ sixth grade and under race, DiAsia Acree was Trigg’s first runner across the line in 94th place with a time of 14:43.
Fourth grader Macey King was 96th in 14:45, and Sierra Bush was 241st in 16:53.
Southwestern fifth grader Emily Belwood bettered 368 other runners to win the race in 12:53.
In the boys’ middle school race, Zeke Wright finished 45th out of 487 runners with a time of 14:48.
Meade County’s Sean Breeds won the race with a winning time of 13:04.
Kristen Waldrop was Trigg’s top runner in the girls’ middle school race, finishing 246th with a time of 20:24. Scottie Fortner was 252nd in 20:34.
John Hardin eighth grader Maggie Mattingly won the race, beating 331 other runners across the line in 14:49.