|PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. The Highlands Ladybirds cross country team captured their school-record fourth straight state championship in the fall. It was also the 10th in school history.|
Highlands once again captured a number of region championships and several team and individual state championships. The highlight of the year came in the fall when the Ladybirds won their school-record fourth consecutive Class AA state cross country state championship. It marked the 10th in school history.
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Highlands recorded 53 points to capture the title and beat runner-up North Oldham by 32 points. The Ladybirds saw all five scorers in the top 25.
Highlands senior Lauren Ossege led the way finishing sixth in 19 minutes, 19.02 seconds. That came near her personal best of 19:15.18 when she finished state runner-up individually as a seventh-grader.
On the boys' side, Highlands senior Ethan Shuley repeated as individual Class AA state champion in 15:33.47. He bettered last year's time by about 25 seconds despite battling various injuries.
That helped the senior-laden Bluebirds to a state runner-up finish. Highlands had 71 points but North Oldham bettered it by 10 points to win the crown.
Senior Mikayla Reichert finished her stellar track and field career with two individual state championships in the Class AA meet in May. She won the discus throwing it 37 feet, two inches and the discus at 125-3. The University of Kentucky signee helped Highlands to a state runner-up finish with 67 points. Boyle County won it with 88 points.
Also in the fall, Highlands football accomplished a lot despite an 8-6 finish. The Bluebirds still beat Covington Catholic twice on their way to another district championship and their ninth straight region title. That run of region championships is the longest current streak in the state. Highlands graduated 29 seniors from the team.
Highlands started off the Class 5A state semifinals well against Pulaski County. The Bluebirds built a 28-14 lead and extended it to 31-14 in the third quarter. But the Maroons rallied to win 42-31 and finished state runner-up to Bowling Green.
The second season in the building process under Head Coach Katelyn Sallee finished 17-19. The Ladybirds finished 36th District runner-up to Newport Central Catholic before losing to Notre Dame in the 9th Region quarterfinals for the third straight year.
Highlands graduated seven seniors from the team. The highlight of the season was winning the Cake Classic.
The Ladybird soccer season hit the 15-win mark against just nine defeats. They again made it to the 9th Region semifinals before losing 1-0 to Notre Dame. Highlands graduated six seniors from the squad.
The Bluebird soccer team put together a 9-11-3 campaign. Highlands took eventual state champion Covington Catholic to penalty kicks before losing in the 9th Region quarterfinals. Highlands graduated nine seniors from the team.
In the spring, the Ladybird basketball team captured its third 36th District championship in four years finishing 22-11. Highlands beat Newport to win that crown.
The Ladybirds took out defending state champion Covington Holy Cross in the 9th Region quarterfinals but came up just short in a 54-51 loss to Ryle in the region semifinals. Highlands graduated four seniors.
The Bluebirds finished 7-17 again losing to Newport Central Catholic in the 36th District semifinals. They graduate six seniors but return a nice core to build around for next season.
The bowling teams both won the 5th Region championships. The Bluebirds advanced to the state quarterfinals before losing to South Warren and the Ladybirds lost in the first round of the state tournament to eventual state champion Taylor County. In the singles tournament, Highlands senior Jake Farley took third and Katelyn Schneider took eighth.
In swimming and diving, the combined teams won their fifth straight 7th Region title. The Bluebirds finished region and Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference runner-up for the first time in 10 years.
At the state meet, the teams had six top-eight finishers and nine top-16 placers. The combined teams finished 12th and the boys and girls teams captured 14th.
The spring brought a major first as the Highlands baseball and softball teams captured the 9th Region championship in the same season for the first time in school history. The Bluebirds won their second straight region crown and the Ladybirds won it for the second time in three seasons.
The Ladybirds finished 25-12 overall including 18-0 in region play. They beat George Rogers Clark to open the state tournament before losing a tough one to Daviess County in the next round and to defending state champion McCracken County in the loser's bracket. Highlands graduates four players from the team.
The Bluebirds ended up back in the state tournament with a strong postseason run. But Highlands (23-18 overall) lost to Johnson Central in the first round of the state tournament with a tough inning late in the game. Highlands graduated seven seniors from the squad.
The Bluebird track and field team also captured a region championship like the Ladybirds. The Bluebirds took fourth in Class AA. They'd won the championship two years ago and finished runner-up last year.
The Highlands tennis teams also had more stellar seasons both winning 10th Region championships. The Ladybirds finished 23-1 losing in the state semifinals to Louisville Sacred Heart and the Bluebirds finished 17-3 losing to Russell in the first round of the state tournament.