|Ladybirds Take Fifth in 2A State Meet|
|PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands finished fifth in the Class 2A state meet this past Friday. The Ladybirds mile relay team finished first.|
The Ladybirds still managed to finish fifth in the Class 2A state meet at the University of Kentucky on Friday with 46 points and the Bluebirds took 11th with 17 points. The Ladybirds finished 14 points behind state runner-up John Hardin. Boyle County repeated as 2A girls state champs with 87 points and Mercer County won the boys with 113 points.
The Ladybirds finished state runner-up last year. They last won state three years in a row between 2008 and 2010 and the Bluebirds won 2A back in 2014.
"We lost a lot of point-scorers from last year," said Brian Alessandro, Ladybirds Head Coach. "Going in, I didn't think we'd finish in the Top Five. They stepped up and ran well."
The big highlight for both teams was the Ladybird mile relay team of senior Beth Ann Griffith, junior Savannah Brady, junior Sophie Steppe and freshman Adriana Muntaner winning the race in 4 minutes, 8.94 seconds. The group edged out the Boyle County squad by .06 seconds.
Brady also earned six points for Highlands in the 800-meter dash. She finished third in 2:26.66. Freshman Maria Broering took fourth in the mile run in 5:32.61.
The Bluebirds had several scorers. The highest finish came from senior Jake Hoarston. He finished fifth in the 300-meter hurdles in 41.54 seconds.
The Ladybirds captured another Region 4 championship with 185 points while the Bluebirds finishes second with 112 points. Lexington Catholic won it with 145 points.
The Highlands girls won 10 medals, including all four relays. The 4x400 relay team won the state championship. Savannah Brady was on that relay and won a solo medal by breaking a 25-year old school record in the 800. Maria Broering won three medals, including that relay. Mary Claire Redden medaled in both throws. Bailey Hall had a solo medal.
Highlands boys were led by Chuckie Buckler, who medaled in both hurdle events. Highlands won six boys medals overall.
The Highlands tennis teams capped off the season with two singles players and two doubles teams making state out of Region 10.
In singles play, Colin Rizzo lost in the 10th Region semifinals and Mia Smith qualified for state as region runner-up. Both lost in the first round of the state tournament.
In doubles play, Peter Laskey and Jeffrey Schenk won the 10th Region crown for the second straight year and the duo of Jana Riffe and Elizabeth Schwalbach finished region runner-up. In the state tournament, Riffe and Schwalbach won the first match but lost the second and Laskey and Schenk lost in the first round.
There was no team tournament this year. Team champions were determined by singles and doubles match winners.
The Bluebirds finished 16-3 overall, won the Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference team title and finished 10th Region runner-up. Schenk and Laskey made the 10th Region Coaches All-Region Team in addition to the Kentucky High School Tennis Coaches Association All-Region squad. Connor Millard, Jackson Hopper and Logan Harned also partook in the region tournament.
The Ladybirds finished 14-3-1 overall and finished runner-up in the 10th Region and Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference Division 2 runner-up. Smith, Schwalbach and Riffe made the KYHSTCA All-Region team. Rachel Hoffman, Jenna Riffe and Brooke Hodory also played in the region tournament.