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Saturday, November 2, 2019

Class 2A State Cross Country Meet

Highlands Girls, Boys Place in Top 5 in State Meet

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands freshman Eden Brumer runs toward the finish line in the Class 2A state meet on Saturday at Kentucky Horse Park. The Highlands girls finished third in Class 2A.

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior Will Griffith (middle) vaults toward the finish in the Class 2A state cross country meet on Saturday. The Bluebirds finished fourth.
The Highlands Bluebirds boys and girls cross country teams have consistently been in contention for Class 2A state championships and this season turned out to be no different at Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington on Saturday.

Both settled for top five finishes. The girls took third with 125 points and the boys finished fourth with 175. Class 2A, Region 4 rival Scott repeated as 2A state champs in the girls with 74 points and Corbin won the 2A boys title with 134 points.

"We have really young teams," said Brian Alessandro, Highlands Cross Country Head Coach. "It's just a testament to having a nice tradition in our program. We expect to win and we expect to do well and I think that helps."

The Highlands girls had won five state championships and finished runner-up in Class 2A the last seven years. But last year's individual state girls champion in junior Maggie Schroeder r20an for the first time since the middle of September. Schroeder had been out because of mono. Schroeder still managed to finish 10th in 20 minutes, 10.96 seconds.

"We've been kind of behind all season with some injuries and such," Alessandro said. "At one point, we were eighth and ninth so finishing third with sick Maggie and we had some good performances, that's all we can ask. Top three is terrific."

Freshman Alyssa Harris also made the podium individually for Highlands taking 10th in 20:14.53. Freshman Eden Brumer took 25th in 20:43.04 and senior Alissa Campbell took 41st in 21:18.76. Freshman Ruby Smith was the fifth Highlands scorer finishing in 43rd with 21:21.73.

"I think we were falling apart a little bit, then we got ourselves back together," Brumer said. "We have a good, solid team for the state meet, but we'll continue to work hard and stay strong for next year."

Seventh grader Adrienne Harris and junior Kayma Wolfinbarge also ran for the Bluebirds. Harris took 52nd in 21:35.38 and Wolfinbarge took 69th in 22:09.98.

The Highlands boys did edge out Lexington Catholic (179) after the Knights beat out the Bluebirds for the Class 2A, Region 4 crown title last week. The teams tied for the title, but the sixth Lexington Catholic runner finished 20th compared to 22nd for the sixth Highlands runner.

"We shot we had a shot to do it," Alessandro said. "We were 25 points out of third place. It was super close so I'm proud of both (teams)."

Highlands freshman Sam Hopper, junior Will Griffith and sophomore Sam Jones again led the Bluebirds. Hopper finished 20th in 17:21.02 with Griffith taking 24th in 17:26.75 and Jones taking 27th in 17:28.90.

"Our seniors were great leaders so it's going to be hard to see them leave," Jones said. "There are a lot of teams. a lot of runners here. Getting the experience is the main purpose."

Eighth grader Malcolm Robertson and junior Peter Laskey rounded out the Highlands scoring. Robertson finished 56th in 18:03.13 and Laskey took 58th in 18:06.25.

Sophomore Thomas Gray-Torse and freshman John Laskey also ran for the Bluebirds. Gray-Torse finished 89th in 18:33.13 and Laskey took 102nd in 18:43.39.

The Highlands girls own 11 state championships in school history. The Highlands boys have three with the last one coming in 1985.

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