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Monday, October 25, 2021

Highlands Boys Cross Country Wins Region

Highlands Girls Also Qualify for State

Contributed Photo. The Highlands Bluebirds boys cross country team won its first region crown since 2015 Saturday.

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The Highlands Bluebirds boys cross country team found itself back at the top of Class 2A, Region 4 mountain with a solid showing Saturday at Falling Springs Park in Versailles.

The Bluebirds won the eight-team race with 31 points placing the five scorers in the top 10 out of 57 racers. The top runner and fifth runner finished within 12 seconds of each other. Bourbon County took second with 81 points.

This marked the first region crown for the Highlands boys since 2015. The Bluebirds had finished region runner-up to Lexington Catholic the previous five years.

Junior Sam Hopper led the way finishing fourth in 18 minutes, 1.57 seconds and senior Sam Jones took fifth in under a second at 18:02.52. Sophomores Malcolm Robertson and Owen McCain finished sixth and seventh in 18:04.88 and 18:07.95 respectively. The team's average time was 18:06.08.

"We've just been making this connection with each other where it makes it so much easier to run as a team," Hopper said. "I think that's what led to our success. The real success I felt was knowing I had five teammates right behind me. I was just so happy the team performed so well."

Senior Thomas Gray-Torsell finished off the Highlands scoring in ninth in 18:13.48. Lexington Catholic senior David Reinhart won the race in 16:37.23.

"They've been running as a pack anyway," said Brian Alessandro, Highlands Head Coach. "In most of the races they've run, they may be 40 seconds apart for one through five. That was a really strong showing for them."

Junior Cameron Myers and senior Will White also ran for Highlands. Myers took 12th in 18:31.19 and White finished 19:09.52.

The Highlands girls finished fourth out of six teams still qualifying for state with 99 points. Scott won it with 36. Alessandro called it a rebuilding year with the graduation of some key runners from last year including two-time individual state champion Maggie Schroeder. Juniors Alyssa Harris and Ruby Smith could not run because of injuries.

Seventh grader Ella Taylor led Highlands finishing 12th in 21:34.85. Junior Eden Brumer had led Highlands all year. Brumer took 14th in 21:39.07. Freshman Adrienne Harris took 20th in 22:38.93 scoring 19 team points.

"I think it's really good that we got some younger girls to run because eventually in a couple of years, they'll be able to take over the team," Brumer said. "But I was surprised. I didn't think we were going to make it in to state as a team. But it's really good that we did because it gives us a boost of confidence."

Eighth grader Sydney Houlihan took 27th in 23:21.15 scoring 26 points and eighth grader Rosalyn Brown took 29th scoring 28 points in 23:46.33. Seventh grader Sophie Taylor finished 30th in 23:48.11 and freshman Sarah Jones took 36th in 25:18.82 out of 43 runners.

"We're a young program and we wound up finishing just eight points out of third place," Alessandro said. "We're missing one of our returning runners who was at a wedding."

The Class 2A state meet takes place at Bourbon Cross Country Course in Paris on Friday. The girls race at 4 p.m. and the boys run at 5 p.m.

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