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Friday, October 29, 2021

Highlands Boys Place in Top Four in Class 2A State Cross Country Meet

Young Highlands Girls Team Showed Improvement Throughout Season

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands sophomore Owen McCain led the Bluebirds in the Class 2A State Cross Country meet at Bourbon County Cross Country Course. McCain placed 32nd in 17 minutes, 57.53 seconds.

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The goals for the Highlands Boys and Girls Cross Country teams Friday in the Class 2A State Meet were top four and top six finishes.

The Highlands boys took home some hardware taking fourth with 188 points out of 31 teams, but the Highlands girls placed 11th with 301 points out of 27 teams. North Oldham won the boys race with 68 points and Lexington Catholic won the girls title with 77 points.

"I'm proud of them. I think we ran a little bit worse than we were expecting," said Brian Alessandro, Highlands Head Coach. "They kind of looked a little flat after the mile. But to their credit, they ran as a pack still. They just didn't have it. But they gave it all that they could."


This marked the second year the race took place at the Bourbon County Cross Country Course after it took place at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington for years. The countryside terrain made for some challenges. The rain made the course muddy.

"It's definitely rolling hills," Alessandro said. "It's not an easy course. But if you run it right, you can run really fast times here as we saw (Friday)."

Highlands sophomore Owen McCain led Highlands placing 32nd out of 243 runners in 17 minutes, 57.53 seconds scoring 31 points. The Bluebirds ran in a pack again as the first and fifth placers finished just more than 15 seconds from each other. The Bluebirds averaged 18:06.66 in the race.

Senior Thomas Gray-Torsell took 35th in 18:03.51 for 34 points. Senior Sam Jones took 40th in 18:09.37 scoring 38 points. Sophomore Malcolm Robertson took 43rd in 18:10.19 scoring 41 points and senior Will White finished off the Highlands scoring 44 points taking 46th in 18:12.67.

"It shows that we really cared," Robertson said. "It didn't turn out the way we wanted it to. But we all did our best. In the end, that's all that matters."

Juniors Sam Hopper and Cam Myers also ran for the Bluebirds. Hopper finished 57th in 18:29.29 and Myers took 61st in 18:31.24.

2000 Memorial Parkway. 

The Highlands boys won the Class 2A, Region 4 meet on Saturday for the first time since 2015 and the girls placed fourth. The girls took the final team spot in region to qualify for state. 

Seventh grader Ella Taylor led the Bluebirds taking 22nd for 21 points in 20:54.97. Five middle schoolers ran in the race for the Highlands girls, which ran without injured juniors Alyssa Harris and Ruby Smith.

"It's been really fun. We're just happy that we made it this far," Taylor said. "I didn't really think that I would make it this far. I'm honestly really surprised with how I've done and I'm really happy for everyone else and how they've done."

Junior Eden Brumer finished 29th scoring 26 points in 21:09.16. Freshman Adrienne Harris took 77th for 65 points in 22:23.88. Eighth graders Isabella Neufarth and Sydney Houlihan finished off the scoring for the Bluebirds in 112th and 119th scoring 92 and 97 points in 23:06.89 and 23.18.07 respectively. The average time for Highlands finished at 22:10.6.

"Realistically, I thought we'd get top 10," Alessandro said. "We started the season ranked 24th so 11th is great for such a young team. I'm really proud of them."

Seventh grader Sophie Taylor and eighth grader Rosalyn Brown also ran in the race. Taylor finished 132nd in 23:30.45 and Brown finished 148th out of 220 runners in 23:56.88.

The Highlands boys graduated three seniors in White, Jones and Gray-Torsell. But the Highlands girls do not have any seniors.

The Highlands boys are searching for that elusive fourth Class 2A state crown. The other ones came in 1979, 1983 and 1985. The Highlands girls own 11 state championships in school history. The last one came in 2017.

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