By Don Brown
Running short-handed at the massive Greater Louisville Classic at E. P. “Tom” Sawyer Park last Saturday, the Cougar cross country team still finished in the top-20.
In addition to many of the top cross country programs in Kentucky, three teams from Tennessee and one from Ohio made the trip to Louisville to take part. In all, there were 56 teams and 467 runners in the race.
The Cougars were without juniors Sheldon Jones and Jacob Hart, and sophomore Corbin Harris. Both Jones and Harris have been running consistently in point positions this season, and had they been there, no doubt the Cougars would have finished much higher in the team standings,
Sophomore Bret Crawford, who has been the top Cougar finisher in every race so far this year, again was the first Cougar across the line in Louisville. He finished the 5K race in an excellent time of 16:46.34, his best time this year.
Junior Clay Priddy finished 82nd overall with a time of 17:48.52, and sophomore Bradley Stone was 133rd in 18:15.22. Senior Justin Gallagher was 171st in 18:23.65, while junior Blake Meredith was 372nd in 20:46.33. Sophomore Taylor Reyes finished out of the points in 419th place with a time of 21:55.71.
Muhlenberg County junior Chase Geary won the individual title with a time of 16:00.74. Daviess County took the team title with 129 points, North Oldham was second with 137, and Louisville Eastern was third with 149. Grayson County was 20th with a total of 664 points.
The Lady Cougars added some of their middle school runners to be eligible for a team score, but bad luck knocked them out of team consideration. Grayson County’s top runner, junior Chaley Trail, who ran at the state finals last year, fell ill during the race and was unable to finish.
The top finisher for the Lady Cougars was eighth-grader Teresa Graas, who finished 222nd of 362 runners with a time of 23:53.50. Eighth-grader Myriam Hanover was 269th in 25:09.16, sophomore Maggie Lush was 284th in 25:37.82, and seventh-grader Heather Priddy was 295th in 26:03.52.
With 41 teams in the race, Louisville’s Sacred Heart finished first with 71 points. Daviess County was second with 86 points and Louisville Butler was third with 124. Sacred Heart’s Maggie Allen finished first with a time of 18:17.44.
The varsity runners will have this weekend off while the middle school and elementary school runners will make the trip to Bardstown to take part in the popular Hillbilly Run, at Hillbilly Heaven.