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Eastern Cross Country Starting Strong

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The Eastern Cross Country team heads to the Kentucky Horse Park this weekend (Saturday 9/19) for the Franklin County Invitational as their season hits full stride.

The men’s team enters the meet looking for the first invitational championship of the season. The guys started the season ranked 8th in KY AAA by www.KYTrackXC.com but look to show improvement this Saturday.

The team’s first two invitationals showed promise. At the Tiger Run the boys finished 4th behind the state’s top 3 preseason teams. At the last competition, Central Kentucky’s run for the Gold, the boys finished 3rd, just one point behind the state’s 6th ranked team and perennial power Daviess Co. and defending state champion’s South Oldham. The team also defeated two teams ranked ahead, beating #7 Central Hardin and #4 Meade County.

In the early season the boys have been led by sophomores Sam Ackerman and Emerson Wells who traded the top spot on the team in the first two races. At the Tiger Run Ackerman ran a huge PR to finish the 5k race 7th in 16:18 with Wells at 16:44. The next week Wells was 5th in 16:23 at Run for the Gold with Ackerman 10 seconds back.

Head Coach Mike Horan says, “We are excited about the early results but know that we have not put a complete race together yet. To contend with the state’s best teams we need to have all 7 guys running well on race day.”

The Lady Eagles have dealt with some injuries and a young team but knew from the beginning of the season that their route to success would be to build momentum throughout the year. At the Run for the Gold, the ladies split their squad to run the top 9th grader’s in the freshman 4k, where Sarah Whitaker won in 17:46, with teammate Alex Casey in 5th. The varsity 5k race was led by Allison Burgin at 21:41.

This week at Franklin County will be the first race to include the 9th graders in the varsity race and should be the best team showing yet in this young season.

“I have been preaching patience with our ladies throughout the early season. The results haven’t shown yet how strong our team can be. This weekend will be fun to finally have a scoring group and to see several of our younger runners in their first varsity competition,” said Horan of his ladies.

The team has also demonstrated strong depth in the early going. In addition to the victory from Whitaker in the freshman girls race the freshman and JV boys teams each won their respective races at the Run for the Gold.

Complete stats including all race results for the team are maintained here: http://ky.milesplit.com/teams/east

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