EARLIER: Regional cross country: Karas goes wire to wire

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SCHS girls, Collins boys also make State

By Josh Cook

BUCKNER – Caterina Karas had a strategy going into the Class AA, Region 3 cross country meet.

If she was feeling good, Karas, a junior at Collins High School, was going to go out fast.

The plan worked to perfection.

Karas broke out early, built an insurmountable lead on the 5,000-meter course at Oldham County High School and cruised to victory Saturday.

She finished in 18 minutes, 37.45 seconds – more than 22 seconds ahead of defending AA state champ Jenna Rogers of Christian Academy of Louisville.

“I just wanted to get out and keep the lead the whole way,” said Karas, who beat a stacked field that included six of the top seven runners in the KYtrackXC.com rankings. “I felt good, more confident that way.”

Karas, as well as the Shelby County girls’ team, led by sophomore Taylor Webb, and the Collins boys’ team, led by junior Thomas Smith, qualified for Saturday’s State Meet at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

“At first we asked her to go out with Jenna Rogers, but then we told her, if she felt good, just go out and go after it,” Collins Coach Stephen Drawbaugh said. “That let her build a 25-second gap at the mile and allowed her at the 2-mile to keep a 15-second lead.

“The way she ran was great. I couldn’t ask for her to do anything more.”

Karas had finished behind Rogers in the Valkyrie Invitational (Rogers was sixth, Karas ninth) on Sept. 18 and in the Greater Louisville Classic (Rogers was second, Karas fourth) on Oct. 2, but this time Rogers never challenged her.

“I felt better than I have before in any of our races...my mindset was higher today,” Karas said. “I just wanted to lead the pack the whole way today.”

Rogers finished in 18:59.92, and Webb wasn’t far back in fourth (19:23.82).

“I set a p[ersonal] r[ecord] by about 20 seconds, so I felt really good about my race,” Webb said. “It was really windy and cold to start out with, but after that, it warmed up.

“The woods [were tough] because it’s really narrow back there, so you have to get your position before you get back there.”

SCHS girls finish 5th

Led by Webb the Rockets finished fifth (with 149 points) in the team standings to end their bad luck at the region and earn a trip to Lexington.

“For the last four years we’ve been one spot away from going to state as a team,” SCHS Coach Brian Crumbo said. “This team has been great this year. This is special for Taylor and for the team.

“This team has done everything I’ve asked them to do, practicing twice a week at 6 a.m....we couldn’t have run any better than we did today.”

Top-ranked and two-time defending state champ South Oldham won the meet with 29 points. Collins finished sixth, five points behind the Rockets.

Webb was backed by eighth-grader Kayce Byrnside, who finished 24th (21:26.37), as well as senior Alyssa Anderson in 27th (21:29.62). Sophomore Jordan Webb in 50th (22:48.12) and junior Haley Miller in 58th (23:19.81) rounded out the Rockets’ team score.

For Collins, eighth-grader Brandi Pratt finished 26th (21:29.43), and seniors Tiffany Sharber and Lindsey Miller and eighth-grader Sinead Maharrey finished 47-49 respectively. It was the first varsity race for Maharrey.

Titans’ boys 3rd

Meanwhile the eighth-ranked Titans boys’ team earned its first trip to State by finishing third with 73 points. Fourth-ranked, and defending state champ South Oldham won the boys’ race with 40 points, and second-ranked North Oldham was second with 53.

Smith finished sixth overall in 17:06.36, less than a minute behind North Oldham junior Taylor Sanders, who won the race in 16:13.71. Smith, a junior, was one of four Titans to finish in the Top 20.

Collins freshman Justin Downs was 11th (17:26.63), and sophomore Devon Fielding was 12th (17:27.70). Junior Matthew Folsom finished 20th (17:49.67), and sophomore Nolan Petty rounded out the Titans’ scoring by finishing 29th (18:21.18).

“They ran really good,” Drawbaugh said.

Sophomore Blake Harris led Shelby County, finishing 34th (18:29.04). Also for the Rockets, who finished 10th, sophomore Logan Hull was 57th (20:33.08), eighth-grader Mason Daugherty was 68th (21:17.94) junior Thomas Harnois was 71st (21:46.62) and freshman Alex Dunn finished 79th (23:44.60).

Regional cross country results



Team scores (top five teams advance): 1. South Oldham 40; 2. North Oldham 53; 3. Collins 73; 4. Bullitt East 124; 5. North Bullitt 126; 6. Christian Academy of Louisville 147; 7. Henry County 157; 8. Atherton 233; 9. Fairdale 265; 10. Shelby County 280; 11. Central 307.

Top finisher: Taylor Sanders (North Oldham) 16:13.71.

Collins: 6. Thomas Smith 17:06.36; 11. Justin Downs 17:26.63; 12. Devon Fielding 17:27.70; 20. Matthew Folsom 17:49.67; 29. Nolan Petty 18:21.18; 37. Alex Hamilton 18:53.82; 47. Austin Dupre 19:38.14.

Shelby County: 34. Blake Harris 18:29.04; 57. Logan Hull 20:33.08; 68. Mason Daugherty 21:17.94; 71. Thomas Harnois 21:46.62; 79. Alex Dunn 23:44.60; 86. Sam Hull 26:59.98.


Team scores (top five teams advance): 1. South Oldham 29; 2. North Oldham 81; 3. Christian Academy of Louisville 117; 4. Bullitt East 148; 5. Shelby County 149; 6. Collins 154; 7. Mercy 158; 8. Presentation 188; 9. Spencer County 195; 10. Henry County 241; 11. Atherton 315.

Shelby County: 4. Taylor Webb 19:23.82; 24. Kayce Byrnside 21:26.37; 27. Alyssa Anderson 21:29.62; 50. Jordan Webb 22:48.12; 58. Haley Miller 23:19.81; 65. Collin Kessinger 24:21.23; 68. Autumn Wall 25:32.51.

Collins: 1. Caterina Karas 18:37.45; 26. Brandi Pratt 21:29.43; 47. Tiffany Sharber 22:45.55; 48. Lindsey Miller 22:46.99; 49. Sinead Maharrey 22:47.86; 56. Emily Parr 23:08.33; 60. Elizabeth Sharber 23:34.88.