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With the boys’ Class 3A, Region 4 cross country meet, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
For the past two years, Shelby County’s Stacey Eden has taken the top individual honors and Trinity has taken the team title. And this weekend, when the region meet begins at 1:15 p.m. at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park, those rules may remain constant.
Eden again will be among the top runners at the regional meet. He won at Charlie Vettiner Park in 2007 and at Seneca Park in 2008. Eden’s freshman year, 2007, was his only high school year that he didn’t win the regional. That year, the race was at Tom Sawyer Park.
Though nine of last season’s top 15 in the region graduated, Eden and a host of familiar faces should be back at the top. The Shelby County senior will be joined in the lead pack by Trinity’s Jake Wildenmann, third in 2008, and Colin Medley, 14th, and Eastern’s Ben Turi, 15th. Oldham County’s Luke Weishaar, sixth last year, has just returned from injury and will likely also be near the front.
“Stacey is going to battle for the top spot, that’s for sure,” SCHS Coach Randall McDowell said.
Trinity has been one of the state’s top teams, if not the top team, all season and should take the region title. Last season, the Shamrocks’ top five runners all finished in the race’s top nine to grab the region title.
However, with four teams’ most likely heading to state from the region, the race for the next three spots could be close.
“It should be a very exciting race for second with us, Eastern and Oldham County,” McDowell said. “Our young guys have to run well. If they perform like I think they’re capable of, we have a good shot at second.”
Eden was the only Rocket to run on last year’s squad. Joining him this year will be senior William Thompson, who missed last year’s race with an injury, sophomores Thomas Smith and Matthew Folsom, freshmen Tony Redemann and Blake Harris and eighth-grader Justin Downs.