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The girls’ Class 3A, Region 4 cross country meet will be a tight one.
Three teams – Assumption, Sacred Heart and Oldham County – have all been ranked in the state’s top 6 all season. That leaves the other six teams fighting for one spot.
The teams will settle on the course at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
With the amount of talent in Region 4, it seems like there would be a log jam at the top, fighting for first place. But that’s not the case at all. Sacred Heart junior Emma Brink is the No. 1 runner in the state, and one of the best in the country. The real battle will be for second, and that’s where Shelby County sophomore Caterina Karas jumps in. Karas finished second to Brink last year by just 12 seconds, and she should be right there near the top again.
Karas has rebounded from the flu and another earlier illness this season.
“She has recovered from her illness to at least where she was before she got sick, which is quite an accomplishment for her considering it was her second sickness of the season,” Coach Brian Crumbo said.
Assumption’s Allison Riedling, Eastern’s Tori Mayfield and Oldham’s Claire Grogan should challenge Karas for second.
SCHS freshman Taylor Webb could also be primed to make a big move after finishing 15th last year.
“Taylor has really made a good jump in the last couple of weeks,” Crumbo said. “I think Taylor will break 20 minutes this Saturday and be in the top 10.”
For the last three years the Lady Rockets have finished fifth in the region, and for them to break through it will take a team effort.
With Assumption, Sacred Heart and Oldham County likely taking three of the four spots that qualify for state, Shelby will have to battle the other five teams for the fourth.
“If we’re going to make it to state, it is our three to five runners who need to get it done for us,” Crumbo said. “Lindsey [Miller] has progressed well this year, but we need a big day from her Alyssa [Anderson] and Katie [Melanson]. Tiffany Sharber and Emily Downs are also both capable of having big days, so we have a lot of possibilities.”