WEBSTER COUNTY, KY (11/7/12) – Webster County High School’s very successful tradition of excellence at the Class 2A, Region 1 Cross Country Championship continued on Saturday as the WCHS boys’ squad placed third overall and the Lady Trojans captured fourth place with both squads advancing to next week’s 2012 KHSAA State Championship at the Kentucky State Horse Park in Lexington.
In the boys race, regional favorite Logan County prevailed on its home course while Hopkinsville surprised the region with a second-place finish.
“All year long the boys team has beaten all the teams in the region except Logan County and Saturday we came up a little short for the runners-up trophy,” noted WCHS head coach Todd Whitsell. “Hopkinsville was amazing today. They had three guys run well below their personal best times by 30 seconds or more.”
Webster junior Iszack Whitsell saved his best race of the year for Saturday, finishing second behind regional favorite and all-stater Sye Head of Logan County. Head, a senior, won the race in 16:49.60 while Whitsell turned in a personal best time of 17:00. This was the fourth year in a row WCHS has had a first or second place runner in the regional.
“I put a lot of pressure on Iszack this season, leading the most inexperienced and youngest team I have ever coached,” Coach Whitsell continued. “I think the whole team was feeling a lot of pressure along with Iszack because they wanted to bring home some hardware just like we have done the past four years. This team is very good and will be a contender each year in the region for many more years to come because they are so young.” Whitsell noted that going into the Regional meet, Iszack knew the expectations and he along with Hopkins Central’s (Childress) and Hopkinsville’s (Hancock) had been in the same discussion with Iszack all season about who would finish behind the regional favorite Sye Head.
“The plan was for Iszack to go out right behind Sye from the start and see who had the most guts at the end for a first or second place finish and Sye or Iszack never looked back. Our focus now turns to the state meet this weekend,” added Coach Whitsell.
WC freshman Trevor Cole was next in for the Trojans, finishing with a very impressive 10th-place finish in 18:27.80. Keenan Hall, Webster’s only senior, was 18th overall in 19:03.10 while Nolan Pettit, another junior, was 21st in 19:12.90. “We had strong performance from all of our runners with Trevor Cole placing in the top 10 and Keenan Hall running the same time as his personal record followed by Nolan Pettit running a new personal record by 19 seconds,” emphasized Whitsell. “Preston Glazebrook also set a new ‘PR’ by more than 30 seconds.“
Glazebrook, a freshman, finished in 25th position (19:33.10) while Ronin Periard, just an eighth grader, was right on his heels in 26th (19:41.50). Spencer McCormick, another freshman, was 42nd in 21:01.20. “I am very proud of these guys and considering how young we are, we should make many more trips to the state meet,” Whitsell added.
Boys Regional Results 1. Logan County 36 2. Hopkinsville 68 3. Webster County 76 4. Calloway County 98 5. Union County 143 6. Hopkins Central 158 7. Trigg County 192 8. Paducah Tilghman 205 9. Lone Oak 213
In the girls race Regional Championship on Saturday, Webster County seventh grader Kendra Woodward turned-in another incredible performance placing eighth overall to lead the Lady Trojans back to the state meet, a trip they missed last season. Woodward posted a 21:30.30 time while Paducah Tilghman sophomore Aleja Grant won her third straight regional title with a 19:13.40 clocking. Lone Oak claimed the team title while the Lady Trojans finished fourth.
“Kendra has helped lead this team to a very successful season are extremely excited to be going back to the big race this season and just like the boys team, they only have one senior which means the future is very bright for both teams,” stated WCHS head coach Brandye Whitsell.
Webster had two more top 20 runners as eighth grader Chanler Cole was 16th overall in 22:41.60 and sophomore Ali Cherry was 19th in 23:00.10. Taylor Wilson, WC’s only senior was 23rd overall in 23:50.20.
“Taylor has been a prime example of how summer training and true dedication can improve your endurance and time. In her sophomore year, Taylor was running times in the 30’s and now in her senior season, she has some colleges wanting her to come run for them,” Whitsell added.
Hannah Pritchett, a sophomore who sat out the cross country season last season, was next in for the Lady Trojans in 25th (24:09.70) while fellow sophomores Cassidy Thomas (24:16.20) and Madison Townsend (26:38.00) were 26th and 47th respectively
“This is just a terrific bunch of young ladies and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Whitsell concluded.
Girls Regional Results 1. Lone Oak 40 2. Calloway County 54 3. Hopkinsville 59 4. Webster County 91 5. Paducah Tilghman 149 6. Union County 152 7. Trigg County 168 8. Caldwell County 187
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