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Webster Cross Country Teams Dominate Regional Championships, Move on to State Finals


Both squads dominated Wingshadow Golf Course near Dixon on Saturday winning the Class 2A, Region 1 Championships. It was the second straight Regional crown for the Trojans and another trip to the 2010 KHSAA State Cross Country Championships set for this Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

"This is a very emotional time for me right now," a teary-eyed WCHS coach Todd Whitsell stated. "These young men have trained and work so hard and to see them perform like they did today, it's just incredible. God has truly blessed me to be able to coach and be associated with such an inspiring group of young men."

Webster entered the race as odds-on favorite to win the regional title and they did nothing to disappoint a large ground of Trojan faithful attending the race, placing four runners in the top nine positions.

WCHS junior Jon Ashby battled stride for stride with Calloway County's Ryan Thurman for the top spot throughout the entire race. The Calloway senior pulled away in the final half mile to win the individual title with a 16;25.30 clocking.

Ashby, who had defeated Thurman last Friday at Graves County, finished strong to take second place, almost a full minute in front of third place with a time of 16:41.74.

"Jon is a speed runner and that's the type of course we ran at Graves. This (Wingshadow) if a very difficult course and Thurman is very strong," Whitsell explained.

Next in for the Trojans was newcomer Trey Ross in fourth place with a time of 17:49.55. Ross, just an eighth grader, has shown signs of greatness in his limited time with the team.

"He's only been with us about four weeks. He played middle school football and hasn't even trained with us. He's a unbelievable talent and what a heart. Trey is the difference in us winning (the title) and just placing second," Whitsell stated.

Iszack Whitsell, just a freshmen, crossed the finish line in seventh place with a time of 17: 52.37, one of his best times of the season. WC senior Juanshae Baker was just two spots back in ninth and a 17:57.83 clocking.

Anthony Pryor, another freshman, was 12th overall in 18:15.55 while Jackson Oxford, just a seventh grader, finished 19th in 18:43.41. Webster's final runner was Trey Drury in 28th place and a time of 19:42.07.

"These guys came here to win this race on their home course and they weren't going to be denied. We've run and competed at a high level all season long, against some of the best schools in the state. They've never backed down against anyone. They've represented themselves, their teammates, the school and the entire county in such a incredible, first-class fashion and I'm so proud of them. I really can't find the words to describe how I feel about them," Whitsell added. "All I know is, I can't wait to have those T-shirts printed up with 'back-to-back regional titles' on them."

Logan County gave the Trojans quite a race, placing four runners in the top 10 and six in the top 20.

Team Standings
1. Webster County 34
2. Logan County 40
3. Calloway County 111
4. Hopkinsville 111
5. Union County 126
6. Hopkins Central 156
7. Lone Oak 159
8. Trigg County 211
9. Paducah Tilghman 238

In the girls' Regional, the WCHS Lady Trojans claimed their first regional title since 1992. The Lady Trojans, composed of middle school aged girls last year, finished second in the regional and made the trip to the state finals.

But another year stronger, faster and more mature, the Lady Trojans were determined to bring home the top prize on their home turf.

"We had to run in four varsity meets with this group of middle schoolers last year, just to qualify for the regional," WCHS Lady Trojan coach Brandye Whitsell explained. "We still have four eighth graders but they weren't going to let anyone beat them on their home course. We had a game plan and they followed it to perfection. They knew who they had to beat (to win the regional title) and they watched for those jerseys. These girls really stepped up today and ran like champions.

"Every girl either ran a PR (personal record) or close to it. That's what it takes to win a championship and I couldn't be more proud of them," she stated.

One of those WC eighth graders led the charge as Ali Cherry raced to the top of the pack and maintained her stride, finishing fourth overall in 21:27.42. Christian Aunye, a talented freshman from Hopkinsville won the individual title in 20:40.26 to lead the Lady Tigers to a second place team finish.

Webster's Hannah Pritchett, another eighth grader, was ninth with a time of 22:46.97. But the key to the race was the next three WCHS runners packed together in positions 12-14. Kolbi Edens, the elder statesman of the group as a sophomore, was 12th overall in 23:00.09 while two more eighth graders Cassidy Thomas and Madison Townsend were 13th and 14th respectively. Thomas finished in 23:12.95 while Townsend sprinted to the finish line in 23:16.50.

"These girls have put in a tremendous amount of hard work, hours and hours of training and taking on some of the best teams in the state. They came to win and it was just a thrilling race to watch," Whitsell continued. "We only had of spread of about two minutes in our top five times, that's incredible. And we started out at the beginning of the season with that 23 minutes being 33 minutes, that's quite an improvement."

Lauren Stinnett, a first-year runner for the Lady Trojans. sliced her time to 24:48.55, good enough for 23rd place. Mercedes Haney completed the WCHS romp in 33rd place and a
time of 27:08.01.

Team Standings
1. Webster County 56
2. Hopkinsville 60
3. Calloway County 73
4. Union County 94
5. Paducah Tilghman 119
6. Lone Oak 125
7. Logan County 136
 
Posted by Karen Orange - iSurf News
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