The Region 5 Class A Cross Country Championship was held on October 28 at Lykins Park in Winchester.
In cross country, the number of teams that can advance to the state meet is dependent upon the number of full teams (teams with at least 5 runners) that register for the Regional meet. On the boys’ side, 11 full teams registered, so 6 teams could advance. As in golf, the lower the team score, the better.
Senior David Reed finished in 19:41. 7th grader Conner Snapp was the second finisher for the Panthers, running a personal best 20:04. Seth Fouts ran 20:31, while Adam Sallee ran 20:44. Clayton Jamison ran a season best 20:56. Stephen Cordle finished in 32:46.
The boys’ team finished in 6th place with 148 points, earning a spot in the state meet. The Panthers were just two points behind Owen County who finished in 5th place, and 40 points in front of 7th place Frankfort. This will be the first time since reestablishing the program in 2011 that Augusta will have a full team in the state meet. While not a certainty, it appears as though this may be the first time in the school’s history that the cross country team has advanced to state. In 2012-2016, Augusta has always been represented by individuals at the state level.
“I think the cooler weather affected some of our guys, as some ran a little slower than we expected, but they did what they needed to do to make something special happen,” Coach Tim Litteral said. “Conner (Snapp) ran a strong race with a PR, and Clayton (Jamison) ran his fifth consecutive season best time. I’m just really excited that our runners will get to experience running in the state championship and that we’re going to be able to represent Augusta High School there with a team.”
On the girls’ side, which featured 57 runners, Augusta was represented by 8th grader Emma Young. She was in the top ten from the start of the race, and by the first mile, had moved down to the sixth position. She held that position for the remainder of the race, medaling and finishing in 6th place running a personal best 21:49. She was the first individual qualifier on the girls’ side to earn a spot in the state meet. Young is the first girl to qualify for the state meet since Augusta reestablished the program.
Coach Litteral was pleased with Young’s Regional performance in her first year competing at the varsity level. “Emma ran a great race,” Coach Tim Litteral said. “Once she got through the first mile, she was able to settle in and defend that 6th place spot and move on to run another week. She also improved her time by almost 30 seconds from when she ran the course earlier this season.”
The KHSAA State Cross Country Championship is this Saturday, November 04. The Girls’ Class A race is at 9:30am, followed by the Boys’ Class A race at 10:15.