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Cross country has high hopes as season approaches

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By Mike Aldridge

“Although we graduated some very good runners we still have a very talented group returning,” said Coach Danny Simpson. “We just have to run to our potential.”
Graduated from last year’s team are Joey Faulkner and Joe Thomas, two of the three top Thorobreds’ runners, along with Bailey Caudill and Heather Randolph from the Fillies.  
The Thorobreds return Grant Carr who qualified for the state last year as one of the two Thorobreds seniors along with Harry Smith. Simpson noted that he had not seen either of the two this summer as Carr also plays football and soccer and Smith is a Governor’s Scholar.
The junior class also has three veterans returning with Shane Palmer, Nathan Radford and Austin Short. Short also plays soccer. One sophomore is out right now, Harry Smith’s brother, Ross. Ross also plays soccer.
The sophomore class lost one from last year’s team as Josh Getting moved along with his brother Zachary who Simpson listed as one with some good potential. There are four freshmen on the roster with the Brueggen brothers Jacob and Isaiah, Ben Bradford and Will Marsh. Marsh is injured but Simpson believes that he will soon be able to start his workouts. Six middle school runners complete the Thorobreds roster to date.
The Fillies return their top runners from last year plus junior Brook Frederick who showed great promise before being injured last season.  Seniors Erin Bradford, Kayla Joy and Caylin Mattox bring skill and experience to lead the Fillies to what Simpson believes will be a good if not great season.
“Seniors are important for leadership and having three with the talent that these girls have is very special,” the veteran coach noted.
There are two sophomores and three freshmen who should also contribute to the cross country Fillies success.
 Tenth graders Tamara Lunsford and Chelsea Bowman both gained valuable experience last year while freshmen Abby Cooper, Taylor Harney and Jesse Petty were leaders on the middle school team.  One promising freshman that Simpson has not seen yet is Rachel Eckert who was last season’s top middle school runner. The Fillies middle school runners this year are eighth graders Amber Turner and Samantha Wood along with seventh graders MacKenzie Mosig and Starr Hindbaugh and sixth graders Katie Wood, Evie Barker, and Robin Harrison Roberts.
The cross country team’s schedule is still in the making as Simpson is waiting to see who will host the region.
“We always like to run one race on the course where the region is held,” Simpson noted. “Right now that decision hasn’t been made.”
One of the reasons for the late decision is the change in the region make up as Scott High joins the region competition while Erlanger Lloyd changes to another region. The first scrimmage will be at Woodford County on Aug. 22.