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Raiders runnin’ to state tourney

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By Special to The Banner

The 2010 Trimble County High School Boys cross country team made school history last week, as they conquered what no other boys’ program has been able to accomplish: back-to-back regional championships.
The Lady Raiders’ six year regional championship streak, however, came to an end this year, but the girls did earn regional  runner-up honors.
The race featured teams from Danville, Sayre, Bracken County, Owen County, Carroll County, Lexington Christian Academy, St. Patrick, Burgin, Gallatin County, and Eminence.  
The boys’ varsity race featured top ranked teams and individuals from the state.  Top teams included seventh-ranked Sayre High School and fifth-ranked Trimble Co. Individually, No. 5 ranked Nicholas Waltman, No. 9 ranked Michael Waltman, and No. 15 ranked Kyle Howdyshell also competed in the Region 5 Championship.  
The Raiders’ front runners proved to be too tough for the competition as Trimble placed four runners in the top ten and won by a margin of 18 points over 
No. 7 Sayre to earn their third regional title in school history.  2002, 2009, and now 2010 the Runnin’ Raiders have capture the regional title.  A very gutsy team from Sayre placed second with 60 points.  Bracken Co. placed third with 71 points.  And Burgin finished fourth with 75 points.  Danville was fifth with 84 points.   
Leading the way for the Raiders was senior, Kyle Howdyshell.  Howdyshell placed fifth overall in 17:58.  Kevin Bailey finished seventh in 18:18.  Christian Apel placed eighth in 18:19.  Michael Baird finished 10th in 18:30.  Conner Ball placed 12th in 18:44.  Kyle Puckett finished 28th in 20:09.  And Tray Robbins placed 29th in 20:17.  Kyle Howdyshell, Kevin Bailey, Christian Apel, and Mike Baird received All Region honors for their top 10 finish.  
Coach Vincent commented, “I am so happy for the guys.  According to preseason rankings and talk around the state, our boys had virtually no chance to win region this season.  We were ranked 11th when the season started.  After losing Justin Perkins, Taylor Ball, and Daryl Heveline to graduation people just didn’t think we would do anything big.  The guys have worked so hard this season and their dedication showed today.  Winning back-to-back regional titles is a landmark we wanted to accomplish.
“I’m so happy for our seniors Mike Baird and Kyle Howdyshell.  They have been such great leaders this season.  The state meet will be a challenge for us though.  Our goal is to finish in the top 4 and bring home a state trophy.  My team will be ready.”
The girls’ race was destined to be a competitive match up with No. 1 Sayre, No. 4 Trimble Co. and No. 9 Lexington Christian Academy.  Also for the individual race with ranked No. 1 Maddox Patterson of Sayre, No. 2 Kaitlin Snapp from Danville, No. 5 Danielle Hoop from Owen County, No. 6 Anne Eason from Sayre, No. 7 Phillippine Couturier from Sayre, and No. 15 Morgan Downs of Lexington Christian.  
A small field of runners and No. 1 Sayre’s top three runners ended the Lady Raiders’ streak of 6 regional titles. The Lady Raiders placed four girls in the top 10 however it wasn’t enough to push back Sayre’s 33 points.  The Lady Raiders earned the runner up trophy with 40 points.  Lexington Christian placed third with 62 points.  And Danville finished fourth with 81 points.  
Senior Jessica Cooley led the way for the Lady Raiders.  Cooley placed sixth overall in 21:19.  Erin Gonterman finished eighth in 21:42.  Brandi Chappell placed ninth in 21:46.  Morgan Chappell finished 10th in 21:58.  Kylie Wilberding finished 12th in 22:07.  Kirsten Baird placed 17th in 22:55.  And Colyn True finished 29th in 26:46.  Jessica Cooley, Erin Gonterman, Brandi Chappell, and Morgan Chappell received All Region honors for their top 10 finish.  
“Our girls ran great and I am very proud of them.  We knew going into this race it would be tough to beat No. 1 Sayre especially in a small race.  Our No. 5 beat their No. 5 by 40 seconds however there were only 3 girls (points) separating them.  If you add one more team, our chances of winning improve greatly.  Take nothing away from Sayre however.  They are an amazing team and are well coached.  Most people are picking them to win state.  I told the girls if No. 1 Sayre was going to beat us, make them earn it.  
“We placed four girls in the top 10 and did everything we could.  I still like our chances at state this coming weekend.  If we can put together the race I know we are capable of running then good things will happen for us.  Our seniors, Brandi Chappell and Jessica Cooley know what it takes and we’ll be counting on them to lead the way.  They’ve had such an awesome running career and I know they will end it with flare.  This team is ready for state.”
Heading to state again
The Runnin’ Raiders leave for Lexington this Friday.  The state meet will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park on Saturday, Nov. 13.  The girls race begins at 9:30 a.m.; the boys race begins at 10 a.m.