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SHEPHERDSVILLE – With Labor Day now in the review mirror, the area cross-country programs are starting to heat up with meets nearly ever week.
Since the Tiger Run on Labor Day Weekend, the Bullitt East teams have been in action on consecutive Saturdays while both Bullitt Central and North Bullitt sent at least partial teams into action to start the season.
After running so well in the Tiger Run, the Bullitt East Lady Chargers have been ranked seventh in the state in Class AAA. The team returns most of the runners from last year’s fourth place finishing squad in the state meet in Class AA.
“We have had a very good start this year,” Bullitt East head coach Lenny Raley said on Monday. “Having been moved to AAA makes for a more difficult path to the top, but I feel that we have and will continue to be competitive with the top teams in the state.”
Rumble in the Jungle
On Saturday, Bullitt East competed at the Rumble in the Jungle hosted by North Oldham at the Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve in Goshen.
The powerful Lady Charger team finished fourth in the team race despite not having a runner finish among the top 10 finishers. Bullitt East finished with 149 parts in a meet that was won by Oldham County with 64 points. St. Henry finished second with 86 points while Manual was third with 128 points.
There were 18 full teams competing in the meet with 159 runners finishing the girls’ race.
Leading the way for Bullitt East was sophomore Sierra Poppell who finished 12th in 20:00.11. Teammate Abby Reburn, a freshman, was 19th in 20:31.46 while fellow freshman Caroline Collins was 25th in 20:43.62. Adding to the team total was senior Abby Shelton who finished 31st in 20:55.28 while freshman Brianna Poole was 74th in 22:42.52.
Also running for the Lady Chargers in the meet was senior Rebecca Tullsang. Bullitt East did not have a seventh runner in this race.
In the boys’ race, Bullitt East finished seventh out of 19 teams with 203 points. St. Xavier won the meet with 36 points, far ahead of runner-up North Oldham with 85 points. Bullitt East will be in the same Class AAA regional with St. Xavier in November. The only other new regional rival to finish ahead of the Chargers was Manual with 124 points as they finished third.
Leading the way for Bullitt East was senior Zach Napier as he finished 14th in a time of 17:01.60. Finishing behind Napier was sophomore Isaac Shelton in 20th with a time of 17:11.41 while junior Michael Montgomery was 43rd in 17:35.33. Also scoring team points for the Chargers were junior Cole Green in 61st in 17:59.64 while senior Zac Masden was 129th in 19:07.84.
Also competing for the Chargers on Saturday was juniors Josh Diersen and Brandon Brown.
Run for the Gold
On Saturday, Sept. 7, Bullitt East and Bullitt Central got their first taste of each other in the girls’ race at the Central Kentucky Run for the Gold at the new Elizabethtown Sports Park.
Bullitt East had a strong run as they finished with 48 team points to finish second, but they could not dent the powerful Sacred Heart squad that won the meet with 21 points. Bullitt Central finished eighth in the team hunt with 193 points.
The Lady Chargers had three runners finish in the top-10 with Poppell in fifth (19:50.60), Julia Poole in seventh (20:02.00) and Reburn in ninth (20:22.90). Also scoring team points were Collins in 14th (21:00.60) and Shelton in 16th (21:05.80).
Also running for Bullitt East in this met were Brianna Poole and Tullsang.
Bullitt Central had a girls’ team compete in the meet and had a strong first outing of the season.
The first Lady Cougar back to the finish line was Lauren Redding in 22nd (21:35.60) while teammate Kelsey Phillips was just two spots behind (21:39.80). Also grabbing team points for the Lady Cougars were Chasity Wilson in 39th (22:32.60) while Elexia Campbell was 63rd (25:02.00) and Sydney Shepherd 70th (25:46.40).
Also running for Bullitt Central in that race was Bridget Shelton and Jessika Hutchinson.
In the boys’ race that day in Elizabethtown, the Chargers had a good day as they finished fifth out of 14 teams. North Hardin won the meet with 70 points followed by teams from Meade County, Paul Dunbar and Central Hardin before Bullitt East had 132 points.
Bullitt East was strong at the top end as Napier finished seventh (17:15.80), just ahead of his teammate, Shelton (17:17.90). Montgomery added to the team score with a 19th place finish (17:46.90) while Masden was 43rd (19:04.20) and Tate Hatfield 57th (19:39.40).
The sixth runner that day for the Chargers was Diersen. The team did not have a seventh runner.
Bullitt Central did not have a boys’ team in this event.
Shelby County Invitational
North Bullitt cross-country coach Michael Whitfill has a new course at the school for practice, but he is still trying to rebuild his program. Earlier in the season he was hoping to have a full team at some point this season in both boys’ and girls’ races but in the first meet of the season, the Shelby County Invitational, he took just two runners to the meet.
On the girls’ side, senior Chelsey Slayton finished 21st in a time of 22:49.80 on the course just north of Shelby County High School.
In the boys’ race, the only North Bullitt runner was senior Jordan Morris who was 84th in 22:09.48.