Local athletes compete in national running events

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 LOUISVILLE – After the end of the running season for the East Running Club, some of the club members competed with the Derby City Athletic Club in some national events.

First, a number of Bullitt Countians participated in the Cross-Country Coaches Youth National Championships on Nov. 23 at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville.

It was a banner day for 8-year old Logan Ortega as she finished first out of 72 runners to claim the groups’ National Championship. The fourth-grader at Pleasant Grove Elementary covered the 2K course in 7:58. Also, Bullitt Countian Taylor Howell was 29th and Mackenzie Cornell was 40th.

Also that day, in the girls’ 9-year old race, Carly Spencer was 14, Camryn Poole 29th, Madison Hennig 36th and Sydney Higdon 63rd.

The girls’ 10-year old race had Bailey Chitwood finishing sixth, Emma Egan 23rd and Kaylee Wilson 45th. The girls’ 11-year old race saw Ryley Ortega finish 33rd and Ellie Poole was 41st.

In the girls’ 12-year old race, Anatasia Newsome was 34th. In the 13-year old race, Julia Poole was 35th over 4K and in the 14-year old race, Brianna Poole was 65th.

On the boys’ side, Ethan Hennig was 36th in the 7-year old race while Clint Sherman was 18th in the 13-year old division.

FootLocker Nationals

On Nov. 30, Bullitt East sophomore Sierra Poppell competed in the FootLocker South Region race in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Poppell finished that 5K race in 18:54, a personal best for her. That placed her 11th out of 125 girls in the Sophomore Race.

AAU National Meet

Logan Ortega picked up another national championship medal on Dec. 7 when she competed in the AAU National Cross Country Meet in Ft. Gordon, Georgia.

In addition, the Derby City Athletic Club won the overall national championship.

In the Under-8 race, Ortega was first out of 65 runners with a time of 7:56. Taylor Howell also competed and was 19th.

In the girls’ 9-year old race, Carly Spencer was 25th while Camryn Poole was 30th. At 10-years old, Bailey Chitwood was eighth and in the 11-year old race, Ryley Ortega was ninth and Ellie Poole was 21st.

Moving up the age scale, in the 12-year old race, Anastasia Newsome was 17th in that age group while Lindsey Spencer was 43rd. Julia Poole competed in the 13-year old race and was 22nd.

Bullitt East’s high school team members also competed. Caroline Collins was 14th in the 14-year old race while Brianna Poole was 25th. Poppell competed in the 15-16 year old race and finished seventh.

“Obviously, Logan Ortega is a special talent,” East Running Club coach Lenny Raley said. “She is a highly competitive runner who always wants to win, no matter what race she is competing in and who she is racing. Her desire to succeed is a driving force behind her success.”  

Ortega has been named the Elementary Runner of the Year in Area 4. She was also on the Girls’ Elementary All-State Team.