Sunday, August 27, 2006

cross country

St. X goes Long route to win Tiger Run


By Tom Whitus
Special to The Courier-Journal



Senior Brian Long won the race and led host St. Xavier to the boys' team title at the Tiger Run cross country meet yesterday at River Road Country Club.

In the girls' race, sophomore Ellen Daly led a 1-2 finish for Assumption, which placed three finishers in the top five. But it was Manual that placed all five scoring runners in the top 19 to come away with the team title.

By placing five runners in the top 19, Manual pulled out a win in the girls' Tiger Run meet. Manual's Colleen Campbell finished third.

(Photos by Arza Barnett, The Courier-Journal)



Long pulled away from the pack early and held a sizeable lead midway through the race, finishing the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 5 seconds.

"I was planning on going out pretty quick and holding it," said Long, who finished 14 seconds ahead of St. Henry's Gordy Dooley.

Long's plan to get out in front early produced the desired results, though he felt his time could have been better.

"I felt good with what I could do," he said, "but I should have gone a little faster."

Running so far out in front, combined with the oppressive heat and humidity, most likely affected Long's time -- 16 seconds slower than last year's winning time on the course.

"It's harder to run by yourself, but it's the place -- not the time -- that matters," said Long, who added that the heat "was the same for everybody, but it took a toll."

Trailing Dooley to pick up third place was Hillary Bowen of Charlestown (Ind.), who also finished in 16:19. Justin Bowling of St. Xavier was fourth in 16:34.

For Long, the early season win is a boost, but he kept the Tiger Run title in perspective.

"It's early in the season -- a lot changes between now and November," Long said, referring to the date of the state meet.

St. Xavier, ranked No. 2 in the Class AAA preseason coaches' poll, placed five runners in the top 26 to win the team title with 71 points. St. Henry, No. 1 in Class A, finished second with 86 points. Silver Creek (Ind.) had four runners in the top 18 but could fare no better than third in the team standings with 101 points.




Just as Long did in the boys' race, Daly made her move early and pulled away from the pack. Daly covered the 5,000 meters in 19:52, ahead of sophomore teammate Hillary Raidt (20:16).

"I decided to take off at the two-mile," said Daly, who won the B Division title last year.

Raidt led a pack of six runners that all finished within 6.3 seconds of each other. Manual's Colleen Campbell finished third in 20:17, just ahead of John Hardin freshman Maggie Mattingly (20:18).

Assumption's Adrienne Curtis rounded out the top five, one second behind Mattingly.

"We run together all the time," Daly said of the teammates who were pushing her throughout the race. As for the other talent, Daly knew she would have to put forth a good effort.

"I knew there were a lot of good runners in the race," said Daly. "I tried my hardest."

With Campbell leading the way, Manual won the team title with 56 points. Manual, top-ranked in Class AAA, had last year's individual winner Mary Grace Pellegrini finish 19th (21:08).

Assumption, No. 2 in Class AAA, finished second with 87 points. St. Henry, No. 1 in Class A, was third with 115 points.