Assumption, St. Xavier claim Tiger Run titles in season-opening meet
Sunday, August 26, 2007

By Matt Denison
Special to The Courier-Journal

The Tiger Run meet opened the high school cross country season yesterday, and two area schools emerged to set the early-season pace. Assumption cruised to the girls' championship, and host St. Xavier held off Manual to win the boys' title at River Road Country Club.

Sacred Heart's Emme McAtee overtook Manual's Mary Grace Pellegrini at the 2-mile mark and captured the 5,000-meter race in 19 minutes, 25 seconds. "I felt like I was strong," McAtee said. "(Pellegrini) did an awesome job setting the pace. I knew I had to go, had to get my kick in, if I was going to win."

Pellegrini, who finished 13 seconds behind, said heat was a factor but credited McAtee with "a smart, tactical race." "I felt really good but underestimated the heat a bit," she said. "She caught me when I didn't expect it."

Oldham County's Annie Barry grabbed third at 19:57, one second ahead of Adrienne Curtis of Assumption. Hillary Raidt (sixth), Allison Riedling (ninth) and Ellen Daly (11th) helped secure Assumption's victory.

"Today gives us confidence to keep working hard," Curtis said. "We practice together in groups so it helps us run better together."

Assumption finished with 42 points. Walton-Verona was a distant second with 138, followed by North Hardin (140) and Manual (143).

"The win isn't the main thing," Assumption coach Barry Haworth added, calling it an "early exam of where you're at. We definitely passed today."


St. Henry's Gordy Dooley won the individual crown, but St. X placed three runners in the top eight to claim the team championship. Dooley completed the course in 15:46, just three seconds ahead of Willie Polio of Owensboro Catholic. "This felt so good," Dooley said, catching his breath. "I've been waiting and training for this all summer. These are the top runners and teams in the state, and to show you are up there feels great."

St. X scored 81 points and was led by Jackson Carnes and Thomas Mann. Carnes finished third at 16:16 with Mann 11 seconds behind in fourth. "I was excited about everything, team and individually," Carnes said. "I wasn't expecting this finish, but it was good."

St. X coach Chuck Medley agreed.

"Today was really good for us, especially considering our top two boys were sophomores," he said. "I think it was a test, but it's going to be wide-open (this season). Everybody is that close to each other."

Manual's 89 points were enough for second, and New Albany (Ind.) was third with 95. Trinity, which totaled 133, finished fifth.