Edmonson Voice Sports: photos courtesy of ECHS
ECHS cross country teams competed in the regional championship meet on Saturday, October 23rd where the Lady Cats were crowned regional champions for the first time since 2013.
Finishers for the girls team were Caroline Parsley 4th, Cariann Williams 5th, Kenadi Swihart 9th, Jenna Cook 13th, Abby Logsdon 23rd, Hannah Cassady 27th, and Emma Grace Cena 30th.
The boys team finished third overall as a team, led by senior Logan Brooks, who finished 8th. He was followed by Tyler Brooks 13th, Brandon Lindsey 17th, Landon Franich 20th, David Brewer 22nd, Tyler Anderson 24th, and Ashton Johnson 27th.
All-Region honors were awarded to Caroline Parsley, Carriann Williams, Kenadi Swihart, and Logan Brooks.
Head Coach Brad Meredith said both the girls and boys teams shocked everyone except themselves, with the girls coming in ranked 5th and the boys team was ranked 6th, based on previous personal times.
“We talked about it all week,” Coach Meredith. “We have had another abnormal season because of COVID this year and some of our meets got canceled. So all the races that we competed in were hard courses, which means we didn’t produce fast times. We actually schedule races like that during the year anyway to prepare for Region."
Meredith said that sometimes you need a fast course to show kids that their training is working but that didn't really work out this season. Meredith said he just continued pushing his team on the hard courses.
"I kept telling them, we have a chance. Believe in yourself and the training we have done. They trusted me, we knew that the girls had a shot of winning and boys had a chance of qualifying for state. Even with us ranked so low, we had confidence. Other teams overlooked us. I am so happy for this group of kids. They deserve it. The last two cross country seasons have been difficult because we didn’t get to do some of the things we normally get to do. Saturday made up for a lot of that by finishing how we did. All the credit goes to these kids for the hard work they put in. No one except this team and the ones that have came through our program knows the hard work we put in every day. It takes a very, very, special athlete to be a good cross country runner. Just like Saturday they got up before the sun, rode a bus for over an hour, got off, just to run 3.1 miles as hard as they could while I yelled at them to push harder and move up. These kids and all the kids that run cross country deserve all the recognition they can get.”
The teams will travel to Paris, Kentucky on Saturday, October 30th to compete in the KHSAA State Cross Country Championship.