November 4th, 2017

HC wins first team CC title, Thornsberry repeats

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor


HC wins first team CC title, Thornsberry repeats
The Cougars with the state championship trophy / photo by Conor Revell

LEXINGTON, Ky. - All the tears and bitter disappointment for the Holy Cross cross country team have turned into excitement and glory after finishing as Class A state runner-up the past two seasons.

For the first time in school history, the Cougars won the team state title Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“I don’t know that this team is a lot different than some of the other good teams that I coached,” Holy Cross head coach Richard Reynolds said. “They have been runner-up the last two years so this was very much our moment.

“They knew they had a great chance, they knew their competition very well, and they came in with confidence. I had some guys that made every single practice, never missed one, and that was able to carry them through the entire race.”

Holy Cross finished with 68 points while second place Owensboro Catholic was well behind with 140 points.

Keeton Thornsberry led the way and won the individual state title for a second consecutive year with a time of 16:09.37, nearly 27 seconds ahead of St. Henry’s Ethan Snyder who finished second.

“I just had to make sure I got out of the gate,” Thornsberry said. “I had to get out and run my race. I didn’t want to do anything unusual.”

Thornsberry becomes the second Holy Cross runner to have won at least two individual state championships. Jacob Thomson won three individual titles in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

“He had to look at stuff realistically and make sure that he wasn’t cocky,” Reynolds said. “We’ve been telling him not to look at unrealistic times. We have been doing some slow progression this year and he has done a great job with that. He went in with confidence and did what he needed to do.”

Caleb Bolus recorded a 16:40.70 time to place fifth, the junior placed 15th as a sophomore last year.

“What different about this year is that we actually had a pack,” Bolus said. “We actually had five guys that were all together this season while me and Keeton were generally ahead. Today, we had Josh (Meiman) and DK (Schneiders) separate and they fought through it all. That was good to see.”

DK Schnieders, only a freshman, crossed the finish line in 17:14 to come in 11th place.

“I just wanted to go out there and stay in a pack,” Schneiders said. “We have been all about running in a pack this year. I felt good enough to go out and lead and I ran my race.”

Schnieders time was a PR and may have been the wild card of the group.  

Fellow freshmen Josh Meiman finished in 25th place.

“We knew that DK had a lot of talent,” Reynolds said. “We didn’t know that he was going to do that well. But, when I saw him fly out there, I knew right away that he belonged here. He had great confidence and Josh Meiman was right behind him. Today was a step forward for both them and they’re only freshmen.”

Sophomore Kaden Huiet (31st), senior Josh Thomson (33rd), and sophomore Josh Smalley (43rd) also ran for Holy Cross.

“This is what we have been working for, this has been our main goal,” Thornsberry said. “It feels amazing to win this state championship. We had been runner-up the last two years. I’m just glad it finally happened.”

But, there were some bittersweet moments especially for the two seniors - Thomson collapsed after crossing the finish line - and Tanner McCauley didn’t run because of a severe ankle injury.

While the celebration was timid, it’s a day Reynolds won’t forget having led the Cougars to four team second place finishes in his previous 32 seasons, but he finally gets to hang a championship banner in his 33rd year.

“Every one of my kids had a tough time going on stage today without Josh,” Reynolds said. “He was a great leader for us this season. And, I had another senior - Tanner McCauley - he did everything that we asked him to do this year even though he knew he wasn’t going to run again.

“But, he had to stay off his ankle because it’s a serious injury. He will probably never run again . He did what he could do even though he wasn’t able to out there. His attitude is something special, I don’t know if I could do what he did this season. Tanner has been walking around and you can see the tears of happiness in his eyes.”  

 

Perhaps the best story is that all eight of the harriers went to Notre Dame for grade school.

It might not be the last team championship Reynolds gets as every harrier returns next season but McCauley and Thomson, meaning the rest of Class A will have their work cut out to try and stop Holy Cross from being atop the podium again.

GIRLS’

Presentation came in fifth place as a team with 193 points in the Class A meet, Bishop Brossart won the title with 107 points.

Mary Baxter led the way with a 17th place finish while Olivia Brown (24th), Zoe Adams (54th), Jenna Reliford (63rd), Noelia Radke (66th), Evie Cecil (128th), and Maria Jones (143rd) also ran for for the Toppers.

Alexandria Harshfield ran for Holy Cross as an individual and came in 149th place.

 

 

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