Danville girls, boys claim regional titles

November 02, 2003|JILL ERWIN

Two Danville teams decided that finishing as No. 2 wasn't good enough.

So both teams used strong leading runners and good depth to capture the Class A, Region 4 titles Saturday at Admiral Stadium.

Each team finished as runner-up for at least the past two seasons, but took home the big trophy this time.

"I thought we had a chance, but you never know," Danville coach Ed McKinney said.

The girls race came down to the wire as the Admirals beat Trimble County 32-34 for their first regional title since 1988. The girls have been runners-up at the regional level for the past four years.

Danville's top seven girls finished before Trimble's fifth crossed the line, and McKinney said that group running was the difference.

"I think a lot of people, including sometimes our own athletes, don't think of it as a team sport, but it's really a team sport," McKinney said. "Even the girls who didn't score mattered. I think that's been the strength of our team all year. We don't have that top one or two runners. You have to be deep if you're going to be good."


The boys won by a bit larger margin, topping Trimble 51-63 behind Ross Hempel and Stephan Crown-Weber.

"It feels really good," said Hempel, an eighth-grader who finished in 18 minutes, 11 seconds. "Trimble County beat us last year, so I was glad to beat them."

Danville's top three girls finishers are still years away from enrolling in high school. Fourth-grader Kaitlin Snapp was fourth overall in 22:26, seventh-grader Maddie Meckes was sixth with a time of 22:49 and fourth-grader Diamond Pace was 13th in 24:37.

Sophomores Morgan Young (15th place in 24:48) and Sarah Vonderbrink (16th in 25:07) rounded out the scoring for Danville.

"We don't really have a No. 1 runner who's going to win the region," Vonderbrink said. "We have to come together kind of strong, all the middle runners, to get some points there in the middle.

"We've worked really hard, especially the last few weeks after we got everyone together, so it's really good for the team."

"We're not going to be losing anyone as a team for next year," Young said. "That will give us a chance to be even stronger next year."

The boys will also return a large chunk of their talent, as Danville has only one senior - Kylor Wilson - that competed in the regional meet.

Hempel and Crown-Weber will again be expected to be the top runners on the team, and each says the other gives him something to aim for.

"I was just hoping to keep up with Ross," Crown-Weber said.

"Next year, I need to train with him and get a lot faster," Hempel said.

"I thought he was going to beat me because he's been training really hard. Stephan's just a great runner."

McKinney couldn't be happier with his top two runners, and said each came through in the clutch.

"One of the ways you win is when someone runs the race you predict they're going to run," McKinney said. "It's hard to put expectations on an eighth-grader like Ross, but he's been such a good runner for so long that you just depend on him.

"That's Stephan's best race of his career. He really responded to being in the region as good as he ever has."

Ann Harris and Joe Harris of Burgin each also qualified for next week's state meet at the Kentucky Horse Park. Freshman Ann Harris ran a 24:32 to finish fifth among runners not on qualifying teams.

Joe Harris, a senior, was seventh overall in the boys race with a time of 19:08.90.

Central Kentucky News Articles