Sunday, October 24, 1999

A first: Kings wins cross country title




BY CAREY HOFFMAN
Enquirer contributor

        Kings won a district cross country title for the first time in school history despite some injury trouble in the lineup.

        Alessa Velez finished third to lead the pack, followed in the top 15 by Kellie McClung (fifth), Anna Godby (sixth), Katie Godby (12th) and Lindsey Oliva (15th).

        Kings, the Division II winner, finished as district runnerup last year.

        “We knew we could win this year with as many talented runners as we have,” Velez said. “This is what everyone wanted and it happened because we all pulled together as a team.”

        Kings missed by one spot qualifying to state a year ago, so that now becomes its new goal.

        “The girls want to be there,” Kings coach Lynn Brant said. “Barring any other injuries, I think we have a good shot.”

        Purcell Marian sophomore Leah Peelman was the individual champion of the Division II race.

        In Division III, five-time defending regional champion Madeira cruised to victory again by placing five runners in the top nine. But with only two teams qualifying to regional, the race for second took on added significance, with Reading holding off Seven Hills for the No. 2 spot.

        It is believed by Reading officials to be their first time qualifying to regionals since at least the early 1980s.

        “I thought we had it in us,” Reading coach Ronda Eisenhard said, “but we grilled them all week that they'd have to run their best to make it.”

        Reading freshman Courtney Engel easily took first place among individuals in the race, with teammate Lindsay Thomayer placing fourth.

       



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