Register Staff Report
The Madison Central cross country teams claimed the top spots in both the boys and girls varsity races at the Tates Creek Invitational at Masterson Station Park in Lexington Saturday.
The Central girls (49 points) claimed the title with an impressive 10-point margin, over second place Lexington Catholic (59 points). Martha Layne Collins placed a distant third with 84 points.
Central coach Robert LeDuer said his girls team used its usual pattern for success Saturday, sticking close together.
“It was just the same old story for the girls, pack running,” LeDuer said. “They clump up and they don’t really allow any teams to get in between them and they did that to pull out a 10-point victory today. It was a very good day for our girls.”
Julia Manning led the way for the Lady Indians with a fifth place finish in a time of 31:35.04.
Central snagged four of the next 11 spots.
Melanie Manning finished in 8th place with a time of 22:05.61; Ivanna Sabino, 9th in a time of 22:13.40; Anna Knox 13th in 22:51.05 and Alexa Snyder 16th in 22:55.83.
Kimberly Mosher finished 46th with a time of 24:58.66 and Emily Jones was 60th in a time of 27:45.49.
The Central boys (62 points) edged out second place Tates Creek by two points and third place Lafayette by 10 points without their number four runner, Seth Richardson, who was playing baseball in Ohio.
LeDuer said the boys win was a nice surprise, coming without Richardson’s points in the mix.
“Without Seth we were thinking we were not going to score very high, so no worries. But we still scored high, so it was really cool,” LeDuer said. ‘It was just a great run today by Mason (Crump), Brennan (Fields), Griffin (Sexton) and Grant Brockman. To beat all those Lexington schools without one of our top runners is just a testament to how hard we have been working.”
Fields had a very good day, finishing in second place behind only Tates Creek’s Ben Young, with a time of 16:31.90.
The Indians’ next three runners finished in a close pack as they usually do, with Crump coming in 7th with a time of 17:09.80; Sexton 9th in a time of 17:11.76 and Brockman 13th in a time of 17:47.12.
Austin Puckett finished 31st for the Indians with a time of 18:41.32; Wes Newman was 34th with a time of 18:47.73; Parker Stanley 49th in 19:42.07; Chris Morrow 56th in 20:06.22; Josh Perrin 69th in 21:08.95 and Connor Ridings 70th in 21:14.14.
Central’s boys downed several teams Saturday who have been in the state rankings all season.
The Indians don’t show up in the rankings, LeDuer said, because he chooses to not run on courses where runners post fast times, getting them ranked, instead the Indians run on courses closely resembling the one they will run on in regional competition next month.
The rankings don’t mean anything to him or the Indians, LeDuer said. Their main focus is on defending their regional championship and earning a spot in the state championships at the Kentucky Horse Park.
“I don’t care about the rankings and our team doesn’t care. That’s not our identity,” LeDuer said. “After beating these ranked schools I think we will be ranked. But our focus is on the first week of November and the region. That’s what matters.”
The Indians have two weeks before their next meet and LeDuer said the big win couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Our confidence level for the boys is sky high. We are at a point right now where this is as high as we can get. So carrying that confidence into two weeks of training will do wonders for our training,” LeDuer said. “This couldn’t have happened in a more perfect way. They think they are the team to beat. They believe it and they are the team to beat because they are the defending champions.”