August 29th, 2015

Tigers run to 10th straight title

Block_eric thorne

Eric Thorne

Staff Writer


Tigers run to 10th straight title
St. Xavier's Matthew Thomas finished second overall in the Tiger Run / photo by Eric Thorne

It was a sprint to the finish line in the Tiger Run on Saturday at Champions Park as South Oldham’s Cole Dowdy edged St. Xavier’s Matthew Thomas by just 3.16 seconds. However, it was the host Tigers bringing home their 10th straight team title.

Dowdy, a senior, was last year’s runner-up to St. X’s Spencer Hayden. He turned the tables this year with the individual title, running the 5,000 meters in 15:41.17 while Hayden placed third in 16:00.85. Thomas crossed the finish line in 15:44.33. Dowdy’s brother Tanner finished in fourth in 16:04.22.

The Tigers kept their runners together and it was those packs that helped them claim the team championship. Other St. X runners included Cooper Marchal (23rd), Eric Portaro (27th), Clay Meiers (29th), Clint Sherman (44th), Michael Porter (50th) and Jacob Young (51st).

 St. X finished with 84 points, followed by Trinity (100), South Oldham (101), Eastern (144) and Lexington Tates Creek (219) in the top five.

“I felt good through the whole race and hats off to Cole ---  he had extra juice left to finish,” Thomas said. “All in all I felt good and it was a good way to start off the season. I ran well but was so ready to get back to running against competition. I had a really good track season, so I was ready to go. The Dowdys are always good competition to match up against, so I was happy with my time.”

For Hayden, a senior, the race was a welcome return to running after an Achilles injury sidelined him during the track season. He didn’t return to running till after the state track meet.

“Obviously I’d like to win, but overall it was a good day for the team,” added Hayden. “Great day for Matthew Thomas. He has been killing it this preseason, so great for him.”

Tigers coach Chuck Medley liked the way his runners stayed together and finished strong.

“That is about what we wanted out of the day, and if we get those two guys where we want them at the end of the year we will be in good shape,” Medley said. “All we need to do is keep moving the rest of the pack up a little bit more. Spencer isn’t even in shape yet, so by the time we get to state we will be fine. It’s all about progression.”

Trinity’s top runner was Jacob Burnam, who finished 15th and completed the course in 16:38.02. He was followed closely by teammates Sam McCalpin (18th), Swain Glavin (21st), Trevor Warren (22nd), Jack Meredith (24th), Philip Sandman (37th), Taylor Osborn (39th) and Henry Shay (43rd)

Shamrocks coach Chad Waggoner knows he doesn’t have a standout runner this season, but his runners stayed together and placed together, which was the plan.

“This first race is always the fun one as you get to shake the cobwebs out and see where everyone stands," Waggoner said. "We don’t have a strong No. 1 runner, but we have a nice solid pack. We wanted eight to stay together and five did so, but the other three weren’t far back. We just have some work and tweaking to do from here. Individually it was fun to watch all the great runners out here today – great race.” 

Holy Cross got off to a rocky start as freshman Keeton Thornsberry lost a shoe not long after the race started. He continued to run the race, but coach Richard Reynolds noticed the key missing piece of apparel about the one-mile mark and had Thornsberry pull out not wanting to risk an injury.

The Cougars finished 15th  in the team standings with James Zoeller (78th), Tanner McCauley (81st), Josh Thomson (92nd), Stevie Heckman (103rd), Caleb Bolus (132nd) and Jacob Pruitt (312th). 

 

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