Kougars News · Lady Kougar Cross Country Runs Great at Conference Meet

On Saturday, the Lady Kougars continued their ascension as they placed a very strong and improved 4th as a team in the ultra strong field with 111 points at the Northwest Crossroads Conference (NCC) meet. State power Lowell won with 31 points, (low score wins in cross country), followed by two excellent teams in Munster-54, who edged Hobart with 55. Kankakee Valley (KV) beat a fine Highland team again for 4th-111 to 119, (Highland had beaten them earlier in the season at the Harrison Invitational). Andrean was 6th with 174 points. Of the seven varsity runners, four had significant personal records (PRs), one had a season-best (SB), and the two that didn’t are still coming back from injuries. Running their best when it counts the most shows what excellent competitors they are. Their KV male counterparts, who also had another outstanding meet at the NCC meet,  have inspired them to continue to improve and work hard. Senior Tay Miller, junior Sam Martin and sophomore Lexi Culbreth led the way, with freshman Emilee Wilson and sophomore Sami Sullivan also garnering very important places. Junior Abby Robinson and sophomore Grace Edwards also competed for KV, running times of 26:02 and 30:57, as they both try to rebound from injuries. Miller, Martin, Culbreth, Wilson and Sullivan all blasted swift first miles and held on to finish in a solid pack. Miller, in her first-ever cross country season, was 17th/40 runners in a PR, by 25 seconds, of 21:06. Martin was right behind in 18th in a SB time of 21:11, with Culbreth right behind her in 20th place with a PR, by 9 seconds, of 21:26. Miller, Martin and Culbreth all earned All-NCC Honorable Mention for these places, Martin’s third straight All-NCC honor in her stellar career. This is a great accomplishment for these three ladies, especially with Lowell’s entire team placing in the top 16. Wilson and Sullivan also came up huge for their team, had they not, the team finish would not have been near as high. Despite still missing a couple days a week of training with sore knees, Wilson finished a much higher than projected 26th place! She also ran a huge PR, by 19 seconds, of 22:25! Sullivan was right behind, as she continues to run better and better, and she remains a very valuable member of her team as the 5th runner. Sullivan also placed much higher than projected, taking 30th place in a gigantic PR time of 22:43. Her goal was to break 23 minutes, she blew that out of the water, and ran a PR by 41 seconds!! Their win total of 43 this season, 29-20 in the last three (and biggest ) meets, is over 3x as many as last year. They now head into sectional week, where their 3rd place in 2017 was their 9th team regional qualification in 11 years. That run includes 5 sectional titles and 3 runner-up finishes.  Head Coach Lane Lewallen: “We keep running better and better each meet! These ladies are working so hard, getting excellent training from (Boys’ Head) Coach Adams and have put themselves in a position to do VERY well in the post-season. We are knocking huge amounts off our PRs, and doing so in the biggest meets. We ran an outstanding NCC meet today! I am very pleased with our huge improvement this year and very much looking forward to the sectional and beyond.”