On an unseasonably warm day this past Saturday, the Lady Kougar Cross Country team qualified for their 10th regional in the past 12 years, (including five titles, three runner-up finishes, and now two thirds), placing a solid 3rd at sectional with 87 points. HUGE congratulations to their male counterparts for winning their 6th sectional championship in the past 12 years!! Two excellent teams, Morgan Township (30 points), and host Rensselaer (52), were 1st and 2nd. North Judson (109) and Kouts (121) placed 4th and 5th to also qualify for the regional, as did the next 10 individuals not on advancing teams. Rensselaer took 1-2 as individuals, Kouts was 3rd, with Morgan then taking 4-8 places for the title. Kankakee Valley (KV) was led once again by senior Taylor Miller, running in her first ever sectional. She brought home the 9th place ribbon in 22:21.75, to continue her stellar season. Junior Sam Martin had another strong sectional finish, grabbing the 12th place ribbon in a time of 22:38.85. Sophomore Lexi Culbreth, running better and better each meet recently, was just a few spots behind Martin, placing 15th in 22:49.49, and also earned a ribbon. Culbreth, as the #3 runner, has been vital to her team all season. Speaking of vital, no one was more important Saturday than sophomore Sami Sullivan, who not only moved up to KV’s #4 runner for this meet, but passed a large number of runners in the last two miles to place a very important 25th, with a time of 24:40.95. This important place helped secure KV’s 3rd place team finish. Rounding out the meet’s scoring for KV was freshman Emilee Wilson, who has had an excellent season. Battling the heat and a myriad of injuries, Wilson placed 37th for her team in 26:58.71. Grace Edwards, dealing with a bad ankle most of the season, also competed for KV, finishing in 56th place in 33:01.56. The KV coaching staff would like to give a huge thank you to trainer Vanessa Birky for keeping this team healthy enough to compete as a full team. Besides Wilson and Edwards dealing with the aforementioned injuries, junior veteran Abby Robinson had to sit out this meet, but she is hoping to run in regional. Head Coach Lane Lewallen: “The more I thought about this meet, the happier I was. We finished where we were projected, toughed it out on a super hot day, and qualified for another regional. These are all things to be very proud of, especially with almost half the squad hurt most of the season. We look to run even better at regional this Saturday.” The regional is at New Prairie High School, where the Lady Kougars have had 12 individual runners, and three teams, qualify for the semi-state, and two individuals (Kristin Fritts-2007 and Cat Cavinder-2016), and one team in 2008, qualify for the state meet since 2007. Most recently, current junior Martin has been a 2x semi-state qualifier in both her freshman and sophomore seasons. Go Kougs!!