Kougars News · Lady Kougar Cross Country Runs Tough at Regional; Culbreth Places 40th; Miller Named Academic All-State Honorable Mention


On a chilly but sunny Saturday morning, the Kankakee Valley (KV) Lady Kougar Varsity Cross Country team ended their season with tough runs at the New Prairie Regional. They placed 8th as a team with 228 points. All of the runners who ran in the sectional ran considerably faster on the tougher regional course, led by sophomore Lexi Culbreth. Culbreth ran the best race of her career, placing 40th/89 runners in a near personal record (PR) time of 21:27.9! She finished WAY higher than projected, and was the 13th individual finisher, (the top 10 individuals on non-advancing teams advance to the semi-state.) She was strong the whole race, and especially impressive was her 2 mile split time of 13:34, and she carried that on to her stellar finish. Senior Taylor Miller and junior Sam Martin were next for their team, placing 48th and 49th. The duo had several finishes this year in similar fashion. Miller ran a time of 21:58.8 with Martin in at 22:00.6. The much decorated Martin did a terrific job leading her young squad this year, and Miller will be greatly missed next season. In her first year of ever running cross country, she was her team’s #1 runner most meets, and was recently given the phenomenal honor of being named Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches (IATCCC) Academic All-State Honorable Mention (HM)! Congratulations, Tay!! Miller was 9th, Martin-12th and Culbreth-15th at sectional, and they went 17-18-20 to earn All-Northwest Crossroads Conference (NCC) HM honors this season. Freshman Emilee Wilson capped off her excellent rookie season with a fine run at regional, placing 66th in a time of 23:16.3, a remarkable improvement of over 3:30 from the week before at sectional! Sophomore Sami Sullivan, who was a very important cog to this year’s team, also improved her time a great deal from sectional, placing right behind Wilson in 69th, with a strong time of 23:21.6. These five scorers had a total time at sectional of 1:59.29, but at regional they ran 1:52.05, meaning they ran a total of over 7 minutes faster at regional!! Back in action was junior Abby Robinson, who ran a solid race with a time of 26:10.1, to place 83rd. Despite having to nurse many injuries again this season, Robinson was an excellent leader and example to her team. Sophomore Gracie Edwards was 88th in a time of 31:05.1, nearly two minutes faster than the week before at sectional! The KV girls’ team and coaching staff would like to congratulate male senior star runner Cameron Sheehy, who ran an excellent race at regional, placing 25th and qualifying for next week’s semi-state, also at New Prairie! Go Cam Go!! This 2018 girls’ cross country team had the second best team season in the past five years and added to the strong tradition of girls’ cross country at KV. The coaching staff hopes these fine competitors will rest and heal up, then compete in a winter sport. If not in a winter sport, in a few weeks here, there will be information concerning when pre-season/open gyms for track and field will begin. Any KV middle school or high school female runners out there reading this, please consider joining our cross country family in 2019. Head Coach Lane Lewallen: ” My girls should be very proud of this season. We placed well at New Prairie, Culver and the NCC meet. We had a team podium finish and 3rd place team ribbons at sectional and qualified for another regional,  had over 3x more team wins than in 2017, and did all that with just 7 total runners, which is very hard to do, especially with three of them hurt much of the year! There was much individual success too and this was an important season in maintaining a strong program. Great season, ladies!”