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Running cross country is a grueling and demanding sport. Imagine yourself running five kilometers or 3.1 miles flat out, as hard as you can run. Not many people want to try it.
LaRue County High School cross country coach Josh Henderson has assembled a team with a few seasoned athletes and several newcomers this season.
Seniors Ryan Durbin, who competed at State last year, Truman Padgett and Alex Wood are expected to provide leadership. Also returning is junior Spencer Reed.
Rounding out the boys team are eighth grader Adam Sandidge; sophomore Blake Heibert; and fourth graders Dylan Mullins, Matthew Mullins and Dylan Grimes.
The girls team consists of freshmen Alisha Durbin and Amarah Reed; eighth grader Sydney Price; seventh graders Amanda Adyani, Kristina Durbin and Harley Keller; and elementary school student Clair Harley.
Henderson, in his third year teaching at LaRue County High School and his second year coaching cross country, said his runners have been “trying to improve every day.”
“We have some experienced runners returning while we also have several new faces,” Henderson said. “In fact, we have several middle school runners who we expect to contribute to our program, depending on their age; they’ll also compete in grade school or middle school races.”
Henderson said LaRue’s toughest competition in Region 2 is expected to be Allen County, Franklin-Simpson and Elizabethtown. Other region teams are Adair, Breckinridge, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Marion, Taylor, Warren East and Washington.
“Our goals are to improve every practice and every meet,” said Henderson. “Last year, one of my goals was to have someone to make it to State. I would like to see more students qualify for State and my ultimate goal is to have the team qualify for State, whether girls or boys, and hopefully both.”
“I’m very optimistic about our program,” he added. “I want to see our program grow. The fact that we have more students out for cross country this year is evidence that our program is growing.”
The team has its first pre-season meet at Marion County Aug. 20.
Cross Country Schedule
Aug. 20 Marion County Pre-Season Marion
Sept. 1 LaRue Co. Weekday Classic LaRue
Sept. 10 Marion Co. All Comers Marion
Sept. 12 Purple Strider Invitational (Bowling Green) Sept. 14 Bernard Keene Invitational Nelson
Sept. 19 Central Hardin Invitational Central
Sept. 22 LaRue Co. All Comers LaRue
Sept. 26 Nelson Co. Hillbilly Run Nelson
Oct. 1 Tri-Team Meet LaRue
Oct. 10 North Hardin Invitational North
Oct. 22 Mid-KY Conference Nelson
Oct. 24 Jack Mitchell Invitational LaRue
Oct. 29 Barren Co. Invitational Barren
Nov. 7 KHSAA Regionals TBA
Nov. 14 KHSAA State Meet (Kentucky Horse Park)