HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY

Augusta aiming for region title repeat

Evan Dennison [email protected]

			
				                                Bryant Curtis (left) and the Augusta Panthers head to the Class A, Region 5 meet on Saturday in Lexington looking to repeat. (Evan Dennison, The Ledger Independent)

Bryant Curtis (left) and the Augusta Panthers head to the Class A, Region 5 meet on Saturday in Lexington looking to repeat. (Evan Dennison, The Ledger Independent)

Instead of being the hunter, Augusta enters the Class A, Region 5 cross country meet as the hunted.

The Panthers head to Masterson Station Park in Lexington on Saturday as the favorites to come out on top of the meet and repeat as the region champ.

After shocking the region and maybe even themselves last year with the title, this year’s approach is a different one.

“It’s a different feeling, comes with different nerves. We were nervous as can be last year, it’s a different kind of nerves this year. We’re confident, we have these expectations and as long as we stay healthy we know what we can do,” Panthers coach Tim Litteral said.

Augusta has posted a strong season that currently has them ranked fourth in the state in Class A based off kymilesplit.com season times. It has them ranked at the top of the region meet when 12 boys’ teams are registered to run in Lexington Saturday with the girls’ meet starting at 1:30 and the boys’ at 2:15. The top six boys’ teams automatically qualify for the state meet.

They’ve prepared themselves for Saturday’s meet with a rigorous schedule that had them compete in some of the top meets in the region. Now they’ll put that all to the test in what they hope is some solid results over the next two weeks with the Class A state meet following next Saturday at the course in Paris.

The Panthers have a clean bill of health with all seven runners taking part in Saturday’s meet, Grayson Miller, Matthew Jones, Bryant Curtis, Conner Snapp and Michael Jones all have season best times in the top 10 in the region and have a shot at medaling in the top eight. Augusta has ran at Masterson Station earlier in the year, but Litteral said the course has been changed up a bit for the region meet.

Braylie Curtis will run for the Lady Panthers and after finishing a spot out of a medal at last year’s region meet, looks to be right in the mix once again with a good race and a possible top eight finish.

Curtis currently has the seventh best time in the region based off Milesplit’s rankings.

“I can tell they are excited about it. It is important for us to go in and run with confidence, but not be overconfident. They have a good opportunity and hopefully we’ll take advantage of that. We have to perform to make it happen,” Litteral said.

Bracken County’s Damon Bryant is also in contention for a medal, entering with the eighth best time in the season in the region. The Lady Bears have an outside chance of qualifying for state, entering ninth out of 12 teams in the girls’ team rankings.


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