Amid the hoopla surrounding Lexington’s surprising run to the Class 4A boys cross country championship last weekend at Sandhills Research Park was the showing by young Wildcats girls squad.
Catherine Lempesis’ Lexington girls returned to the Top time for the first time in eight years, placing ninth in the final standings with 226 points. It was, perhaps, a bit of a disappointing showing, considering the Wildcats finished first at the Middle State qualifying meet the week prior on the same course.
No matter, the Lexington girls made a giant leap forward in its first season under Lempesis.
Freshman Meri Heneage led the way, finishing 26th, followed by junior Beka Rush (44th), freshman Val Feliciano, seven-grader Haylee Love (50th) and senior Anna Kay Talmage (76th).
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The Lexington boys story is an interesting one. Senior veterans Drew Harris and Will Belue did their part and retired with all-state honors. But the real difference came from a couple of newcomers – sophomore Colby Coulter and freshman Blake White.
Coulter joined Harris and Belue on the all-state team, placing ninth between Harris (5th) and Belue (11th), and White closed out the Wildcats scoring parade, finishing 31st. Junior Jay Lloyd placed 23rd to round out the scoring.
“Colby went for a B team football player last year to an all-state runner this year,” said coach Bailey Harris.
“He missed a lot of the early meets but really came on late and might have been our best runner at the end of the season. And Blake White did not start running until last January, and we didn’t even run him on varsity at the region meet. So, those two really made a difference and when you add them to the veterans guys we had, it was a good mix.”