Last season’s race saw Bolton complete the three-peat as they literally ran away from the field, again, comfortably winning by 26 points over Arlington. The Lady Wildcats only lost one runner from last year’s squad and will make their attempt at number four. However, a week after last year’s Region 7-AAA race, Bolton was bested by the Lady Tigers of Arlington at the state meet. Arlington returns it’s entire squad plus a few additions. Is the tide about to turn? Will 2014 see a different team walk away with the championship plaque? Who will be there other two teams to automatically qualify for state?
Bolton graduated only one runner from last year’s squad, however, Halley Brown, Caroline Daniels, Emily Anderson, and Kasia Mitchell (all top 15 finishers) return to defend their title. Look for these experienced runners to step up and make a strong push for four in a row.
Arlington continued to improve last year to the point that they became a contender for the Region 7-AAA title. Having much more success now, they don’t just plan on being a contender, this year they want to win. Led by Celine Rone and Amanda Leatherwood, the Lady Tigers should make a serious push for the title.
Cordova, last year’s third place team, loses four-year front-runner, and former champ, Abigail Topham. The Lady Wolves return Michelle Gomez-Pedro, who has had a great individual season, but the rest of the team will have to step up if they want to make a return trip to the state meet, something they have done before.
Hardin County High School just missed out on a trip to state, last year, and will look to get back to Nashville. They are led by Abbey Ray and Nicole Penick who will want set the tone for their team in their bid for a trip to state.
Bartlett has been in a drought in recent years, but look to change all of that this year. The Lady Panthers are led by Iris Melara and have a much tighter unit whom, as a team, could elbow their way to the state championship.
Dyer County did not field a complete team, last year, and lost two consistently great runners, one of them being three-time champ Chelsea Ladd. However, this year, they have fielded a completely new team and look to get back into the team mix. They are led by the 1-2 punch of Anna Clair Lusk and Kady Beth Leake.
Region 7-AAA bids farewell to two of most successful runners this region has seen in Chelsea Ladd (Dyer Co.) and Abigail Topham (Cordova), both whom claimed the top spot, Chelsea three times and Abigail once. This year, the race will crown a new champ. Who will that be? The odds on favorite will be Celine Rone of Arlington, who has thrown down some outstanding times this year and looks to finish her senior year in style. She will have company, though. Halley Brown and Caroline Daniels of Bolton have been used to running up front in this particular race for years. These two seniors also plan on taking their shot at the title. Amanda Leatherwood (Arlington) has had a strong campaign and looks to stay up front with the pack and make it interesting. Anna Clair Lusk (Dyer Co.) looks to keep an orange and white jersey up front, as we have been accustom to seeing for years now. Who else shows up to claim a top 10 spot, automatically qualifying them individually for the state meet?
Others to look for:
Leanne May (Arlington)
Iris Melara (Bartlett)
Emily Anderson (Bolton)
Kasia Mitchell (Bolton)
Michelle Gomez-Pedro (Cordova)
Kady Beth Leake (Dyer Co.)