Pope scores top-two finishes in 7AAAAA
by Chris Byess
October 28, 2012 01:08 AM | 3574 views | 3 3 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — If there was any doubt that Pope possessed one of the top cross country squads in Region 7AAAAA, it was erased Saturday, as both its boys and girls squads finished inside of the top two of the region championship at Boling Park.

Furthermore, junior Patrick Fleming and freshman Ashley Kehoe swept the individual titles for the Greyhounds.

“We were thrilled with how well everyone ran (Saturday),” Pope coach Christine Dahlhauser said. “I think our kids are excited and ready to train hard for the next few weeks to get ready for the state meet. The momentum we got from this will keep us rolling.”

The top four teams in each race, as well any runner in the top six not on advancing team, will compete for the state title Nov. 10 at Carrollton High School.

Leading the way for Pope was Fleming, whose time of 15 minutes, 37.38 seconds was not only the fastest time of the day, but the course record at Boling Park by 1 second.

Fleming’s performance comes as no surprise to his coach.

“We knew what to expect from him,” Dahlhauser said. “We knew he would probably lead the entire race. He was gunning for the course record, and he got it. He just keeps pushing himself. He’ll be competing for a state championship.”

Fleming beat the runner-up, Riverwood’s Connor McDaniel, by more than 40 seconds.

“I feel good. It was a good race,” Fleming said. “I got the course record, so I was pretty proud.”

Just as impressive as Fleming’s victory was Kehoe’s.

Despite the fact that she had never run cross country before this season, she finished with a time of 19:22.33 for the region title.

“It’s amazing,” Kehoe said of her victory. “It was a big surprise. I hadn’t really run before this year, so it has been nice to find something that I’m good at.”

Kehoe edged out Northview’s Lindsay Billings (19:26.34) for the title.

Pope topped the boys team standings with a total of 38 points, and it was second in the girls race with 78 points.

The boys teams of Sequoyah (68), Creekview (97) and Northview (98) also clinched berths into the state meet.

Northview (53) won the girls team title, with Riverwood and Creekview (88 each) rounding out the top four behind Pope.

The Pope boys’ effort was bolstered by Gunnar Stormark (fourth, 16:26.49), Kyle Rose (eighth, 16:43.80), Steven York (16:46, 10th), and Carlos Quintana (15th, 17:06.61).

Kehoe was backed by teammates Morgan Laushey (fifth, 20:06.27), Natalie Greenwood (20th, 21:32.10), Grace Regitz (24th, 21:33.90) and Julia Schamay (28th, 21:37.44).

Though Sprayberry finished sixth in the girls team standings with 151 points, sophomore Nadia Hawk advanced to the state meet by finishing fourth overall in a personal- and school-record time of 19:52.98.

“She did great (Saturday),” Sprayberry coach Greg Parker said. “She’s been trying to break 20 minutes all year, and not only did she do that, she’s going to state as well. The whole team is going to be there to support her.”

With 221 points, Sprayberry’s boys team — led by Rus McKenna (18:03.74) — finished eighth.

Kell also had a state qualifier of its own in sophomore Logan Poteet, who finished sixth with a time of 16:32.26 to take the final state qualifying spot in the boys individual race.

“Logan was excellent. He did exactly what we wanted him to do,” Kell coach Andi Jenkins said. “His goal was to qualify for state, and he did. As a sophomore, I think that’s awesome.”

Kell finished sixth in the boys standings with 135 points, and seventh in the girls race with 161 points.

Alana Archer finished 14th in 21:08.55 to lead the Kell girls.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
big Jul
October 30, 2012
I emailed the reporter first thing sunday morning. Thank you for fixing the picture. Well deserved!
Melinda Butler
October 28, 2012
Sure wish this had the picture of Ashley Kehoe as stated. Hopefully you can fix it!!
Mrs. B.
October 29, 2012
Yeah!! That's our girl! Way to go, Ashley Kehoe!!

MRs. B.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides