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Owen’s Hoop, Spaulding take on the state

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By Brian Blair

A seventh-grader from Sayre School in Lexington surprised everyone last week by winning the regional cross-country meet at Trimble County. What would Maddox Peterson do for an encore?

To prove what she did last week was no fluke, Peterson won the Class A State Cross Country Meet Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Owen County High School junior Danielle Hoop finished in third place. It was the third-consecutive year Hoop has finished the race in the top five. The previous two seasons she finished second. She also finished second as a seventh-grader back in 2005. In all, it was her fifth-straight year running in the race.

The pre-race favorite and three-time defending champion, Kaitlin Snapp from Danville, was unable to finish the race due to illness. She was only able to complete about a mile of the three-mile race. The sophomore battled through the sickness to finish third at the regional meet last week. Like Peterson, Snapp won her first state championship as a seventh-grader.

Owen County High School freshman Julie Spaulding finished the race in 51st place. Her finish was an improvement over last season when she finished 77th. It was the third-straight year that Spaulding ran in the state meet.

For the freshman, running is in her blood. Her mother, Kathy Spaulding, also ran cross country for Owen County. She competed in five-straight state meets during her career.

Kathy Spaulding now teaches kindergarten at Owen County Primary School.