Girls XC hungry for hardware in 2017

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By Quincy Burt

The last four years have been very successful for the ladies of Casey County cross country with four trips to state and a fourth-place finish in 2015.
Two runners have been part of all four state teams while others have multiple appearances as well.
Coach Jon Vaughn has been saying for years that 2017 and 2018 will be the years he expects this team to really make some noise.
With the success of the last four years in tow, get out a decibel meter, it’s about to get loud.
“This year and/or next year could be great for the girls; we would love to land a championship one of these seasons,” said Vaughn. “We are hoping for another state trophy this year. That would take a top four finish at state. They have done it before, so we are hoping for even better. This year, we will have a strong team, who has trained hard. The great thing is we have girls that can step in if someone has a bad race. They believe and give full effort, and that is all I will ever ask. Our main goal is to continue to place runners in college as healthy athletes who will continue to improve.”
The veteran leadership on the team will be juniors Jenna Vaughn and Laura Cuin, the two who have been to four state meets. Following closely behind them in the top five for coach Vaughn will be Alyssa Sharp, Morgan Crowe and Elsa Diaz.
“They all try to build each other up, even though they also compete against each other in every race,” said Vaughn.
“Alyssa and Morgan had great finishes to the season last year, so that really will help us. They had great championship races. If we can get the others to perform like they have in years past, watch out. We are hoping that there may be some surprises as newcomer Lottie Gertler, joins MacKenzie Cundiff. New to the varsity team, but not to running, will be seventh-grader Abby Vaughn. She could surprise some folks, as she can hang with the veterans in practice. There are a couple of other girls who may be joining us soon.”
The Lady Running Rebels are ranked No. 1 in the region and No. 5 in the state — No. 2 if you go by the composite that takes into account track times as well.
There are several runners flirting with breaking into the 19s on this team, which would be monumental toward the noise of bringing more cross country hardware back to Liberty.
“I think there are at least four girls who are capable this year,” said Vaughn.
 “My guess is that it will happen at different times and probably the top ones will psyche themselves out first and be the last ones to break under 20:00. Wouldn’t that be a great end of the season?”