The number on Kaitlin Snapp's race bib — 123 — foretold what was to come Saturday in the girls' KHSAA State Cross Country Meet.
The Danville freshman pulled away, easy as 1-2-3, to win her third individual Class A championship in a row, and her first as a high school student.
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Her time for 5,000 meters, 18 minutes, 25.51 seconds, was best of the day and second-fastest ever at the Kentucky Horse Park in a State finals.
Sacred Heart's Emma Brink, who set the overall meet record of 18:20.52 last year, repeated as 3A champ. Jessie Murner of South Oldham prevailed in Class 2A.
Rain, wind and temperatures in the 40s hurt times.
Just as happened last year, Snapp held off Owen County's Danielle Hoop.
Snapp won by just over 10 seconds in 2007. Saturday's margin was just over four seconds, 18:25.51 to 18:29.97.
Hoop, a sophomore, ran with Snapp through the mile (5:51) and two-mile (11:52). With about 800 meters left, Hoop opened a small gap.
"She got the turn on me so I knew it was coming, and I was just preparing the whole time for a footrace at the end," Snapp said. "So I tried to stay as close as possible, and I made it up little by little so I could sprint."
Hoop gave it her all. But, no, she wasn't satisfied.
"Because I didn't win," she said. "I passed her too soon. And I lost it again this year."
Third-place runner Maria Frigo led St. Henry to a second straight team title, fifth in six years and 11th overall. The Crusaders scored 44 points, Walton-Verona 72.
Powell County senior Tenny Ostrem pushed the pace.
"This whole season, I've gotten out and pushed it and done very good," Ostrem said.
Murner, 13th in 3A last year, was happy to run off the pace: "I like having people to run after."
The sophomore caught Ostrem running downhill with about a half-mile left. But the win was unexpected.
"I knew I really wanted to be top seven because that's what I was ranked, and I wanted to show that I was better than that," Murner said. "But I never expected to win. I was happy because this year I haven't been able to break 20 (minutes), but I finally did, which was really a good feeling."
Murner and fourth-place finisher Kacie Niemann helped the Dragons to their first state team victory. They scored 85 to Lloyd's 105.
Brink, a sophomore, was pushed by Ryle's Gabby Gonzales through the mile in 5:59. By two miles, Brink's 12:06 led by four seconds.
"Times weren't the best," Brink said. "It was difficult today, but I think everyone ran the best that they could.
"In the race, there are eight key downhills that my coach (Stan Clark) and I have talked about and focused on. Make sure to push those. 'Surge, surge, surge!' "
John Hardin's Maggie Mattingly overtook Gonzales for second, 18:50.03 to 18:54.75.
Dunbar's Megan Klein and Amanda Hancock followed as the Bulldogs placed third with 101 points. Assumption won its second title in a row, 67-83 over Sacred Heart.
"The turns were all real muddy," Klein said. "So I just tried to go on the outside — it's a little bit longer distance — rather than fall down."
Hancock worked alongside Klein all the way.
Said Hancock: "We decided, if we stayed together and worked hard, we could get through anything despite the conditions and come out on top."