No. 10 - Lady Lakers earn sixth straight regional, Riggins to semistate

Friday, December 30, 2011
The Shakamak High School Lady Lakers cross country team along with Bloomfield senior Julie Riggins earned the No. 10 spot in the Daily World's top sports stories for 2011. The Lady Lakers, who finished third at the regional and earned their sixth straight regional berth included (from left) Nicole Mattox, Carey Reynolds, Brooklyn Samm, Megan Phipps and Savannah Turner. Not pictured were Aleksey Green and Kassandra Fetz. (By Rick Curl)

The successes of the combined efforts of the Shakamak girls cross country team and Bloomfield senior harrier Julie Riggins have earned the No. 10 spot in the 2011 Greene County Daily World's top sports stories.

For the sixth straight year the Lady Lakers advanced out of the IHSAA Sectional at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course in Terre Haute thanks to a ninth-place finish by junior Savannah Turner and a 12th-place showing by sophomore Aleksey Green.

Turner completed the 3.1 mile national-caliber course in a time of 21 minutes and 18 seconds while Green finished with a clocking of 21:57.1 to pace the Lady Lakers to a third-place finish in the team standings.

The Lady Laker pair, along with West Vigo's Sarah Hudson, were the only members of a team other than Terre Haute North or South to earn a finish in the top 15.

Brooklyn Samm (23:39.7) was 22nd, Megan Phipps (24:01.3) was 26th, Casey Reynolds (26:26.9) was 39th and Nicole Mattox (29:46.7) was 58th to round out the Shakamak team.

"I was really pleased," Shakamak coach Kelly Miller said. "Our goal was a top five and to advance out again, so we're thrilled with third -- better than what we expected.

"They all ran well and had a great race. Savannah and Aleksey ran well and that kind of set the tone for the team."

Bloomfield's Riggins was the lone survivor from Greene County following the regional at Eagle Park in Nashville.

The senior crossed the finish line with a time of 20 minutes, six seconds, placing her 14th in the field.

Her finish in the regional came on the heels of a sixth-place (20:02.74) finish on the same course in the sectional.

Riggins ended her high school cross country career with a 20th place finish at the semistate a week later.

Her time of 19 minutes, 51.6 seconds was a personal best.

-- Rick Curl