Kaitlin Snapp doesn’t run many races that she isn’t favored to win, but that’s just what she’ll be doing this weekend.
The talented Danville freshman can outclass the competition in most of the track and cross country races she runs in this part of the world. That won’t be the case on Saturday, however, when she competes as part of what is essentially an all-star field in the Eastern Relays.
Snapp was invited to the Louisville meet to compete in a 3,200-meter run that is being billed as the best girls 3,200 ever at a Kentucky high school meet. Yes, I said ever.
How good is the talent level in this race? At the head of the pack is Emma Brink, the Sacred Heart sophomore who is the defending Class AAA state champion in both cross country and in track’s 3,200, and some top-flight runners from Ohio are expected to attend as well. A number of runners who can complete the 3,200 in under 12 minutes — including Snapp — are scheduled to compete.
One Kentucky coach wrote recently in a track and field forum that it will be effectively “a who’s who of Kentucky distance running” and that this race alone would be well worth the price of admission to the meet.
The race was also supposed to feature Kathy Kroeger of Franklin, Tenn., a Stanford signee who won a national high school title at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 2006 and was the female winner of the Wendy’s High School Heisman award in 2008; and Lindsay Flanagan of Roselle, Ill., another nationally prominent distance runner. Both girls are capable of times of 10:30 or better, but Kroeger reportedly withdrew with an injury, and Flanagan reportedly had transportation issues that couldn’t be worked out.
Of course, Snapp brings her own impressive resume to the race, having won three straight Class A championships in cross country as well as last year’s track championships in the 1,600 and 3,200. Snapp is seeded second in this race at 11:14, which is 15 seconds behind Brink.
The race, billed as the KYTrackXC.com Girls Invitational 3200 thanks to a sponsorship, is officially the first heat of the meet’s 3,200 competition, but it is being showcased and will be run outside the regular schedule of the two-day meet. It will be the first running event of the day at 10 a.m.
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While Snapp is testing herself in Louisville, her Danville teammates and runners from five other area teams will compete in the E.G. Plummer Invitational on Saturday at Admiral Stadium.
Danville, Boyle County, Burgin, Casey County, Lincoln County and Mercer County are part of a 15-team field that also includes Bellevue, Bishop Brossart, Madison Central, Russell County and Somerset. The meet begins at 10:30 a.m.