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Written by James Weber for the Enquirer. To read the original story online, please click here.

TAYLOR MILL – She goes to a Catholic school and has a Catholic name.

Junior Natalie Pope may be the head runner of a group of St. Henry Crusaders, but she deferred all the credit to her arch-teammates as they won the KHSAA Class 1A, Region 4 team championship Thursday night at Scott. St. Henry won both the girls and boys team championships.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “We all work really well together as a team. It’s great when we can come together and do our best. All the hard work we put in really paid off. We push each other in practice and we help each other.”

Pope won a regional championship in all of the maximum four events she was allowed to enter. She swept the three sprint races – the 100, 200 and 400 meters – and ran on the 4×400 relay to close the meet with a win.

“She’s nails,” said Greg Enxel, the head coach of both St. Henry teams. “She’s a fantastic girl: One of those girls who you always want on your team. She’s a great sport, works hard, brings the rest of the team around her. When she runs well, the rest of the team elevates.”

St. Henry sophomore Jessica Judge won the 100 hurdles and was second in the 300 hurdles. She was one of six runner-up finishes by the Crusaders. Malia Heck had two runner-ups in distance races.

The boys team won six events to pull ahead of second-place Walton-Verona. The teams were tied with two events remaining, the pole vault and 4×400. St. Henry won both events and the Bearcats went scoreless.

Senior Ethan Snyder was a double winner for the Crusaders, claiming the 1,600 and 3,200 while finishing second in the 800.

Enxel gave extra credit to freshmen Mackenzie Kent on the girls side and Michael Brockman in boys. Both stepped into the 4×400 relay as replacements this week and helped the Crusaders win both races.

“It’s hard to ask for much more,” Enxel said. “Everybody ran absolutely fantastic today. Everybody ran PR’s, if not better. Now we got next week. We got the hard part out of the way, getting people down to Lexington, now we can focus on the next week and bringing home the bigger trophy.”

Several other athletes had big days. Bellevue senior Seth Evers, the defending state champion in the 100 and 200, won both of those at the regional meet as well as the 400.

Walton-Verona senior Luke Lawson, the defending state champ in both hurdle events, won the 110-meter hurdles and was second in the 300 hurdles. Walton-Verona teammate Trey Boone won the 800 and high jump. He cleared 6-foot-8 in the high jump earlier this season.

The Bearcats won six of the 18 events.

Runner-up girls team Newport Central Catholic won five events. Abby Jones continued her season-long dominance in the distance events. Jones, who was the only local invitee in the Kentucky Dream Mile May 4, a special race that drew the top 32 milers in the state, won the 1,600 and 3,200 at regionals.

Dayton sophomore Johnessah Barbiea was also a double-winner, claiming the long jump and triple jump.

The top two finishers in each event automatically qualify for the KHSAA state meet, which is Thursday, May 17 at the University of Kentucky. At least 10 at-large athletes from the state’s seven regions will also advance to the state meet depending on the event.

Regional action was set to continue with the Class 2A, Region 4 meet Friday at Scott. The Class 3A, Region 5 meet begins 10 a.m. Saturday at Campbell County High School.

Girls

Team scores: 1. St. Henry 150, 2. Newport Central Catholic 110, 3. Brossart 62, 4. Beechwood 58, 6. Walton-Verona 52, 7. Dayton 46, 8. Villa Madonna 33, 9. Bellevue 21, 10. Newport 12, 11. Lloyd Memorial 11, 12. Holy Cross 3.

4×100: 1. NCC (Matteoli, Enslen, Kinnett, Riley) 51.19, 2. St. Henry (Kent, Brennen, S. Laudenslayer, E. Laudenslayer) 51.71.

4×200: 1. NCC (Louis, Matteoli, Kinnett, Riley) 1:47.72, 2. Beechwood (Schilling, Pelster, Nussbaum, Etler) 1:48.97.

4×400: 1. St. Henry (McCoy, E. Laudenslayer, Pope, M. Kent) 4:12.16, 2. Beechwood (Schilling, Pelster, Hazzard, Nussbaum) 4:16.16.

4×800: 1. Walton-Verona (Ponzer, Waters, Akins, Lightner) 10:09.59, 2. NCC (Ahlbrand, Bertson, Duke, Jones) 10:12.20.

100 hurdles: 1. Jessica Judge (St. Henry) 17.03, 2. Lydia Workman (Dayton) 17.33.

300 hurdles: 1. Caroline Schilling (Beechwood) 48.36, 2. Jessica Judge (St. Henry) 49.14.

100: 1. Natalie Pope (St. Henry) 12.55, 2. Caroline Schilling (Beechwood) 12.95.

200:  1. Natalie Pope (St. Henry) 26.45, 2. Maria Kinnett (NCC) 26.94.

400: 1. Natalie Pope (St. Henry) 59.53, 2. Maria Kinnett (NCC) 1:00.17.

800: 1. Maddie Dickman (VMA) 2:26.90, 2. Malia Heck (St. Henry) 2:27.88.

1600: 1. Abby Jones (NCC) 5:26.78, 2. Malia Heck (St. Henry) 5:32.99.

3200: 1. Abby Jones (NCC) 12:20.80, 2. Maria Klocke (Brossart) 12:26.66.

High jump: 1. Bailey Hall (NCC) 5-2, 2. Tia Browning (St. Henry) 5-0.

Long jump: 1. Johnessah Barbiea (Dayton) 16-2.5, 2. Kerenza Kent (St. Henry) 15-6.

Triple jump: 1. Johnessah Barbiea (Dayton) 32-8.5, 2. Sophia Halfhill (Dayton) 31-4.5.

Shot put: 1. Reagan Atwood (Bellevue) 34-1.25, 2. Lily Marino (St. Henry) 32-7.

Discus: 1. Maggie Buerger (Walton-Verona) 98-10, 2. JaMesha Nellum (Newport) 98-6.

Pole vault: 1. Talie Neufelder (Brossart) 9-0. Maddie Blincoe (VMA) 9-0.

Boys

Team scores: 1. St. Henry 134.5, 2. Walton-Verona 114.5, 3. Brossart 75, 4. NCC 66, 5. Beechwood 38, 6. Bellevue 35, 7. Newport 26, 8. Lloyd 25, 9. Villa Madonna 16, 10. Williamstown 13, 11. Dayton 9.

4×100: 1. Walton-Verona (Smith, M. Lawson, Stanley, Gaines) 44.74, 2. Beechwood (Cardosi, Davis, McKenney, Howard) 45.20.

4×200: 1. Walton-Verona (McVay, M. Lawson, Smith, Stanley) 1:32.59, 2. NCC (Gabbard, Miller, Sprong, Schwarber) 1:32.60.

4×400: 1. St. Henry 3:31.31, 2. Beechwood 3:32.63.

4×800: 1. St. Henry (Samotis, E. Strasburger, Gray, Norris) 8:22.77, 2. Bishop Brossart (Curtsinger, Hickman, Schroer, Clines) 8:24.86.

110 hurdles: 1. Luke Lawson (Walton-Verona) 14.96, 2. Matthew Lodestro (Walton-Verona) 16.10.

300 hurdles: 1. Jordan Moore (Brossart) 40.83, 2. Luke Lawson (W-V) 41.98.

100: 1. Seth Evers (Bellevue) 11.13, 2. Tyler Porter (Newport) 11.40.

200: 1. Seth Evers (Bellevue) 22.58, 2. Kyle Kelly (NCC) 23.12.

400: 1. Seth Evers (Bellevue) 50.23, 2. Hayden Norris (St. Henry) 50.96.

800: 1. Trey Bonne (Walton-Verona) 2:00.60, 2. Ethan Snyder (St. Henry) 2:01.75.

1600: 1. Ethan Snyder (St. Henry) 4:32.29, 2. John Komaromy-Hiller (VMA) 4:35.86.

3200: 1. Ethan Snyder (St. Henry) 10:11.30, 2. John Komaromy-Hiller (VMA) 10:15.05.

High jump: 1. Trey Bonne (Walton-Verona) 6-4, 2. Allen Jump (Bishop Brossart) 6-2.

Long jump: 1. Mitchell McArtor (St. Henry) 20-3.75, 2. James Davis (Beechwood) 20-1.75.

Triple jump: 1. Jordan Peoples (Newport) 42-3.5, 2. Curry Shazier (Walton-Verona) 40-10.5.

Shot put: 1. Jack Reis (Brossart) 44-1.5, 2. Brady Hicks (NCC) 43-5.75.

Discus: 1.  Matt Shazier (Walton-Verona) 131-5, 2. Ajay Pelep (Lloyd) 126-3.

Pole vault: 1. Logan Blaut (St. Henry) 13-6, 2. Jake Davidson (Lloyd) 12-0.