Moeller Primetime Invitational Preview

Lights, camera, action! Those are the steps Cincinnati cross country runners are following this upcoming weekend. The 2nd annual Moeller Primetime Invitational will take place Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 at the Bruin Golf Course in Kings under the lights.

“Not only are we anxious to showcase the talent of our team under the Friday night lights, that were once commonly held only for high school football, but that of all teams competing in this event, and to promote the sport of high school cross country running to the causal sports fan,” Moeller head coach Dave Prenger said.

This year’s edition will feature some of the top teams not only in the Cincinnati area, but from around the state of Ohio and Kentucky as well. The boys race includes preseason Division 1 state title favorite St. Xavier, as well as Turpin, Lebanon, Moeller and Division 2 top teams Sandusky Perkins and Van Wert. The girls race looks to be a battle that features Division 1 teams Ursuline and St. Ursula and Division 2 teams Indian Hill and McNicholas representing Cincinnati against out-of-towners Van Wert and Kentucky Class AA preseason #4 Highlands. “We are expecting close to 2,500 people in attendance,” Moeller Administrative Assistant Charlie Lytle said.

The individual field is just as impressive. On the boys side the top performers include Jared Fleming (2012 DIII state champion in 800m run, 2011 all-state cross country), Connor Holiday (2012 regional qualifier in 3200m run) and Kase Schalois (2012 regional qualifier in 3200m run) from Van Wert, Jake Grabowski (7th D1 in 3200m run) and Michael Hall (2011 state qualifier) from St. Xavier and Zach Hoffman (2012 regional qualifier in 800m run) from Moeller. The girls races features favorite Jacquelyn Crow (8th at 2011 D1 state meet) from Lebanon, along with Elena Horton (2011 D2 state qualifier) of Indian Hill, Andi Foster (2011 D2 state qualifier) of Van Wert, Christine Frederick and Grace Kelly of Ursuline, Annie Heffernan (2011 GGCL champion), Elena Polivka of Turpin (2011 regional qualifier) and Lauren Ossege (3rd 2011 Kentucky AA state meet) of Highlands.

These teams and individuals will battle it out for the McCarty Cup, the new award for the team champion. The award is named for Jay McCarty, a father of an alumnus and longtime volunteer for the Moeller team. He lost a two-year battle with cancer on Aug. 6. There will be a moment of silence to honor McCarty, along with Chris Smith, the former head coach of Sandusky Perkins, who died in a car crash on June 10. The junior high races are scheduled to start at 4:30pm, with the varsity races scheduled to go off under the lights at 8:30pm and 9:00pm.

“It will be an experience like none other in sports, so come on out and check it out!” Prenger said.