The 2016-2017 school year was a memorable one as far as athletics go. Losing streaks ended, underdogs prevailed, and records were set. Additionally, Manual teams placed among the elite in national competitions. Here are the top moments from the previous year
- Girls cross country wins KHSAA 3A state championship
The Manual girls’ cross country team ran away with the gold at the annual state championship held at the Kentucky Horse Park. Led by Alena Sapienza-Wright (11, YPAS) and Emma Kuntz (12, HSU) the team blazed to a combined time of 1:38:41.92, beating second-place Daviess County by over a minute. Sapienza-Wright won the individual 3A girls state title with a time of 18:08.87, edging out Kaitlyn Lacy (Louisville Male) by 83 hundredths of a second.
- Chess team places third nationally
The senior division of the Manual chess team won third place at the Chess Federation 2016 National K-12 Championships. The team, consisting of Matthew McDonald, Keenan Bilyeu, Tommy Phan and Binu Godage, received recognition from (then) JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens at a meeting of the Board of Education. Matthew McDonald also placed 10th individually at the national level.
- Girls basketball 3OT game vs. Butler
You may remember that Manual lost this game to the then #1 ranked Bearettes, but just because it’s a loss doesn’t mean it wasn’t spectacular. In fact, this game had every detail that we love about sports: A tenacious underdog, back and forth battling, and ultimately heartbreak. Yes, this matchup put one in the loss column for the Crimsons, but it sure was a great game. The Crimsons managed to grab a 63-60 lead with :4.9 remaining in the second overtime as Butler ran an inbound play, streaked up the left side of the court, and threw up a prayer that sank right through the net. From there the Bearettes seized the momentum swing and were able to hang on for a 72-71 victory. There’s an old saying in sport that says you learn more from losing than winning, and that is why this make the list of top moments.
- Yared Nuguse sets Kentucky high school record for running the mile
Some might think that Yared Nuguse had reached the top back in November when he committed to the University of Notre Dame to run cross country and track. However, the senior sensation wasn’t done yet. Nuguse has been lighting up the leaderboards this season. He peaked at the Dream Mile, an annual track meet held at Saint Xavier High School, when he ran a 4:06.30 mile. His new personal record was also good for the Kentucky state record and the fourth fastest time in the country this year.
- Girls basketball beats Male in Seventh Region semifinal
The triple overtime loss to Butler certainly stung the girls basketball, but the loss to rival Male in the regular season hurt the most. Male handed Manual a 66-57 loss in the basketball edition of The Old Rivalry on February 17, leaving the Crimsons with a hunger for revenge. On March 1 the Crimsons got their chance in the Seventh Region semifinals. Down one point to Male with seven seconds remaining Manual drove up the court and found Marlena Groves standing alone under the basket. Groves then hit the biggest shot of the season, downing Male at the buzzer to send the Crimsons to the Seventh Region final.