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Usually during the Kentucky Track and Cross Country Coaches Meet of Champions, it’s cold, miserable and a true test of a runner’s endurance.
This year, the Meet of Champions, held at Masterson Station Park in Lexington, was held on a warm, fall day when the only thing challenging the runners was getting out from the start as runners were forced to restart several times.
“We were exhausted,” Grant County coach Marlon Kinsey said.
In the elementary girls’ race, Williamstown and Grant County each had runners battle through several false starts.
Elizabeth Robinson led the way for Grant County, placing 140th out of 350 runners. For Williamstown, Olivia Dezarn was their first runner in, coming in 162nd.
“They did great,” Williamstown coach Michelle Whaley said. “That was the first time at elementary state for a lot of them and they did not let the number of runners or the size of the meet affect their performance.”
The Lady Demons placed 41st out of 44 teams.
Grant County did not have enough runners to field a team, but Kinsey liked what he saw in his runners.
“They ran very well,” Kinsey said. “I was extremely pleased with their results. They’ve come a long way. We knew going in that we didn’t have anyone in the top 100, but we were trying to get two girls in the top 150. We were only four seconds from making that happen. These girls have a lot of potential.”
The elementary boys faced the most restarts of any group. The seven restarts wore out Grant County’s boys who had won the regional championship on Oct. 22.
“Trenton Wainscott came out strong each time, but we were exhausted from running out 100 to 150 meters multiple times,” Kinsey said.
“I think the false starts didn’t affect us,” Whaley said. “I think they did fantastic.”
Tanner Workman was Grant County’s first runner in, finishing 51st. Keegan Bailey led the way for Williamstown, placing 238th.
“The guys still gave their best effort,” Kinsey said. “We’re disappointed. They’re young and it’s their first experience with this, but they were physically tired before the race even started. I told them we’ll use it as motivation next year in the middle school division. I’m extremely proud of them. They can’t let one day measure a season full of success. We still beat a lot of schools when we were struggling.”
The Braves finished 9th out of 43 teams, while Williamstown came in 41st.
The Braves placed a runner in the elementary open race and Noah Bentley came in 41st.
“He had a good race and got out early,” Kinsey said.
In the middle school girls’ race, neither school fielded a team, but Grant County did have two runners.
Courtney Colson came in first, finishing 91st, while Ryan Shy placed 331st.
“Courtney got out and at one point was in the top 50,” Kinsey said. “She then moved back, but worked her way to the finish. She met her personal goal of being in the top 100.”
In the middle school boys’ race, Williamstown enjoyed the most success, placing two runners in the top 50. Hunter Trenary came in 27th and Drew Harris came in 34th. Justin McGough medaled for Grant County, coming in 42nd.
“My middle schoolers did awesome,” Whaley said. “This is Chris Brann’s first year running and he did incredible. I’m looking forward to him coming back next year. Hunter and Drew will also compete in the high school regional. As a team, they did exactly what I thought they were going to do and more. I’m excited they are all coming back next year and competing at the middle and high school level. They are young and talented.”
“Justin had a decent race, but it still wasn’t his best,” Kinsey said. “He had to fight his way throughout the entire race. Next year when we have runners move up, we’ll be fairly competitive. We’ll have decent teams in both races.”