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It was a busy week for Grant County’s cross country teams.
The week started with the middle school regional meet at Scott High School on Oct. 15.
The girls finished 13th out of 15, while the boys took second out of 13 teams. Courtney Colson led the way, placing 29th.
“Both teams gave good effort,” coach Marlon Kinsey said. “They are young, so they have more time at the middle school level. Both teams are adding depth to the program. It’s exciting.”
Justin McGough led the way for the boys, placing 10th.
The next day, the cross country teams traveled for the Harrison County Invitational.
The middle school girls took second place behind Harrison County. Haley Leach was the lead Lady Brave, placing fourth.
“It was neat to see all of the girls get medals and also bring home a team trophy in the last invitational they run,” Kinsey said.
The middle school boys’ team earned a first place finish.
“The boys have a lot to be proud of because of two hard races back-to-back like that,” Kinsey said.
McGough again led the way, finishing in second place.
The varsity girls earned a second place finish, with Natalie Norman coming in second, tying her personal best time.
“Natalie’s learning from this,” Kinsey said. “It’s exciting for the girls to bring home their first trophy of the year. It shows the progress they’ve made. We need to run faster to be competitive at region. I know they have the ability. It’s just about putting it together at the right time.”
The varsity boys took first place at Harrison County. Jeffrey Covington took second with a personal best time of the season.
“We were solid,” Kinsey said. “It will be an eye opener when Northern Kentucky coaches see our times. These guys are running their best at the right time. It’s neat to see them working hard.”
The runners were right back at it on Oct. 25, competing at the Woodford County Invitational.
Gwen Watson was the Brave competitor in the elementary races, finishing ninth.
“Gwen had one of her best races of the year,” Kinsey said. “Going in, she knew she had a chance to compete and that motivated her. She knew she had to be up there to represent Grant County well.”
In the middle school girls’ race, Colson was the only Grant County racer, placing 12th.
“She ran a fantastic race,” Kinsey said. “We’re at the end of the season and we’re starting to see the benefits of all the work the runners have put in. She ran a strong race and did well representing Grant County.”
The middle school boys’ team finished fifth out of 10 teams, even though they only ran their seventh and eighth grade runners. They were led by McGough again, who placed sixth.
“I’m pleased with their performance because of how they ran at the regional championships and at Harrison County. Considering how much they’ve run, it showed their great stamina. As they rest this week, I think we’ll see some great performances in the championship,” Kinsey said.
The elementary and middle school teams will compete at the KTCCCA Meet of Champions on Nov. 1 at Masterson Station Park in Lexington.
The junior varsity boys finished third out of nine teams, but missed second place by three points. Tyler Edmondson came in first for Grant County, placing third.
“I thought the junior varsity team ran very well,” Kinsey said. “Each runner knew they had to do their part and they did. They wanted to do better, but they gave everything they had.”
The varsity girls competed with only four runners, missing two racers because of the ACT. Norman led the pack again, placing 10th out of 102 runners.
“After running hard on Thursday and having solid performances on Saturday, they showed that they are in top form,” Kinsey said. “They are going to challenge for a top five spot and get to state as a team. It comes down to one day and how we perform.”
The varsity boys finished third out of 18 teams and had five runners in the top 30, with Covington placing 15th and leading the Braves.
“This team has a lot of great character,” Kinsey said. “They are very unselfish and are all about what makes the team better. It was a solid performance for the second race in three days. They beat good teams with tired legs.”
The varsity teams will compete next at the regional championships on Nov. 8 at Ryle High School.
Middle School regionals:
Middle School girls - Courtney Colson took 29th, Haley Leach placed 57th, Elizabeth Robinson placed 67th, Gwen Watson placed 78th, Abbi Baxter placed 94th and Ryan Shy placed 95th.
Middle School boys - Trenton Wainscott placed 12th, Dakota Whalen placed 15th, Brennen Dills placed 24th, Jarred Baker placed 28th, Brett Smith placed 36th, Kyle Kinmon placed 39th, Jayden Cummins placed 83rd, Tanner Workman placed 87th, Dalton Whalen placed 94th, Travis Horton placed 108th, Noah Bentley placed 110th, Cody Thomas placed 117th, Keenan Petrey placed 131st, Michael Wells placed 143rd and Marshall Collinsworth placed 165th.
Harrison Co. Invitational:
Middle School girls - Leach placed fourth, Robinson placed fifth, Watson placed seventh, Baxter placed 11th and Shy placed 12th.
Middle school boys - Wainscott placed fifth, Dakota Whalen placed seventh, Baker placed eighth, Dills placed ninth, Smith placed 11th, Kinmon placed 14th, Dalton Whalen placed 18th, Cummins placed 20th, Bentley placed 21st, Horton placed 23rd, Petrey placed 26th, Thomas placed 28th and Collinsworth placed 35th.
Varsity girls - Colson placed 10th, Kim Simpson placed 11th, Caylin Hare placed 12th, Chelsea Hall placed 15th, Kara Pennington placed 17th and Melissa McLeod placed 19th.
Varsity boys - Jordan Cummins placed fourth, Chris Ellis placed eighth, Brandon McIntosh placed ninth, Shannon Fabela placed 15th, Michael Schultz placed 18th, Tyler Edmondson placed 19th, Devin Smith placed 24th, Dillon Jackson placed 34th, Aaron Jump placed 40th and Dustin Sullivan placed 43rd.
Woodford County Invitational:
Middle school boys - Dakota Whalen placed 10th, Baker placed 19th, Smith placed 49th, Thomas placed 71st and Wells placed 76th.
Junior Varsity boys - Edmondson placed third, Smith placed sixth, Sullivan placed 10th, Jackson placed 17th and Jump placed 32nd.
Varsity girls - Hare placed 56th, Hall placed 60th and Pennington placed 88th.
Varsity boys - Ellis placed 18th, Jordan Cummins placed 21st, McIntosh placed 22nd, Fabela placed 29th and Schultz placed 42nd.