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A wet and muddy course greeted runners Saturday morning, Sept. 8th, at Sherman Elementary School.
Despite the early morning thunderstorms and continued morning rain, 35 teams gathered to compete at the 39th annual Grant County Cross Country Invitational Meet.
With mud drying on their shins, Cooper High School took home the title of fastest boys’ varsity team, and Highlands High School had the fastest girls’ varsity team.
Grant County Cross Country Coach Craig Chaplin and his team were pleased overall with the meet and their team’s performance in their third event of this year.
“Even though it was really muddy, I’m glad we went ahead and ran, ” said Hayley Leach, at freshman at GCHS.
Leach is currently the fastest female runner on the team and improved her time on Saturday. She hopes to make her third appearance at state this year, and has made it a personal goal to break the high school girls’ state record.
“Hayley’s tough, and she runs hard, even when it hurts,” said Chaplin.
Overall, Leach placed 34th in the girls’ varsity 5K race on Saturday. Other Grant County runners in the girls’ varsity 5K were: Elizabeth Robinson, 72nd; Summer Dearing, 98th; Amber Lunsford, 104th; and Abbi Baxter, 105th.
Jordan Rose, also a freshman, echoed Leach’s thoughts on the mud. He currently has the fastest time on the boys’ varsity team, and placed 29th on Saturday. He and Coach Chaplin both felt the boys’ team ran better at this meet.
“The team stayed together more today, and each came in closer to the front of the race.” Rose said.
His goal for the year are to see several of his teammates in the top 15 at regionals, and to repeat their win at regionals, as in 2011. Other Grant County runners in the boys’ varsity 5K were: Austin Haubner, 43rd; Jared Baker, 66th; Justin McGough, 80th; and Zack Brinker, 87th. Overall, the boys’ team placed ninth out of 22 teams.
Grant County Middle School also had several members in Saturday’s meet. Whitley Calhoun placed 27th, Adriana Robinson, 42nd, and Alexis Dearing, 61st, all in the girls’ middle school 3K race. In the boys’ middle school 3K race, Derek Gouge placed 16th, Kevin Howell, 47th, Peter Kirk, 48th, and Aaron Flick, 96th.
The teams will travel to Maysville, KY, next Saturday to compete in the Mason County All-Comers Meet.