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With three weeks left before the regional cross country meet, the Williamstown and Grant County cross country teams got a taste of what to expect if they make it to the state meet.
Both teams competed in the Lexington Catholic Invitational Oct. 17, which was held at the Kentucky Horse Park, the site for the state cross country meet.
Although the state meet has been held at the horse park before, this year it is being run on a different part of the course and the county’s teams took a chance to learn what to expect.
In the class A and AA varsity boys’ race, Williamstown junior Steven Bradford finished 23rd for the Demons. Bradford advanced to the state meet last season as an individual.
“It’s good to see the course now because I know what it’s like and where I need to take off or slow down,” Bradford said. “There are a lot of turns, so you have to get out in front early. This also showed me where other runners I’ll compete against are at now. It was a learning experience.”
He was followed by eighth grader Drew Harris (138th), eighth grader Hunter Trenary (184th), junior Derrick King (203rd) and eighth grader Tucker Trenary (227th). The Demons finished 29th out of 43 teams.
The Demons are trying to figure out which seven runners will compete in the regional meet as their top 10 battle to earn a spot.
“Out of my top positions, the only one that has stayed consistent is Steven,” WHS coach Michelle Whaley said. “Everybody else in my top 10 has fluctuated. It’s good because they are all pushing each other to get better because they want to be in the top seven. The next three weeks are going to be interesting because we’re focusing on getting everyone healthy and pushing towards the finish.”
Grant County’s teams competed in the class AAA races and because several runners were out sick, only had three runners compete in the boys’ varsity race.
Junior Jordan Cummins finished first for the Braves, finishing 39th. He was followed by junior Michael Schultz (92nd) and senior Shannon Fabela (105th).
“We didn’t have our full team, but we know where we need to improve before we get to the state meet,” Cummins said. “We’re slowly getting to where we want to be, but we want to make every workout count and get everybody healthy before the region meet.”
“This was our first opportunity to get on the new state course,” GCHS coach Marlon Kinsey said. “It’s important to know what type of race course you’ll be competing on, such as the terrain and where the turns are. This course has got a little more incline to it.”
The Braves were without sophomore Chris Ellis, who was sick, and sophomore Tyler Edmondson, who ran in the junior varsity race as he deals with a sore knee. Kinsey was pleased to see Fabela show improvement as the Braves will try to get to the state tournament as a team for the third straight season.
“Shannon had his best race of the season,” Kinsey said. “He runs the best when there’s a big crowd and a lot of runners running beside him and can’t lose his focus. He comes through and runs well for us in the big races. It was his best effort of the year.”
The girls’ team competed in the junior varsity race as they work to get healthy. The Lady Braves were without senior Jackie Roche, who was out sick. The team finished 10th out of 15 teams.
Senior Emily Thomes led the Lady Braves, finishing 29th. She was followed by junior Riley Colson (41st), junior Rebekah Brewer (62nd), senior Kara Pennington (69th) and senior Christina Haubner (95th).
“We want to make it to state and we’ve been consistent lately,” Thomes said. “This was good practice.”
GC elementary boys finish first at NKY regionals
The Grant County sixth grade and under boys’ team took first place at the Northern Kentucky regionals with a dominant performance.
Austin Haubner finished first for the Braves and was followed by Jordan Rose (second), Tyler Jackson (fifth), Andrew Daniels (sixth) and Kyle Kinmon (13th).
This was the second straight year the boys’ team has taken first.
The Braves were without Jayden Cummins, who was out with a leg injury.
The boys’ will compete next at the KTCCCA Meet of Champions on Oct. 31 at Masterson Station Park in Lexington. Last year, the boys’ finished ninth in the state.
“We believe we’re a top five team in the state,” coach Marlon Kinsey said. “We feel like we can reach that goal.”
In the girls’ race, Haley Leach finished as the runner-up, while Kaylie Ezell was a medalist in the race.