By STEVE CORNELIUS, CJ Sports Editor
Bowling Green —
The Pulaski County High School boys cross country team placed third in this weekend’s Purple Strider Invitational. The Maroons scored 77 points, behind South Oldham’s 62 and Bowling Green’s 74.
Senior Mason Blevins led the way for the Maroons with a sixth place finish and a 17:15 clocking for the 5,000-meter course. Senior Morgan Stevens placed 12th with a 18:03 clocking.
Pulaski’s Brennan Perkins placed 18th, Matthew Crawford placed 20th, Austin Hyden placed 26th, Dalton Lovins placed 30th and Sam Smith placed 35th.
“As a team we were disappointed in our finish, we felt like we let one get away this week,” stated Pulaski head coach David Evans. “Not to slight the other teams, but we showed up at the meet and some of the boys looked and ran like someone was going to just give us first place. If you want to win you have to run and compete for it each and every time you are out on the course.”
“We talk with the team daily about our time gap and this past weekend we had a minute and thirty second time gap, our team needs to realize that if they want to reach their goals the time gap has to be less than a minute every meet,” Evans added. “We a have a senior group of kids that are the best group of boys to be around and they should have one of the highest running IQs in the state, but yet we fail to stay focused for the entire race and let other teams pass us in the last 100 meters of the race. Theses are rookie mistakes and we cannot afford to make these kinds of mental errors.”
For Southwestern, junior Jordan Carrington placed 19th with a 18:23 clocking and Spencer Brainard placed 65th.
On the girls side, the Pulaski Lady Maroons placed fifth with 139 points, while Bowling Green claimed the gold trophy with 19 points.
Freshman Alyssa Hyden led the way for the Lady Maroons with a 11th place finish and a 22:01 clocking. Seventh-grader Devin Mayfield placed 17th and was timed at 22:22.
Rounding out Pulaski’s finishers were Sydney New in 20th, Sarah Burton in 52nd, Raegan Ruby in 67th, Mandi Rodgers in 68th, Jean Weaver in 76th and Holly Estes 82nd.
“Our sprints at the finish could have been better, so that gives us something to work on this week,” Lady Maroons coach Nancy New stated. “On a positive side, we saw finish times drop from previous races, one thing that every runner seeks. Alyssa (Hyden) cut 15 seconds off her previous 2013 race time, and even though she is not where she wants to be, it can still be said that she is definitely going in the right direction.”
“Sydney New, Sarah Burton, Madi Rodgers, and Jean Weaver all had personal records this weekend for their 2013 season,” New noted. “Our other finishers, Devin Mayfield, Raegan Ruby, and Holly Estes may not have finished as strong as they would have liked, yet they were just seconds off earlier races from this season. All in all, these girls have much to be proud of from their finishes at the Purple Strider Invitational.”
For Southwestern, sophomore Ashley Phelps placed 46th and was clocked at 24:26 for 5,000 meters. Leanne Crowder placed 73rd and Skye Combs placed 79th.
All three local high school cross country programs will be competing in the Southern Harrier Special on Saturday, Sept. 14, at G.E. Field.