By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent Commonwealth Journal
Lexington, KY. —
The Pulaski County boys’ and girls’ cross country teams were only two local ones to qualify for Saturday’s KHSAA State Cross Country Championship at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
The Maroons boys’ team finished 10th out of 31 teams in the Class AAA Boys race, while the Lady Maroons came home in 21st out of 29 squads in the Class AAA Girls race.
Saint Xavier rolled to a championship on the boys side, scoring a race-low 53 points. Trinity, 80 points behind first place, tallied 133 points to finish second. The Maroons rounded out the top 10 with 331 points.
The Maroons’ 10th place finish on Saturday was their best performance at the state meet since the 1997 season, according to Pulaski County boys cross country head coach Dave Evans.
“Mason Blevins has been a consistent leader for us on and off the course, and he will be a steal for whatever college can obtain his services,” told Evans. “Our 2 freshman, Brennan Perkins and Sam Smith, ran great races at state, and I could not be more impressed and encouraged about our teams’ future – they were not afraid to go out and compete.”
Patrick Gregory, a senior at Butler, won the 3.1-mile race in a time of 15:55.
Maroon senior Mason Blevins was the top local finisher in the race, coming home in 26th place. Blevins’ time was 16:56.
Southwestern’s Jordan Carrington outlasted Pulaski County’s Brennan Perkins by .46 seconds to grab the 56th position. Carrington, who was the Warriors’ top finisher, had a time of 17:22.46, while Perkins clocked in at 17:22.92.
Pulaski County freshman Sam Smith rounded out the top 60 with a time of 17:24. Morgan Stevens finished 108th, Austin Hyden crossed the line in 128th, and Matthew Crawford came home in the 140th spot.
For the Warriors, Spencer Brainard crossed the line in the 187th position with a clocking of 18:49. Duncan Finch, the Maroons’ 7th runner, finished 233rd.
On the girls side of things, Assumption came away with the state title after tallying a race-low 44 points, 37 points ahead of second place Bowling Green. The Lady Maroons came home in the 21st position with 552 points, five spots better than their 2012 finish at the state meet.
"Last year we came home with a 26th place finish, and our goal was to finish better, so in some respects, we accomplished our goal because we came home with a 21st place finish," told Lady Maroon coach Nancy New. "With the 2014 cross country season seen off in the horizon, there is much to be thankful for if you are a returning Lady Maroon. We will work to bring down our times and study ways to finish better than our competition."
Whitney O’Bryan, a senior from Daviess County, beat the entire field, finishing 1st with a time of 18:09.
Devin Mayfield, a 7th-grader for the Lady Maroons, was the top local finisher in the race. Mayfield, competing in her first-ever varsity state meet, finished the 3.1-mile run in a time of 20:44 for 54th place.
Alyssa Hyden, a freshman at Pulaski County, wasn’t far behind Mayfield, as she came home in the 62nd position. Hyden’s time was 20:53.
The top runner for the Southwestern Lady Warriors was sophomore Ashley Phelps, who finished 140th with a time of 22:03.
Pulaski County’s remaining runners were: Sarah Burton (184th), Jean Weaver (209th), Raegan Ruby (210th), and Madi Rodgers (214th).
Somerset junior Tristan Krause was the only local runner to compete in the Class A Boys race. Krause, who finished 75th, had a time of 19:00.