The Pulaski County High School girls cross country team opened their 2020 season off with a big team win in the Cougar Prowl Invitational on Saturday, ran on the campus of Somerset Christian School.
The Lady Maroons scored a meet-low 79 points to defeat several of their top regional contenders. Madison Central placed second with 82 points and Southwestern finished third with 92 points.
"We are very proud of them," Pulaski County cross county coach Byron Childers stated. "They have worked so hard thus far. We had a tough practice on Thursday, but they didn't complain and went out and ran a good first race."
The Lady Maroons packed their scoring five runners in the top 26. Pulaski County senior Lauren Smith led the way with a 12th place finish and a 21:51 clocking for 5,000 meters. Smith had missed her entire junior year with an injury.
Lady Maroon seventh-grader Maggie Bertram placed 13th with a 21:56. Sophomore Alex Cundiff placed 14th with a 22:10. Eighth-grader Addison Cundiff placed 19th with a 22:53. Eighth-grader Becca Debord placed 26th with a time of 24:23. Senior Morgan Bruin placed 30th and junior Aliyah Shivel placed 35th.
Southwestern junior Kate Golden had the best individual local showing with a sixth place finish and a 20:42 clocking. Somerset Christian junior Chloe West placed eighth with a time 21:21. Other top female finishers included Southwestern junior Madeline Peterson - 10th, Southwestern sophomore Jasmine Akin - 18th, Somerset senior Lucy McArthur - 28th, Pulaski County junior Morgan Bruin - 30th, Southwestern sophomore Kathryn Carrington - 31st, and Southwestern junior Allison Taylor - 32nd.
In the boys team standings, Southwestern High School came away with a runner-up finish. The Warriors scored 78 points behind the team champions Madison Central's 37 points.
Southwestern sophomore Nathanael Turner placed third overall with a time of 17:13. Turner admitted it was hard not competing for such a long time due to the COVID pandemic.
"This was about overcoming my own negativity going into the race," Turner stated. "I decided to go and give my best effort, and see where I’m at since we haven’t had a competitive race in sometime. I decided to give my best effort and God pulled me through to overcome today. I want to build off this race and train harder next week for the rest of the season."
Other top runner fro Southwestern was junior Trevor Hansen, who placed 9th and recorded a 18:10 time of 5K. Sophomore Caleb Perrin placed 16th with a time of 19:21. Sophomore Jon Cole placed 18th with a 19:22. Freshman Zabrey Bortz placed 35th with a 20:55, and senior Jordan Strevels placed 36th with a 21:05.
Other top local finishers were Somerset Christian senior Issac Morris - 15th, Pulaski County sophomore Kannon Cundiff - 23rd, Pulaski County senior Bradley Heist 27th, Pulaski County junior Jeremiah Smith - 28th, and Somerset senior Joseph Crabtree - 37th.
Madison Central junior Brady Masters won the boys race with a time of 15:38, and Madison Central sophomore Ciara O'Shea won the girls' race with a time of 17:40.
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.