Southwestern High School sophomore Nathanael Turner followed up his breakout freshman year with a standout cross country season in 2020. Turner, who was named to his second straight All-County Team, was selected as the Commonwealth Journal 2020 Cross Country Runner of the Year for his consistent outstanding performances throughout the year.
Tuner finished 22nd in the state championships with a time of 17:04 for 5,000 meters.Turner was timed at 16:45 in his third place finish in the Class AAA Region 7 Championship. Tuner won the the Somerset Quad Meet and placed runner-up in the Cave Lake Invitational. Turner also had third place finishes in the Southern Harrier Classic and the Cougar Prowl.
Turner was named to All-State Team by the Kentucky Track and Cross Country Coaches Association.
After being named the 2019 Commonwealth Journal Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2018, Southwestern High School junior Kate Golden had another outstanding season. Golden proved to be the top female runner in the local area in 2020.
Golden turned in a 21:19 5,000-meter time in the Class AAA state championships this fall, and was Class AAA Region 7 runner-up with a time of 20:21. Golden picked up victories at the Somerset Quad, Southern Harrier and the Wayne County Invitational.
Somerset Christian School junior Chloe West was named to her third straight All-County Team. West competed at the KHSAA level for the first year this season, and held her own against some of the top runners in the state. And while the Somerset Christian cross county runners were not allowed to compete in the post-season championship meets, West had several strong performances in regular season meets.
West finished fifth in the Cave Lake Invitational with a time of 21:01. West placed third in the Somerset Quad, and finished third in the Southern Harrier with a time of 20:52. West placed eighth in the Cougar Prowl.
Southwestern High School junior Trevor Hansen made his first All-County Team appearance with strong 2020 season, which was second only to training partner Nathanael Turner. Hansen was consistently around the 18-minute mark for 5,000 meters and dropped down in the 17-minute range for several meets. Hansen was clocked at 18:07 in the KHSAA State Championships, and finished ninth in the Region 7 Class AAA meet with a time of 18:19.
Hansen placed second in the Somerset Quad meet, and finished fifth in the Southern Harrier Classic with a time of 17:32. Hansen had top 10 finished in the Wayne County Invitational and the Cougar Prowl.
Southwestern High School freshman Madeline Peterson was named to her second straight All-County Cross Country Team. Peterson placed eighth in the Class AAA Region 7 championships with a time of 21:45.
Peterson placed fourth in both the Somerset Quad and the Wayne County Invitational. Peterson was clocked at 21:33 in the Southern Harrier Classic with a fifth place finish.
Somerset Christian School senior Isaac Morris saved his best year for his final prep season. After moving from the Kentucky Christian Athletic Association to the much stronger KHSAA, Morris was just as competitive at the next level.
Morris placed third in the Somerset Quad with a time of 19:28. Morris was clocked at 18:33 in the Southern Harrier Classic. Morris placed 15th in the Cougar Prowl with a time of 19:18.
Pulaski County High School sophomore Kannon Cundiff led the Maroons in 2020. Cundiff had a top 10 finish in the Class AAA Region Championships with a time of 18:20.
Cundiff placed 12th in the Southern Harrier Classic with a time of 18:19. Cundiff was clocked at 18:40 at Cave Lake Invitational, and at 18:36 at the Wayne County Invitational.
The Pulaski County High School girls cross country program has had a rich history of great young runners, and in 2020 a next newcomer emerged as the Lady Maroons' top runner. Seventh-grader Maggie Bertram performed well ahead of her young age.
Bertram led the Lady Maroons in the Class AAA State Championships with a 21:31 clocking, just 12 seconds behind Kate Golden. Bertram placed seventh in the Class AAA Region 7 meet with a time of 21:40. Bertram placed fourth in the Southern Harrier Classic with a time of 21:28. Bertram placed eighth in the Wayne County Invitational, and was clocked at 21:56 in the Cougar Prowl.
The Southwestern High School boys cross country team enjoyed some of their greatest success, in several years, thanks to their middle runners. Southwestern High School sophomore Caleb Perrin had a strong year as the Warriors' number three runner.
Perrin was clocked at 18:49 in the Class AAA State Championship, and had a top 10 finish in the Class AAA Region 7 Championships. Perrin had a fourth place finish in the Somerset Quad, was clocked at 19:21 in the Cougar Prowl and turned in a 5,000-meter time of 19:13 in the Cave Lake Invitational.
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.