The teams may have split, but individual excellence remains the rule for county cross country runners, as evidenced by a fistful of front-of-the-pack performances in Saturday’s season-opening 5,000-meter race.
Three competitors from Scott County and two out of Great Crossing picked up top-10 finishes at the Bourbon County Colonel Charge in Paris, including two Cardinals in the top three of the boys’ race.
Tyler Walker, in his first race back for SC after an injury that prematurely halted his sophomore track and field season, clocked a time of 16:49.08 for runner-up honors.
Right in his tracks was James Wireman, who gave Scott County a bronze medal with a 17:08.16 clip.
The win belonged to Connor Hayes of Lexington Christian Academy, who set a blistering pace of 16:20.97.
Great Crossing’s depth gave the Warhawks bragging rights in the boys’ field. GC finished fourth place out of 14 teams with 131 points, a dozen ahead of Woodford County.
SC (190) also wound up in the top half of the field, securing seventh.
Northern Kentucky teams set the pace. Campbell County won the boys’ meet with 80 points, followed by Ryle (100) and Scott (103).
Kaiden Johnson carried the banner for Great Crossing with a seventh-place finish. He completed the distance in 17:39.31.
Jake Swicegood (14th, 18:42.10) and Carter Russell (15th, 18:44.96) also had outstanding runs forGC in the field of 104.
Rounding out the GC scorers were Nolan Cash (45th, 20:00.04), and Will Barrett (60th, 20:49.27).
Scott County’s other point chasers included Braydon Stephenson (58th, 20:44.33), Austin Holt (62nd, 20:50.43) and Parker Risher (90th, 23:49.57).
The girls’ race produced a great battle between Ava Plumb of Great Crossing and Erin Luckett of Scott County. Plumb (21:20.98) pulled away for a narrow edge over Luckett (21:25.52) in the battle for seventh and eighth.
Plumb’s Lady Warhawks finished fifth out of 13 teams with 119 poimts. SC (297) wound up 11th. Woodford County (60), LCA (78), Scott (86) and Bourbon (104) led the way.
Luka Brown (25th, 23:20.80), Amanda Deo (26th, 23:25.03) and Alex Martin (29th, 23:36.64) stayed together in the pack for the Warhawks. Annalee Griffith (38th, 24:14.69) also had an oustanding run.
Joining Luckett as SC scorers on the girls’ side: Emily Spencer, Chloe Hinton, Katelin Wilkinson and Diana Alvarado.
LCA’s Anna Rupp (19:04.49) won the girls’ race.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.