Still gaining speed

Tyler Walker of Scott County holds his second-place trophy after another a personal record run of 15:24 at the Class AAA Meet of Champions on Saturday in Paris.

Scott County's Tyler Walker and Erin Luckett and the Great Crossing High School boys' team declared themselves ready for the regional and state cross country meets with peak performances in the final events of the regular season this past Saturday.

Walker again broke his personal record while finishing second in the Class AAA boys' race at the Meet of Champions in Bourbon County. Luckett was fifth in the girls' race.

GC traveled to the Woodford County Invitational and snagged second place out of the nine teams entered, with individual runners Carter Russell, Jake Swicegood and Kaiden Johnson all in the top 10.

Walker's time of 15:24.4 on the 5-kilometer course in Paris was seven seconds off the winning pace set by Nolan Hester of St. Xavier.

The Cardinals' senior, who has a pair of wins in four starts this fall, will be high on the list of favorites in Saturday's Region 6 Class AAA championship in Winchester. The boys' race gets the starting gun at 9 a.m., followed by the girls at 10 a.m.

Luckett's time of 19:39.8 put her in the top five of a star-studded field at the Meet of Champions as well. Anaya Brown of Lafayette won the title, hitting the wire at 19:15,7.

Also competing for the SC girls in the event were Caroline Burton (53rd, 27:44.1), Anna Grace Ferguson (54th, 28:15.5) and Chloe Hinton (55th, 30:02.9).

Tates Creek (48) was the only team ahead of GC (76) in the Woodford boys' race. Paul Laurence Dunbar was third with 96, followed by Henry Clay at 102.

Russell, a sophomore, led the Warhawks in sixth place with a time of 17:11.37. He was closely followed by junior Jake Swicegood, eighth at 17:40.15, and senior Kaiden Johnson, ninth in 17:47.94.

Rhett Barber (18th, 18:38.6) and Aiden Bailey (42nd, 19:28.25) rounded out the Warhawks' scoring. Bailey narrowly edged teammate Nolan Cash (19:28.69) for the spot.

Also completing the course for the GC boys: Jacob Marcum (51st, 19:51.54), William Wilson (59th, 20:40.98), Scott Pierson (69th, 20:57.79), Keith Johnson (75th, 21:17.91), Shad Parret (114th, 24:49.35) and Taylor Crump (125th, 27:49.13).

Great Crossing entered four girls in the Yellow Jacket showcase, one shy of the combine needed for a team score. Evelyn Johnson topped the Warhawks in 87th at a 27:04.47 clip. Also going the distance: Hannah Johnson (89th, 27:38.12), Jordan Wallin-Sampson (107th, 30:28.06) and Emilie Milburn (113th, 31:32.67).

The state meet has been moved from its location of recent years at Kentucky Horse Park to Bourbon County Park in Paris on the weekend of Oct. 30-31. Class AAA will compete on Halloween Saturday.

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