SOMERSET — South Laurel’s boys and girls cross country teams turned in impressive efforts during last Saturday’s Pulaski County Invitational while North Laurel’s boys and girls cross country teams weren’t far behind.
On the girls’ side, South Laurel’s Phoebe McCowan continued her dominating ways by winning the event for the third year in a row with a time of 19:51.17 while leading the Lady Cardinals to a third-place effort in the team standings.
“Phoebe McCowan had a great race on Saturday,” South Laurel girls cross country coach Carrie Kirby said. “She did well getting out early and pulling away from Rockcastle County's Dotson sisters, Victoria and Alexis, to finish in first place with a time of 19:51. Phoebe exhibits leadership with consistent, consecutive mile splits and that is a quality all the girls are focusing on this season. Emma Woods finished eighth, Sarah Ford was 14th, and Ellie Stanko was 18th. These three ladies worked diligently throughout the race to minimize the gaps between each other. Brooklyn Brown had a solid debut varsity performance on Saturday. She placed 29th for the team and was our fifth scorer.
“It's always good to get the first race under your belt,” she added. “It provides coaches with new data and revives race situations back into the minds of your runners where they've gone dormant in the off-season. From a coaching perspective, the times are needed but it's those race situations that help runners to realize what they can demand of their bodies. Hopefully, by reigniting these race experiences, it will transfer into an upgraded daily practice standard which can only help improve future race performances.”
Olivia Rudder was North Laurel’s top finisher, placing seventh with a time of 22:16.84 while the Lady Jaguars turned in a fourth-place finish with 83 points.
South Laurel’s boys team had four runners finish in the Top 10 to win the event with 32 points while North Laurel followed with a second-place effort while totaling 95 points.
The Cardinals’ Drew Meader placed second with a time of 17:26.46 while Jeremy Steele, 5th, 18:09.51, Will Stanko, 6th, 18:16.93, and Landon Deaton, 8th, 18:35.32, also finished in the top 10.
“I am very proud of how all the boys performed on Saturday,” South Laurel boys cross country coach David Evans said. “They have worked so hard to improve and that improvement was evident on Saturday. Drew Meader had a great race and it was a nice way to start the season. He is a good leader and very consistent. Jeremy Steele and Will Stanko may only be freshmen, but they had excellent races as well. I look forward to watching them continue to grow throughout the season.
“The other four of Saturday's top seven were Landon Deaton, Blaine Phelps, Jacob Tapscott, and Seth Meader,” he added. “These boys had good races as well. They packed it together and allowed us to put seven runners in the first 13 places. That type of performance is why we won with such a large margin.”
North Laurel placed second overall in the team standings with 95 points while having two runners turn in Top 10 efforts. The Jaguars’ Justin Sparkman turned in a third-place effort with a time of 7:43.66 while teammate Aspen Sizemore finished ninth with a time of 18:38.29
Girls individual results
Olivia Rudder, 7th, 22:16.84; Taylor Allen, 11th, 23:05.25; Meg Anderson, 23rd, 24:16.31; Jenna Nantz, 39th, 26:22.91; Laney Moore, 47th, 27:29.71; Charity Hammons, 56th, 28:36.94; Rehiannian Collins, 64th, 29:41.72.
Phoebe McCowan, 1st, 19:51.17; Emma Woods, 14th, 23:33.29; Sarah Ford, 22nd, 24:15.64; Ellie Stanko, 28th, 24:34.58; Brooklyn Brown, 42nd, 26:53.52; Autumn Whicker, 65th, 30:09.50; Madison Chestnut, 72nd, 35:13.68; Annabeth Johnson, 79th, 38:25.08.
Girls team scores
1. Southwestern 58; 2. Pulaski County 63; 3. South Laurel 70; 4. North Laurel 83; 5. Lincoln County 114; 6. Danville 129; 7. Barren County 171; 8. Whitley County 224.
Boys individual results
Justin Sparkman, 3rd, 17:43.66; Aspen Sizemore, 9th, 18:38.29; Cole Osborne, 26th, 19:21.28; Alex Garcia, 29th, 19:31.13; J.T. LaPrade, 40th, 20:34.59; Cam Kelly, 60th, 21:28.10; Peyton Roundtree, 72nd, 22:00.15.
Drew Meader, 2nd, 17:26.46; Jeremy Steele, 5th, 18:09.51; Will Stanko, 6th, 18:16.93; Landon Deaton, 8th, 18:35.32; Blaine Phelps, 11th, 18:46.16; Jacob Tapscott, 12th, 18:48.20; Seth Meader, 13th, 18:48.62; Ford Breeding, 23rd, 19:16.99; Connor Johnston, 44th, 20:38.24; Daniel Bryant, 59th, 21:27.11; Nathan Leis, 71st, 21:57.94; Austin Nelson, 83rd, 22:53.41; Cody Blevins, 87th, 23:05.19; David Howard, 102nd, 24:22.36; Chris Greer, 104th, 24:43.61; Jacob Steele, 105th, 24:48.97; Josh Manes, 112th, 25:57.20.
Boys team scores
1. South Laurel 32; 2. North Laurel 95; 3. Pulaski County 100; 4. Danville 142; 5. Wayne County 147; 6. Bell County 158; 7. Southwestern 164; 8. McCreary Central 185; 9. Williamsburg 191; 10. Lincoln County 243; 11. Barren County 303; 12. Whitley County, 330.