XC STATE BOUND X7
The Morgan County Cross Country team competed at the Class A, Region 7 Championships this past Saturday afternoon at Powell County. The course was wet and muddy from 24 hours of rain, but the precipitation took a short break that allowed the Region 7 portion of the Super Regional to complete their races.
The big news: Both the Cougar girls and boys advanced to the State XC Meet by virtue of their performance in the Regional! This marks the seventh consecutive year that the Morgan women have qualified for the State Meet as a team. Head Coach Charlie Bolin has compiled a significant legacy in that time, with much of it enhanced, of course, by the leadership and talent of former Morgan distance standout Kailee Perry.
But this year? No Kailee. In spite of that, the Morgan County ladies placed second as a team to bring home the Regional Runner-up trophy! With Krista Perry and Anna Cantrell leading the way with top 8 finishes, the Lady Cougars trailed only Bath County in the team standings. Bath finished with 29 points (low score wins in XC), with Morgan at 57. The rest of the team totals were as follows: Pikeville (100), Elliott (103), Jenkins (108), Menifee (136), and Phelps (138). There were actually a total of 16 schools entered, but only seven had full squads on the starting line. 53 young women competed.
Individually, Krista placed fifth in a time of 23:26 for the 5K distance (3.1 miles), with Anna close behind in the seventh slot (23:37). The next three Morgan runners were bunched closely as they finished in the top 20. Jaime-lynn Daniel was 16th (25:01), with Janesey Lewis at 19th (25:27) and Faith Bolin at 20th (25:55). Kara Kelly crossed the line in 32:51, good enough for 42nd place.
The Morgan County XC men improved upon their 6th place Regional finish from a year ago, as they placed fourth as a team last Saturday. In 2018, the boys narrowly slipped into the last qualifying slot - advancing to State as a team for the first time in school history. It may have been a nail-biter last season, but the boys took care of business to make it two years in a row to State as a team.
Pikeville dominated the boys’ portion of the meet, taking the team title with a remarkable low score of only 20 points, and placing their first six runners in the top eight as individual medalists. Elliott County, paced by senior Lucas Ison who placed first overall, took the runner-up trophy with a score of 58. The rest of the field looked like this: Bath (74), Morgan (102), East Ridge (111), Shelby Valley (157), Paintsville (191) and Phelps (204).
As he has through most of the season, junior Spencer Bolin led the Cougar effort, finishing 15th out of 64 competitors in a time of 20:07. Freshman Kye Havens ran a strong race in the #2 slot for the first time, placing 19th (20:33). Brothers Jeremy and Noah Pack were 25th and 26th, respectively. Jeremy crossed the line in 21:20, with Noah right on his tail in 21:21. Isaac Wright ran 21:57 to place 33rd, while Skylar Lowe stopped the clock at 31:52.
The season will wrap up this Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park with the State Cross Country Championship
on the line. Morgan County will compete in the Class A races, with the girls set to go at 9:30, and the boys to follow