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HCHS Girls take runner-up at cross country regional

The HCHS girls cross country team took the runner-up trophy during the Region 2, Class 1A championships held at Thomas Nelson High in Bardstown Saturday.

It was a fiercely competitive battle among the three top teams. Green County won the title with 52 points, while Hancock County and Owensboro Catholic were close behind with 56 points each.

Team scores are calculated from the top five runners from each team. By rule, when teams finish with the same number of points, final positions are decided by the sixth runner. In this case, Hancock’s sixth place girl was Jayda Meserve. Meserve finished ahead of Catholic’s sixth place runner, giving Hancock County the runner-up trophy.

“It was a nail-biter, but our sixth and seventh girls both beat their #6. It was so close that the top three spots were decided by four points. It was very stressful. I just about lost my voice, ” HCHS coach Wes Meserve said.

Izzy Ross placed third to led HCHS. Ross completed the 5K course in a time of 21 minutes, 42 seconds. Lexus Ralph was eighth in 23:14, and Carolina Jones was 13th in 23:55. Lyla DeJarnette was 19th in 24:46, Preslee Meserve 28th in 25:56, Jayda Meserve 29th in 26:00, and Juliana Nevitt 30th in 26:35.

“Lyla probably had the best race, in terms of over performing, out of everyone on our team. This was a breakout race for the 7th grader. She finished 13 places ahead of where she was ranked,” the coach said.

“Of course Izzy ran well and Lexus did, too. They both made the all-region team. Every girl on our team really pushed and they didn’t quit ‘til the race was over.”

The Lady Hornets team will compete in the state cross country championships at Paris, KY Saturday.

Green County’s Riley Coffey won with a time of 20:43.

The HCHS boys team placed sixth among 10 schools competing.

Hunter Stephens led the Hornets with an eighth place finish in a time of 18 minutes, 20 seconds. Stephens’ performance put him on the all-region team.

“I was real proud of Hunter. He ran a strong race,” coach Meserve said.

Noah Henson was 15th in 19:17, Emmitt Meserve 17th in 19:25, Damion Basham 43rd in 21:07, Griffin DeJarnette 46th in 21:44, Max DeJarnette 50th in 22:11, and Noah Wheatley 73rd in  35:13.

“I was disappointed that our boys didn’t qualify for state as a team. They were ranked third coming in. We had some who had really great races and others who were pretty flat. But they really wanted to make it and we’re very young,” coach Meserve said.

Stephens, Henson and Meserve all qualified for Saturday’s state meet as individuals.

Jayden Marr of Green County won with a time of 16:42.

Bethlehem won the team title with 35 points, with Catholic well behind in second place with 101 points. Hancock County scored 125 points.

By Steve Wimmer

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