The HCHS girls cross country team placed fourth in the Class A, Region 2 championships held at
Ephram White Park in Bowling Green Saturday. The performance qualified the Lady Hornets for the upcoming state competition at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The Hancock County boys team placed sixth.
“For most of the season we were concerned that our girls team was on the bubble. We really weren’t sure if they would make it to state, but they went out and did what they needed to do,” HCHS coach Wes Meserve said.
Isabella “Izzy” Ross led the girls with a seventh place finish with a time of 22 minutes, fifth-two
seconds over the 5,000 meter course. Carolina Jones was 24th in 24:35 and Lyla DeJarnette 27th in 24:42. Alivia Bernardi was 38th in 27:51.27 and Juliana Nevitt 39th in 27:51.59.
“Izzy ran a solid race and made her fourth consecutive all-region team. Lyla was a clutch performer
for us just like last year. She stepped up big for us and tied her fastest time ever, which is impressive considering she was fighting 15mph winds for most of the race. Alivia looked very strong throughout the meet. It was a great team effort and I am very proud of them all,” Meserve said. Peyton Reed of Owensboro Catholic won in 20:25. Catholic won the team title with a score of 28 points. Hancock County was fourth with 122 points as 10 teams competed.
“It was a much different story for our boys. They were ranked top 2 in the region all year and top 10
in the state. Unfortunately, several of our boys had a bad race on the same day,” the coach said after his team failed to qualify for state.
Hunter Stephens led the HCHS boys with a 12th place finish in a time of 19:10. Emmitt Meserve was next in 13th place with a time of 19:17. Noah Henson was 21st in 19:57, Griffin DeJarnette 43rd in 21:16, Ben Baker 51st in 22:09, Henry Proctor 54th in 22:35 and Max DeJarnette 55th in 22:53.
“Our team has run well most of the season and has beaten most of the teams that placed ahead of
us Saturday. I’ve been trying to figure out what we could have done differently. It was very windy and we are a young team, but every team in the region faced the same conditions.
“Hunter and Ben had good races. I think they both recognized that our team was struggling and
really made an effort to step up,” Meserve said. “It was really hard for the athletes and coaches to
accept that we missed making it to state by four points. It was very hard to see the disappointment in their eyes when the results were announced.”
On the bright side, Stephens, Meserve and Henson all qualified for state as individuals.
Isaac Riggs of Bethlehem won in 16:32.
Bethlehem won the team title with 31 points. Hancock County was sixth with 130 points.
By Steve Wimmer