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Cross country girls place 21st at state; Meserve runs fast time

The HCHS girls cross country team placed 21st during the Class 1A state championships held at the
New Horse Park in Lexington Saturday. Three Hancock County boys also competed in the event.

“Overall, I was happy with how our kids did,” HCHS coach Wes Meserve said. Izzy Ross led the Lady Hornets with a 63rd place finish in the 5K race. Her time was 23 minutes, 15 seconds.

“Izzy was sick before the race and we weren’t sure if she would run, but she was able to tough it out and run a good race,” the coach said.

Next to cross the finish line for Hancock County was Carolina Jones. She placed 102nd in a time of
24:27. Lyla DeJarnette was 144th in 25:38, Juliana Nevitt was 168th in 26:33 and Alivia Bernardi 199th
in 28:50.

“Carolina and Juliana both looked more confident during the race than they have in a while. Lyla and
Juliana had huge improvements in their times as they ran over a minute better at state than they did on
October 3rd when we competed in the Meet of Champions on this same course. I was really happy with the effort all our girls put into the race,” Meserve said.

Emmie Underwood of Fort Campbell won in 19:11 as 232 girls competed in the state meet. Beechwood won the team state title with 41 points. Hancock County placed 21st with 546 points.
Thirty-one teams competed.

“For a large part of the season we really didn’t know if we’d have enough girls to even have a full
team, but they finished 21st out of 31 teams.

“We have a young team with Juliana being the only senior we had compete on Saturday. This was
the first time since 2019 that the KHSAA had the state meet at the Horse Park. It was a good
experience for all of the runners to become familiar with the course. With such a young, talented group
of runners, this experience will be beneficial to them in the future.”

Boys results

Emmitt Meserve led three Hornets who qualified as individuals. Meserve, an 8th grader, placed 50th
with a time of 18 minutes, 28 seconds.

“Emmitt didn’t feel great before the start of the race, but we told him to just go out and do the best he
could. He was almost two minutes faster than the last time we raced on this course (October 3rd).

Emmitt was the second fastest 8th grader and placed higher than any other middle school boy (from
Hancock County) since at least Gavin Gaynor from the 70’s,” Meserve said. “He ended up testing
positive for Covid on Sunday afternoon, so I know he was under the weather when he ran Saturday

Hunter Stephens placed 82nd in a time of 19:04 and Noah Henson was 132nd in 20:21. “Hunter was 42 seconds faster than the last time we raced this course. Hunter had a hit-and-miss season, but I felt like this was a strong race for him,” the coach said.

Nathan Ruth of Bishop Brossart won with a time of 16:04 as 265 boys competed in the race. Bishop Brossart won the team state title with 87 points. Thirty-five teams competed.

By Steve Wimmer

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