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Cross Country Cats run at state meet

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By Greg Woods

 sports@hclocal.com

The Henry County cross country team traveled to Lexington Saturday to run in the Kentucky Class 2A state championships at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Eighth-grader Kayla Harger and senior Sydney Amyx represented the girls team as individuals and ran well. Harger finished the five-kilometer course in 20:58 to place 34th in the field of 215 runners. Amyx finished in 177th place with a time of 24:49.

Victoria Dotson of Rockcastle County won the girls race in a time of 19:15. Fort Thomas Highlands took the team title with 77 points and had all five scoring runners finish in the top 25. Ashland Blazer finished second with 91 points and Christian Academy of Louisville finished third with 111 points.

Henry County’s young boys’ squad finished 30th out of 32 teams. Keegan Kurtz led the way with a 68th-place finish in a time of 18:31. Jackson Fischer finished 184th in 20:25, Avery Stivers finished 186th in 20:27, Ryan Phillips finished 208th in 20:52 and John S. Fischer finished 218th in 21:10. There were 250 runners competing in the race.

Steven Ott of Louisville Christian Academy won the boys individual title with a time of 16:07. Lexington Catholic won the boys race with 39 points. They had four top ten finishers and all five runners in the top 19. Warren East finished second with 134 points and Boyle County finished third with 153 points.

HCHS Coach Tony Kurtz was pleased with the experience his young team gained at the meet.

“I think the kids did a great job,” Kurtz said. “I’m very proud of each of the runners. I know they had some butterflies because of this being the state meet. I told the runner to just enjoy it and take it all in.”

Kurtz was especially impressed with Harger’s performance.

“Kayla had an outstanding race,” Kurtz said. “But I was proud of everyone for making it to state.”

Kurtz is sorry to see Amyx, the only senior in the program, leave.

“Sydney being the only senior on our team is bittersweet,” Kurtz said. “Yes, we are only leaving one senior but it’s Sydney. Her dedication and hard work are strong traits. Sydney is the athlete every coach wants to have on their team. Sydney is a great role model. She not only ran cross country this season, but is also taking college courses and working a job. It’s been a privilege and great opportunity coaching Sydney. She will be greatly missed. Thank you, Sydney!”

Kurtz also had kind words for his assistant coach.

“I wanted to say a big thank you to my assistant coach, Sarah Golden,” Kurtz said. “We could not have had the great season we did without her. 

“I would also like to say thank you to all our runners for a job well done this year. We are looking forward to an even better season next year.”