HC XC races at NCKC Champs, S. Oldham

-A A +A
By Tommie Kendall

In preparation for the fast-approaching regional and state meets, the Henry County cross-country team raced at the North Central Kentucky Conference Championship hosted by Carroll County last Tuesday and the South Oldham Dragon Invitational on Saturday. The Cats are headed in the right direction with the regional meet on Nov. 7 and state on Nov. 14.

Eric Phillips led the boys’ varsity team at both races with a ninth-place finish at the NCKC Champs and an 11th-place finish at the Dragon Invitational. On the girls’ side, Cassey Fischer placed fifth at the conference meet but was sidelined at South Oldham due to a toe injury. Her younger sister Cathryn placed 19th on Tuesday and 31st on Saturday. Phillips and Cassey were named to the All-NCKC Team and both are aiming for top finishes at region and state.

“I was very pleased overall with the results at both races,” Henry coach Greg Woods said of all his runners. “We are starting to get good reductions in many of the runners times and especially the younger runners.”

A few of the middle schoolers were moved up to the varsity level last week in order to get in the required four 5-kilometer races to be eligible for region. Woods said he has been pleased with their progress. In particular, freshman Matt Petree has really stepped up his training and racing the last two weeks. This is his first year running.

“On the high school level, it has been especially pleasing to see the improvement made by Petree over the last two races,” Woods said of the turnaround that has drastically dropped Petree’s results. “He improved his time by almost two-and-a-half minutes at the NCKC and then reduced it by another five seconds on Saturday at the Dragon Invitational. Also, the younger runners such as Ethan Smith and Chase Slone are showing steady improvement since being moved up to varsity races.”

Henry raced at numerous NCKC Tuesday meets throughout the season, culminating with the NCKC Championship at General Butler State Park last Tuesday. The top-13 finishers in each race were named all-conference.

Danielle Hoop of Owen County won the 5K (3.1 miles) girls’ race in 19 minutes, 49 seconds, ahead of Madison Peace from Walton-Verona in 20:05, Brandi Chappell of Trimble County in 20:36 and Ashley Guevara of Walton-Verona in 20:46. Cassey, a sophomore who placed 16th at the state meet last fall, finished fifth in 21:06, passing a Trimble runner down the final stretch. Cathryn, the only other Henry runner in the race, finished 19th in 23:55.

The boys’ race followed with Trevis Peterson of Walton-Verona crossing the finish line first in 16:55, Jacob McIntrye of Walton-Verona finishing second in 17:19 and Justin Perkins of Trimble finishing third in 17:39. For Henry, Phillips was ninth in 17:56, Hayden Hughes was 15th in 19:26, Petree was 30th in 22:01, Randy Moore was 33rd in 22:16, Ethan Smith was 35th in 22:48, Chase Slone was 36th in 23:14, Cole Wilson was 38th in 23:27 and Austin Payton was 40th in 24:40. It was the first time this season Phillips had broken the elusive 18-minute barrier.

In the team standings, Trimble won with a meet-low 29 points, followed by Walton-Verona with 43, Williamstown with 98, Henry with 108, Gallatin County with 117 and Carroll with 124. The lowest five finishers for each team were combined for scoring. It was the final non-Saturday meet for the Cats this season.

After the NCKC Champs, Henry was back in action Saturday when the Cats traveled to South Oldham for the Dragon Invitational. The meet included 1.8-mile elementary, 2.5-mile middle school and 3.1-mile high school races.

In the girls’ varsity competition, Oldham County sisters Claire and Margaret Grogan swept the first two spots in 20:06 and 20:33, and Oldham won the team title with 33 points. Cassey warmed up for the race but was advised not to run as a precautionary measure because of her injury. Meanwhile, Cathryn was the only Henry runner in the race and finished 31st in 23:59.

In the boys’ varsity race, John Burke of Louisville Collegiate won the individual title in 17:13. Phillips, who went out more aggressive than normal and had a strong finish, crossed the finish line in 11th-place in 18:34. The course was wet and sloppy, which slowed down the times by about 40 seconds, Woods said afterwards.

Other Henry runners included Hughes in 30th in 19:46, Travis Farmer in 44th in 20:22, Petree in 60th in 21:56, Moore in 64th in 22:14, Smith in 68th in 23:02, Slone in 71st in 23:52, Payton in 72nd in 23:54 and Wilson in 74th in 24:11. It was Farmer’s first race back since being diagnosed with mono.

South Oldham won the boys’ team title with 34 points. Henry was eighth with 189 points, ahead of Gallatin at 220.

The Cats race at the DeSales Invitational this Saturday — on the same course region is on this season — and race at the Meet of Champions held at Masterson Station Park in Lexington the following weekend. They are gearing down for the all-important regional championship in DeSales on Nov. 7. The top four teams and top five runners not on a qualifying team advance to state.

NCKC Results

Girls’ varsity 3.1-mile: Cassey Fischer, 5th, 21:06; Cathryn Fischer, 19th, 23:55. Boys’ varsity 3.1-mile: Eric Phillips, 9th, 17:56; Hayden Hughes, 15th, 19:26; Matt Petree, 30th, 22:01; Randy Moore, 33rd, 22:16; Ethan Smith, 35th, 22:48; Chase Slone, 36th, 23:14; Cole Wilson, 38th, 23:27; Austin Payton, 40th, 24:40.

Dragon Results

Girls’ varsity 3.1-mile: Cathryn Fischer, 31st, 23:59. Boys’ varsity 3.1-mile: Eric Phillips, 11th, 18:34; Hayden Hughes, 30th, 19:46; Travis Farmer, 44th, 20:22; Matt Petree, 60th, 21:56; Randy Moore, 64th, 22:14; Ethan Smith, 68th, 23:02; Chase Slone, 71st, 23:52; Austin Payton, 72nd, 23:54; Cole Wilson, 74th, 24:11. Girls’ middle school 2.4-mile: Haley Bramblett, 43rd, 20:06; Sydney Roberts, 73rd, 22:11; Justice Kirk, 74th, 22:36; Emily Perry, 86th, 23:28. Boys’ middle school 2.5-mile: Ethan Redmon, 86th, 19:24; John Bates, 97th, 19:44; Joseph Fischer, 102nd, 20:05; Cameron Morgan, 111th, 20:56; Seth Amiott, 114th, 21:11; Chris Redmon, 116th, 21:17. Girls’ elementary 1.8-mile: Katherine Buckler, 36th, 15:27; Madison Doktor, 42nd, 15:56. Boys’ elementary 1.8-mile: Zach Hinkel, 9th, NT; Andrew Landers, 36th, NT; Jacob Redmon, 92nd, NT.