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Lady Colonel cross country wins state title

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By Sam Draut

A state championship was the only way the season should have ended for Oldham County girls cross country.

The progression was evident and the dominance apparent.

The Lady Colonels were sixth in 2015 at the KHSAA 3-A state meet. A year later, Oldham County placed third. Last fall, Oldham County was the state runner-up. After a dominant start to 2018, which included wins in the opening meets of 2018, injuries appeared to slow the Lady Colonels.

A week after winning the Class 3-A Region 4 title, Oldham County captured the state championship as all five scoring runners finished in the top-20 Saturday, Nov. 3 at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The Lady Colonels claimed their first state title since 1992 and first Class 3-A state title since 1985 with 64 points, well ahead of state runner-up Daviess County.

Savannah Cagle led Oldham County runners with a time of 19:36.54 for sixth place. Katy Chapman finished 10th while Jacquelyn Ellsworth followed in 12th. Anna Constant placed 16th and Ashley Terry completed Oldham County’s scoring runners in 20th.

“Coming in this year we knew we had a lot of talent. We have had some injuries and bumps in the road,” Chapman said. “I think that was the goal throughout the season, to come back from all the injuries, it’s amazing.”

After he thought there was too much distance between runners at the regional meet, Oldham County coach Kirk Thomas emphasized a tighter pack in the week leading up to the state meet.

“The girls were determined to do it,” Thomas said. “They dominated today.”

Cagle paced Oldham County after returning from a stress fracture several weeks ago. Chapman missed several meets due to a pulled quad, but both ran well at the largest stage.

“The biggest thing was making sure they believed and had confidence,” Thomas said. “We had them on some good cross training plans.”

Cagle placed ninth at last week’s regional meet, a race that Thomas thought helped prepare the sophomore for the state meet.

“Savannah is mentally tough,” Thomas said. “Getting that race in at regionals helped knock off some rust.”

Freshman Kelsey King led South Oldham to an 11th place finish with 362 points. King finished 15th with a time of 20:13.87. 

Anna Wells finished 77th for the Lady Dragons while Maia Cook was 82nd. Hannah O'Gara placed 85th and Jaycie Gard was 127th. 

Boys

Oldham County boys cross country finished fourth with 218 points while South Oldham was 18th with 476 points.

After missing the second-half of the season due to injury, Jacob Brizendine returned for the state meet and finished 28th with a time of 16:57.03.

Nathan Quinn was 36th for South Oldham.

Spencer Harvey and Steven Votaw finished consecutively for Oldham County, placing 42nd and 43rd, respectively.

Isaiah Cook and Caleb Lohr were Oldham County’s final two scoring runners, placing 52nd and 67th, respectively.

Seth Vorseth was 91st for the Dragons. Kyle Thompson was 96th. Peyton Stallard placed 139th while Theo Bachmann  placed 171st.

Class 2-A

Boys

North Oldham finished fourth with 199 points in the 32-team meet.

"We thought anywhere from second to sixth," North Oldham coach Brian Ruggles said. "If you took 30 seconds off our time we could have been runner-up. That's the thing, the margins of the tight packing and runners, it really is a close race." 

Carson Sharber led North Oldham in 24th, finishing in 17:44.74. Joseph Boyd placed 34th for the Mustangs.

Theron Varda was the third runner from North Oldham to cross, placing 39th. Marshall Royce and Skylar Taylor were the final scoring runners for the Mustangs, placing 56th and 65th, respectively.

Girls

Katie Giles polished off a stellar freshman year with a 10th place finish. Giles crossed with a time of 19:56.48 to lead North Oldham runners.

"I didn't want to go out too fast because I didn't want to lose my energy," Giles said. "I needed to keep my pace in the race to get a good spot." 

North Oldham placed eighth in the 30-team meet with 270 points.

Asia Franzel was 44th. Lakin Fain and Aurora Zaranko finished consecutively, placing 79th and 80th, respectively.

Allison Byers was North Oldham’s final scoring runner, placing 96th.

This story will be updated.