BY RAY SCHAEFER
THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
SANDY HOOK The difference was 2 minutes, 14.6 seconds.
That was the margin Bath County’s girls cross country team needed to beat Morgan County at Wednesday’s Eastern Kentucky Conference meet at Lakeside Elementary School. Bath County coach Rick Staviski wasn’t surprised.
“The girls have been really buildin’,” Staviski said. “This is their year to do something. We’ve had ‘em since they were young little kids; now they’ve come of age.”
Five Bath County runners finished in the top 25: senior Carrie Staviski in second (20:23.3); sophomore Isabella Copher in fifth (21:11.2); junior Abby Henderson in 10th (21:47.8); senior Kristin Riddle in 14th (22:41.9); and freshman Amelia Oldfield in 23rd (25:14.6) Both the Lady Cougars and Lady Cats finished with 47 points. You could find the reason Bath County won toward the end of the results: Bath County’s sixth runner, freshman Jaycie Bussell, finished 33rd place in 27:37.9 seconds, while Morgan County freshman Jamielynn Daniel was 39th in 29: 22.3.
“I felt like I kept a good pace the whole time,” Bussell said.
Morgan County junior Kailee Perry, the defending Class A state champion, again won the race by a margin that would have given her time for milk and cookies. She beat Staviski by nearly a minute.
When you win by that much, it looks easy as dunking a raisin oatmeal cookie, but Perry thinks she has lots of work to do — she also called Wednesday a training run because Lakeside is the site for the Class A Region 7 meet Oct. 28.
“Along with the pace, I’ve been trying to get my splits to where my third (mile) is the fastest,” Perry said. “And I’m still workin’ on my first one to be a little slower so I can be faster at the end.”
Staviski wasn’t sure how much she could’ve done against Perry.
“She’s definitely stronger this year,” she said. “I’m stronger, too, but she’s even more stronger.
She has a little bit more of a lead on me than she has in the past.”
Russell was third as a team 57 points, followed by Elliott County and East Carter with 89 and 114, respectively.
The boys event was the opposite of the girls. Russell senior Jax Downs nosed out Elliott County sophomore Lucas Ison by two-tenths of a second, and the Red Devils easily beat Rowan County, 38-74 in the team standings.
“I’ve got some work to do, but for right now I think we're doin’ all right,” Downs said.
It took only a 1:45 for Russell's top five to cross the finish line: Downs in 16:57.4; sophomore jared Goodman (fifth place, 17:44.6); junior Jules Scott (ninth, 18:10.8); freshman Elijah Pridemore
(10th, 18:18.9); and sophomore Tyler Conn (13th, 18:42.4).
Elliott County was third in the team standings with 82 points. Bath County was fourth with 91, followed by East Carter with 132, Raceland with 144 and Morgan County with 152.