This morning (Saturday October 22, 2011) the third annual Area 6 Championship Invitation was held on a brisk fall morning at Masterson Station Park, here in Lexington Kentucky. For today’s meet there were six races, two for each level of competition (elementary 3k), middle (4k), high(5k). This meet was ran over a very new course that started near “tent-city”, went around the soccer fields, went through the “prison loop”, and finished against the dog park. This course was relatively hilly and for the 3 and 4 k’s was a little short. The weather for this meet could not have been any better being low to mid 50s for the varsity races and mid 40s to start the day, without a cloud in the sky.
The first race for the day was the girls’ elementary school race which was won by Waveney Brooks (10:35) a sixth grader from Lafayette. Brooks outkicked her teammate Kasey Fields (10:39) going up the last hill to pull off the victory. In third was Lucy Oldham (10:49) of The Lexington School who helped lead, with her low score, her team to a team title. The Lexington school won the team title with 37 points, four points ahead of Woodford who was 29 points ahead of West Jessamine.
Up next was the boys’ elementary school race which featured Jacob Markham and Lucas Williamson of East Jessamine. Both of these sixth graders went out hard coming through the turn heading down into the prison loop at 4:50 about ten seconds ahead of third. Though they stayed together most of the race, going up the last hills next to the dog park Markham outkicked Williamson to win in a time of 9:18, followed by Lucas in 9:33 with Ben Schaeffer of The Lexington School in third in 9:44. Following suit after the girls’ race, The Lexington School’s boys team seized the team title too with 61 points followed by East Jessamine with 79 and Woodford with 94.
First for the middle school races was the girls’ race which was won individually by over two hundred meters by Michaela Reinhart of St John School in a time of 12:27. Michaela came through the first mile roughly around 6:30 and powered through to finish in a stellar time. In second was Maddie Covey of Hayes who came through the mile at about 6:50, eleven seconds ahead of her teammate Gloria Pulley, she finished in a time of 13:18. In third place was Katie Kostelic of the Lexington School in a time of 13:54, outkicking Gloria Pulley (4th,13:58) going up the final hill and curve. The team breakdown was Hayes in first with 19, Beaumont in second with 55 and The Lexington School in third with 74.
Fourth on the day’s slate of races was the boys’ middle school race, which featured many of lessons and drama. The physical race was won by a Lafayette student-athlete who was sub sequentially disqualified for un-sportsman like conduct. The first recorded finisher was Thomas Hill of Lafayette in 12:20 who came through the mile at 6:17. Second was Zach Whitehouse of Hayes in a time of 12:23. And in third was Brandon Castillo, also from Hayes, in a time of 12:32, outkicking Mikah Bailey of East Jessamine who had gone through the mile in 6:18 but fell back into fourth going up the last hills. For the team title it was Beaumont with 41 barely getting by Hayes’ 42 with Woodford County in 3rd with 79 points.
Next was the girls’ high school varsity race. This race was run nearly from start to finish by Rachel Effinger of Woodford who paced herself, by herself, through the mile at 6:03 and the two mile at 12:54. Effinger powered through the finish to cross the tape in a time of 19:23. In second was Abby Florence who, unlike Effinger, paced herself slowly picking off people as Florence came through the mile mark in a pack about seventy twenty meters off of second place, but by the two mile mark Florence had caught second place and was ready to pass her. Florence passed Adira Jarman to take second in the last 800 meters of the race and powered up the hill to finish in a time of 19:44, followed by Jarman of Woodford in 19:55. For the team race it was Tates Creek with 40 points led by Emma Anderson, Loren Sales, and Kylie Russ. In second was Woodford County with 44 points and in third was Madison Central with 54 points.
Last for the day’s races was the boys’ high school race which was dominated by the boys of Lexington Catholic. Coming back from injury was Nicholas Laureano for Lex Catholic who came through the one and two mile marks in the lead at 5:09 and 10:43 respectively. By the two mile mark he had built up a two hundred meter lead over his teammate Joe Richey with another five seconds back to the third and fourth runners. At the finish, it was Lex Catholic going 1-3 with Laureano winning in 16:06, Richey in second in 16:23, and in third was Gavin Knies in 16:29. Holding onto fourth was Alex Beckerson of Burgin who started out in second at the mile (5:11) and came through in third at the two mile (11:10) but could not hold on to it and finished in fourth in 16:32. For the team race, it was Lexington Catholic with 60, Paul Dunbar with 64, and Madison Central with 91.
This meet featured many of the areas’ top runners but due to ACT testing many of the upper class runners were not in attendance due to standardized testing. Despite the absence of some of the areas’ best runners this meet still provided a great opportunity for many runners to try out another one of Masterson Station Park’s many cross country courses and try and break up the monogamy of the usual course. Also this meet provided a great lesson for the correct way to act in victory and defeat as two disqualifications were made; not to demean the kids’ hard work or stellar races but everyone should recognize the reasons these rules are in place are for other runners and the spectators to see a fair and sportsmanship filled race. These were two warranted disqualifications that can serve as a great lesson for themselves and many others looking forward to the quickly approaching post-season.