Recap of the Owensboro Invitational: Rachel Keeley and Tristan Durbin win handily
Yellow Creek Park began buzzing with people at about 8:30 a.m., all who were gathered for an exciting day of racing, despite the already humid morning.
Girls High School: Since most of Daviess County's frontrunners were at the Mason Invite, one would struggle to pick a favorite prior to the race. However, Rachel Keeley of Owensboro High School had a great showing. Keeley led from shortly after the gun to the finish. It was her race. She came through the first mile at 6:08 with her teammate Alex Girten at 6:14, followed by a close pack of 6-10 runners in the 6:20-6:30 time range. At the two mile marker Rachel was at a 13:08, putting a noticeable 24 second gap on all competition. Girten lead the second group of girls, all within seconds of each other.
A big surprise was Hancock County's 8th grader Emily Woodward. Woodard was in 7th place hitting the two mile mark in the 13:40s. After coming out of the wooded area (about 400 meters), Woodard had moved up to second place. Although this was a very strong move made by Woodard, Keeley did not let up and won with a 20:46. Woodard finished with a PR time of 21:01, with Madisonville-North Hopkins runner Julia Borders one second behind.
Boys High School: Like the girls, several of Daviess County's lead pack were elsewhere. But the race must go on. Although Tristan Durbin of Apollo was the overall winner, Webster County's Iszack Whitsell was in the lead through the 2k. At the mile, Whitsell was at 5:11, followed by Grant Carpenter and Nelson Dant of Daviess County and Durbin, all of which were 5:13-5:15 range. Durbin made his move at the 2k mark and would stay in the lead. At the two mile Durbin was leading at 10:39, with Whitsell 5 seconds behind and Carpenter 17 behind. Durbin gradually pulled away and won with 16:34 even after stepping on an unseen sharp object that drew blood. Whitsell, who had beat Durbin 11 days prior at the Border Clash, finished at 16:50. Durbin showed great sportsmanship afterwards, stopping half way through the runner's shoot to shake Whitsell's hand. Another notable finisher was Caleb Whitfield of Madisonville-North Hopkins, who was in 5th at the two mile, made up a lot of ground and finished 3rd.
Girls Middle School: The girl's middle school 3k race was won by Breanna Alderton of College View Middle School. Alderton ran 11:42 and finished far ahead of the rest. Daviess County Middle's Karlee Hoffmon came in second with a 12:31. Alderton led the entire race by a huge margin. Alderton also runs for Daviess County's high school team.
Boys Middle School: The boy's middle school 3k race was by far the most exciting. Hunter Kurz of Daviess County and Donta Millay of Owensboro were neck and neck the entire race. They were beside each other until the last 600 meters, when Kurz pulled away and finished 16 seconds ahead of Millay.
Team Results: In the girl's high school race, Owensboro edged out Daviess County by a mere 3 points. Owensboro's advantage was having two girls place in the top 6. On the boy's side, Daviess County pulled away with the victory, even without Daniel Southard and company. Madisonville-North Hopkins finished second, trailing DC by 7 points.