September 06, 2014 @ Kereiakes Park in Bowling Green, KY
Hosted by Bowling Green
Kereiakes Park. Synonymous with hot weather and even hotter times. This year would be no exception as the middle school girls race kicked off at 8:30 AM--the weather was already 83 degrees. But that wouldn't phase the 8th Grade Bowling Green Junior High standout Kristin Dent. From the start she remained at the front of the pack and pulled away with a fast kick to win the 3K in a time of 13:29 over Warren East 7th grader Emma Staff who ran a 13:32. Pulaski County 6th grader Lauren Smith was 3rd with a 13:37, Warren East 8th grader Lauren Alford was 4th with a 13:49, and South Warren 8th grader Isabelle Graves rounded out the top 5 with a 14:10.
For the Boys 3K it was a showdown between Jacob Williams, the 8th grader from Warren East, and 8th grader Mason Bennett of Breckinridge County. The two were side-by-side with a 5:45 first mile, and there wasn't a clear winner until about 100m to go when Williams pulled away to run an 11:25 to Bennett's 11:27. 7th grader Neal Wolfram of South Warren took third in 11:34, Connor Hartis (8th grader) from Greenwood took 4th in 11:38, and South Warren's Kyle Woodward took 5th in 11:46. An impressive start, but things were just heating up. (Ba dum tss!)
The JV girls race saw complete domination by Barren County as they scored 21 points overall, taking 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 8th. Frosh Kayla Roeder lead the team with a 18:17 victory over Grayson County's Kaylee Masden (19:25). A trio of Barren County juniors-- Taylor Davis (19:25), Shayna Billingsly (19:42) and Geron Walters (19:56)--rounded out the top 5 for the JV girls. Due to some unfortunate mishaps with my technology devices, I missed the JV boys race, but the results will be posted on the meet page! I know, I suck, it must've been the heat.
The action began to sizzle with the Varsity section of the meet, as the girls and guys both were without some of the huge stars from the Class of 2014. The girl's race saw Brittney Hansen of Bowling Green and Caroline Haas of South Warren lead from the beginning, coming through the mile almost together at 6:10-6:13. However, Hansen was out to prove that she could defend her home turf, pulling ahead through the two mile (12:31 to Haas 12:45) and ultimately winning comfortably with a 20:19 to Haas at 20:49. Lynda Scannell of Greenwood would hold her own in the race, finishing a solid 3rd in 21:43. Pulaski County's Devin Mayfield ran hard against Kaeona Phelps of Southwestern, and it paid off as Mayfield took 4th in 22:16 to Phelps' 22:22. By this time, the temps were around 90 degrees, foreshadowing that the meet was at a boiling point. Enter the Varsity Boys.
The rivalry between Bret Crawford (Grayson County) and Kyle Johnson (Bowling Green) goes back to 2012, when Crawford narrowly edged Johnson for the win at the Region 2 AAA meet (Crawford 16:22, Johnson 16:23). Since then, the two have battled it out relentlessly, each beating the other almost an equal number of times. After winning the KY-IN Border Clash last week, Crawford came in looking to repeat his 2013 Purple Strider win--Johnson looking to pull off a victory at home. From the gun it was a mirror image of every other meet the two have run together-- shoulder-to-shoulder, each unwilling to make a decisive move early. They came through mile one a little conservatively at 5:11, and stayed stride-for-stride until just before the two mile, when Kyle stepped up to the plate and attempted to open up a gap. The two mile saw a second between them, Johnson at 10:42 and Crawford at 10:43. Aaron Osborne of Warren East led the chase pack through two at 11:06, with about 5 runners with him. Johnson rounded the three mile turn in the lead, but Crawford wasn't done. Suddenly they were stride-for-stride again, giving everything they had, but this time Kyle Johnson would pull slightly ahead and take the win with a 16:46 to Crawford's 16:47. Third place went to Jordan Carrington of Southwestern in 17:32, Fourth to Sam Smith of Pulaski County in 17:35, and fifth place went to Trajon Hall of Bowling Green in 17:45. Bowling Green placed three runners in the top ten, but ultimately Grayson County would get the job done, winning with 55 points to BG's 78. Could this be a preview of Region 2 AAA 2014? Only time will tell.
Overall, it was a solid day of racing at Kereiakes Park. Hot temps led to some hot finishes, and we are one step closer to the showdown in November.