Cross country closes season with awards luncheon

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By Mike Aldridge

Six seniors and the remainder of the Harrison County Cross Country team closed out the year Sunday afternoon with an awards luncheon in the Extension Office Community Room.
 After the meal Coach Danny Simpson took to the podium for the awards ceremony.  
He thanked the parents and boosters for preparing the meal and helping to make the season so successful with their efforts.  
He also mentioned the cooperation from the administration, Rosemary Whitaker, the Cynthiana Country Club for hosting the Invitational Meet, and the Cynthiana Democrat for its coverage.
He started the awards with the sixth grade and younger group who are the future of the program along with the Harrison County Middle School runners.  
Those middle school runners were next to be recognized with Daniel Craig, Sierra Ecklar and Mackenzie Mosig being named the Outstanding Middle School Athletes.  
Simpson then brought the high school runners up by class beginning with the freshmen.  
Each runner was praised for his or her different accomplishments as he introduced them.  
The senior class was the last to come to the podium with the veteran coach explaining what each of them had meant to the program over their years of competition.  
The six seniors are Erin Bradford, Grant Carr, Kayla Joy, Caylin Mattox, Nathan Radford and Harry Smith. Radford was the most veteran of the group as he has participated in cross country since 2007.  
Rachel Eckert, a freshman, was the points leader for the Fillies this season with 16 points. She was followed by senior Caylin Mattox with 13 and three runners, Kayla Joy, Tamara Lunsford and Abby Cooper with 12 points each.  Sophomore Ross Smith was the leading scorer for the Thorobreds as he totaled 19 points for the season. Carr was next with 18 and Shane Palmer was third with 17.
Taylor Harney was the female Rookie of the Year and Ben Bradford was the male.  
Carr was mentioned as the lone state championship competitor though as Simpson said, “I didn’t see Grant much.” Carr also played soccer and football along with running cross country.
Eight runners were named as Academic All State either as honorable mention or first team.  
The Academic All State runners were Erin Bradford, Carr and Smith while Chelsea Bowman, Mattox, Palmer, Nathan Radford, and Ross were honorable mention.  
“These are all good kids,” said Simpson. “They are not the kind that make the headlines since the headlines seem to be reserved for those who mess up. We here in Harrison County should be very proud of these young people.”