Coach Danny Simpson’s Harrison County Cross Country teams have started the season with early success as they work to compensate for the short time for preparation.
“We have not had enough practice,” the long-time coach noted. “But at some point and time you have to compete. We obviously need a lot of work, but I like what I see.”
Simpson’s remarks came after two good performances, especially by the Thorobreds. The season began on Aug. 21 with a somewhat confusing all comers meet at Woodford County.
Due to a storm, the squad only had five minutes to look at the course before running, which does not make for good times.
The Thorobreds placed third and the Fillies fourth in the varsity competition.
Joey Faulconer was second individually as he was just edged at the finish by Fister of Woodford County. Both runners had the same time, which indicates the narrow margin of victory for Fister.
Faulconer was followed by Ross Smith (12th), Austin Short (13th), Harry Smith (14th) and Shane Palmer (35th).
The Harrison County Middle School boys were fourth, led by a ninth-place finish by Will Marsh and a 10th-place finish by Daniel Craig.
The Fillies were led by Brooke Frederick, who was 18th, followed by Bailey Caudill (28th), Caylin Mattox (32nd), Kayla Joy (35th) and Tabitha Iles with a 37th-place finish.
The HCMS girls had only three runners so they did not qualify for a team score.
Jesse Petty, Abby Cooper and Samantha Wood ran for the Harrison County Middle School girls.
Woodford County won both of the varsity contests followed by Scott County.
In the elementary division, Evelyn Barker (9th) and Robin Roberts (21st) ran for Harrison County and Thomas Morris (6th), Zachary Getting (7th), Antonio Elmer (12th), Chris O’Neal (16th) and Corey Wagoner (24th) ran for the HCMS boys.
Saturday morning, the Harrison County harriers headed north for a date at the Holmes Licking River Run.
Again the boys were third as Walton Verona won the meet followed by Newport Catholic. Faulconer was second for the second straight meet this time running down Rider of Walton Verona at the end, but missing the mark by two seconds.
Grant Carr ran his first race of the year finishing sixth, only 22 seconds behind Faulconer.
Ross Smith (36th), Austin Short (37th) and Harry Smith (41st) wrapped up the scoring for the Breds.
There were nine teams and 67 runners competing in this race.
The Fillies were seventh in the female competition led by Erin Bradford in her first race of the year. Bradford was 27th followed by Frederick (31st), Caudill (40th), Mattox (44th) and Joy (45th).
There were also nine girls’ teams and 47 runners in the female varsity division.
The race was won by Ludlow’s Byni as her team finished first followed by Bishop Brossart.
Tamara Lunsford and Josh Getting ran in the junior varsity races each finishing well with Lunsford medaling.
Three middle school girls competed for Harrison County with Rachel Eckert finishing fifth of the 24 runners. Wood and Cooper also ran for the Harrison County Middle School.
Marsh lead the HCMS boys with a ninth place finish in the 43 runner race. Craig and Isaiah Brueggen also medaled for the Colts runners.
The elementary race saw Elmer (13th), Z. Getting (18th) and Morris (22nd) medal for Harrison County.
Barker, Starr Hindbaugh and Robin Roberts each ran for the Harrison County elementary girls but did not medal.
“It was a good start for the year,” summarized Simpson. “This could be the strongest, deepest boys’ team in years and the girls will improve with every meet. I am excited about this year’s team.”