Runners romp at Williamstown

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By Lee Kendall

The Harrison County High School cross country teams traveled to Williamstown for the Williamstown Invitational on Saturday.

On the boys’ side, all varsity and JV runners medaled as Harrison County ran against just the host, Williamstown.

“We always have goals we want to achieve, but sometimes, you have to disregard the goals and just do what you need to do,” said HCHS coach Danny Simpson.  “That’s what we did on Saturday. We had not been to this course in several years and it had changed since then, so it was unfamiliar.  It was rugged with tricky footing and fierce hills, a challenge in itself. The weather was beautiful, but unseasonably warm adding the difficulty of racing. Then there was the competition. The elementary and middle school races were large and competitive, but there were few runners in the high school races.  It made for an interesting day.”

As Simpson said,  in the varsity boys’ race, Harrison County wasn’t challenged and won easily.  Ryan Puckett won his second race of the season in a time of 18:48. Michael May was second in 20:27, Brian Schimpler was sixth in 22:24, Jacob Marsh was seventh in 22:43, Nicholas Whitaker was eighth in 23:07, and Wyatt Cramer was ninth in 23:18.

Harrison County  also had the winner in the boys JV race. Jeffrey Faulconer claimed the title in 23:02 and  Ethan King was sixth in 28:59.

Ariel Thornberry was 11th in the girls’ J.V. race in a time of 29:59.

The middle school boys placed fourth and were led by medal winners Nathan Radford (7th, 14:07)  and Joey Faulconer (10th, 14:23). Luke Bradford was also a medal winner in the primary boys (½ mile) race placing 15th in 5:05.

Simpson said his charges have shown they can now handle different racing situations.

“Our runners did a nice job considering the circumstances,” he said. “Our high school runners ran more conservative, but with a strange, challenging course, the heat, and lack of competition, that’s all they needed to do. It was good to see them have success.  Running fast times is great, but getting medals and trophies means a lot to our young people. Most of our meets are big invitationals. This was a nice change of pace.”

Simpson is also happy with the full roster of younger athletes he has participating this year as it bodes well for the years to come.

“Our middle school runners are also doing very well. The number of middle school teams and athletes has exploded over the last few years and it’s not unusual to see more runners in these races than the high school races. We have runners who will make a big impact on our high school team in the near future.”

Even though school is out of session this week with fall break, both HCHS cross country teams are still hard at work.

“This will be a busy week,” said Simpson. “We have a middle school invitational on Wednesday and the Scott County Invitational on Saturday. With it being fall break, that will have an impact on our practices and meets. We are getting a little healthier, but we still have several sore knees, legs, ankles, etc., especially among our middle schoolers. The season is rapidly coming to the end and we’ve got to make each practice and meet count.”