Between cross country courses and soccer fields, nobody can keep up with how much Macy Dyer runs during the high school fall sports season.
The East Carter junior doesn’t think about it. She just goes, and goes, and goes.
Wednesday night, Dyer cruised to first place in the Girls 5K portion of the Eastern Kentucky Conference Meet at Fairview Cross Country Course.
Dyer crossed the finish line in 20 minutes, 2.52 seconds for a margin of more than 46 seconds over the rest of the field.
“I’m thrilled with that time,” Dyer said. “I just wanted to get close to what I ran last week (19:59).”
Dyer called it an honor to take first place in the EKC championships. She led the Lady Raiders to second in the team standings behind powerhouse Fairview.
In the boys division, Bath County’s Evan Staviski ran away with individual honors while Russell grabbed five of the next six spots to handily win the team title.
Dyer manages to balance her time between cross country and playing midfield for the region’s defending girls’ soccer champs. So far, so good she says.
“Games and meets haven’t interfered with each other,” Dyer said. “The only thing is practice. I do whichever I feel necessary.”
Judging by Wednesday’s performance, Dyer doesn’t seem to be running out of energy anytime soon.
“A coach’s dream athlete” is how East Carter coach Merry Berry described the soft-spoken star.
“She’s just phenomenal,” Berry said. “Macy gives you 100 percent every time she runs. She’s just Macy. She doesn’t brag about herself. She’s just one of a kind.”
Fairview’s Brooklyn Bowen and Lyndsey Burke finished second and third, respectively, in leading their team to an eighth consecutive EKC crown.
The Lady Eagles did it without head coach Becca Chaney, who last Friday gave birth to a daughter named Maggie.
“I’m happy they could keep it going,” Chaney said via cell phone of Fairview’s latest EKC title. “I’m proud of them.”
Burke said it was weird not having Chaney around.
“This is the first home meet she missed,” Burke said. “It was different. We all miss her. We had the parents here and our teammates, so that helped.”
Bowen, a senior, has emerged as a leader for the state’s top-ranked Class A team. She clocked in at 20:49.40, about 15 seconds ahead of Burke.
“I kind of tried to stay close to (Dyer),” Bowen said. “About 2 1/2 miles in, she started to pull away. I was getting a little tired, but still held on for second. The weather was nice and cool, just great.”
Bowen wants to make the most of her final high school season. She signed recently to continue her cross country career at the University of Pikeville.
“With that out of the way, it feels like a lot off my shoulders,” Bowen said. “I’m more relieved.”
She said the Lady Eagles have rededicated themselves to winning a second state championship in three years. They finished runner-up last year.
“As a team, we know we need to work as hard as we can in practice,” Bowen said. “A state title is not going to be handed to us. We have to work for it.”
Fairview finished 11 points ahead of East Carter. Maddy Rymer was eighth and Haley Layne 14th for the Lady Eagles.
East Carter had three runners in the Top 10, including senior Kady Chaffin and freshman Madison Dyer. Chaffin was sixth in 21:28.96, following Fleming County’s Julie Perkins and Morgan County’s Kailee Perkins across the line.
“That’s Kady’s personal best by far,” Berry said. “She has absolutely blossomed this year.”
The boys’ race belonged to Bath County’s Staviski and Russell’s team.
Staviski, a Top 20 finisher in last year’s Class A State Meet, posted a PR of 17:01.60 after an 11-day break between meets.
“I think having that time off gave me time to practice, do some speed work,” he said. “I feel really good.”
Staviski went out faster than usual to set the tone.
“I moved in front of everybody in the first mile,” he said. “Usually, I wait until the end of the second mile to move. This was my first big meet of the year. It means a lot to win.”
Behind Staviski, it was mostly a mass of Russell maroon in the form of Jacob Heyerly (second), Ross Lane (third), Josh Riley (fifth), Chris Cooper (sixth) and Seth Adkins (seventh).
It added up to a 32-point gap back to runner-up Bath County.
“We’re making tremendous progress,” Russell coach Chuck Cantrell said. “Most definitely we will put that trophy in our trophy case at school. Some of the guys were not happy with their times, but look at what we did as a team.”
The Red Devils’ first-year coach pointed out the improvement of Cooper (sophomore) and Adkins (eighth grader).
“I can’t say enough about those kids,” Cantrell said. “We ask them to do things in practice and there’s no complaining. They want to get better. If they continue working hard, the sky’s the limit.”
ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2671.