Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

November 11, 2012

Boyd season even better

Lady Lions sixth in Class 2A; Fairview girls fifth against strong 1A crowd

LEXINGTON — Girls cross country at Boyd County hasn’t stirred this kind of excitement in more than two decades.

After struggling even to field a team — five members — for many years, the Lady Lions completed a banner season at Saturday’s KHSAA State Meet.

The Class 2A regional champs bunched their top five finishers less than a minute apart and came away with sixth place at Kentucky Horse Park.

“The girls ran awesome,” coach Dirk Hollar said. “They gutted it out today. This is just a tough course, and the day was hotter than usual.”

The temperature rose into the 60s under sunny skies, and Boyd County warmed to the occasion.

Junior Alliya Kautzman paced the team in 21:31.24, good for 42nd place overall in the field of 231 runners.

“I really wanted to do well for my team,” Kautzman said. “We had a great day. That was the important thing.”

Another junior, Saralyn Miller, provided a surprise as the Lady Lions’ second finisher in 22:12.99.       

“She was our No. 5 all year,” Hollar said. “I saw Saralyn after the first mile and told her, ‘You are running great, get up with the rest of them.’ She really came through.”

Teammates Darian Steele, Courtney Gibson and Hannah Cassady all crossed the finish line within 18 seconds of Miller. The performance allowed Boyd County to trail only Highlands, South Oldham, North Oldham, Bullitt East and Mercy in the team standings.

“It’s the best times our girls ran as a team all year,” said Shawn Thornbury, Boyd County’s former head coach who has assisted Hollar throughout the season. “The time gap was the smallest from one through five. We can’t be any happier.”

Kautzman and Steele ran in last year’s State Meet as individual qualifiers, while the other three are newcomers.

Kautzman improved on her 2011 state performance by 54 places and a minute-and-a-half.

“I was surprised I was first on the team,” she said. “A lot of the time it’s Darian. The sun was not helping. It got really hot at one point, but the last part I was sprinting. I love our team."

Miller, who joined the Lady Lions this seas after moving from Alabama, was happy to shine on the state’s largest stage.   

“I haven’t been that far up all season,” Miller said. “It’s nice to have so much improvement.”

Miller has been bothered by a sore hip flexor, but it wasn’t a factor Saturday.

“I didn’t really feel it at all,” she said. “I had a lot of adrenaline, more than any other day. I guess that’s the pressure of State.”

East Carter junior Macy Dyer took 15th in the race (20:28.51) to lead area runners. Kady Chaffin placed 64th for the Lady Raiders, who were 14th as a team. Rowan County’s Janae Graham finished one spot behind Kautzman and Russell eighth-grader Peyton Cantrell was 65th.

Earlier, Fairview’s girls took fifth in Class A against a collection of tough opponents.

Because of Fairview’s high expectations, coach Becca Chaney and her runners were disappointed to miss out on a team trophy after four consecutive top-four finishes. The Lady Eagles came in second last year after winning the title in 2010.

St. Henry handily won its 15th state championship and fifth in six years despite graduating six of the top seven runners from last year’s team that edged Fairview by four points.

“Somehow they do it every year,” Chaney said. “You have to give them credit.”

This time, St. Henry had five of the top 26 finishers with junior Taylor Connett leading the way in seventh place.

“Taylor ran track the last two years and played soccer,” coach Tony Harden said. “We kind of stole her away. Three of the others are freshmen. Holly Blades (No. 3 team finisher Saturday) was cut from volleyball. The pieces of the puzzle started coming together in the beginning of October. I knew the team could be something special.”

Green County finished second (105 points), followed by Bishop Brossart (126) and Louisville Holy Cross (136). Fairview won a tiebreaker with Walton Verona for the fifth spot. Both scored 190.

 “There happened to be six top teams going at it,” Chaney said.      

Senior Brooklyn Bowen and freshman Lyndsey Burke led Fairview by placing 13th and 15th, respectively.      

“Those two did really well,” Chaney said. “I was proud of them. I told them they had to be in the top 20 and as close as they could to the top 10.”

Bowen, a University of Pikeville signee, posted a time of 21:00.40.

“I was just thinking, it’s my last race and I want to run my hardest,” Bowen said. “I’m going to miss the team a lot. It’s like my second family.”    

Meanwhile, Danville junior Meagan Smith made a rousing debut at the Class A State Meet with a 21-second victory in 19:16.39. Smith played soccer before switching to cross country this season.

Sayre’s Maddox Patterson, the three-time defending champion, was cheered to the finish line in third place as she continues to recover from a long battle with mono.

On the boys’ side, Russell finished 11th and Ashland 13th in Class 2A.

Russell junior Jacob Heyerly led area finishers by placing 24th in 17:47.05.

“After a 5:32 first mile, I was trying to pass everyone I saw,” Heyerly said. “We wanted to do a lot better as a team.”

The Red Devils were coming off their first regional championship in four years.

“It’s great to come as far as we have this season,” coach Crystal Cantrell said.

For Ashland, senior Taylor Bradley and sophomore Austin Craft led the way. Bradley was 37th in 18:03.97, with Craft less than a second behind.

Rowan County’s Shelley Deharte finished 44th.

In Class A, Louisville Holy Cross senior Jacob Thomson blistered the course with a time of 15:21.40 to win by more than a minute.    

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.


Text Only
Local Sports
  • Highlands’ Artists Market to begin today

    Up-and-coming artists are being offered a rare chance to show and sell their work during the First Friday art walk.

    July 31, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: Five Teams? Pretty Kool

    If these unseasonably cool July mornings aren’t enough to have your mind on the fast track to football, maybe some Kool Hits news will help.

    July 31, 2014

  • Golf scramble will benefit Paramount Arts Center

    Paramount Woman’s Association’s seventh annual Ladies’ Golf Scramble is scheduled for Aug. 11 at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 30, 2014

  • Kittens call on Ingram

    Somebody had to follow Dave Miller.
    Scott Ingram is pleased to be the coach to fill the vacancy for the man who built Ashland Blazer softball into a perennial state Top 25 program. The Kittens have won the 16th Region championship every year since 2009.

    July 29, 2014

  • 0729kypgaJr0034.jpg Golfers go out with an encore

    Evan Goble said he “wasn’t completely ready for a playoff” on Monday.
    That didn’t stop him from holing two pressure-packed playoff putts to win the 13-14-year-old division of the final event of the summer on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • EKC Grid-O-Rama set for Aug. 15-16

    The annual Eastern Kentucky Conference football scrimmage contests are set for Aug. 15-16 at Fleming County and Raceland.

    July 29, 2014

  • Holliday embraces high expectations

    As Marshall football prepares to return to the gridiron to begin fall practice Aug. 4, this season the program finds itself labeled something that it has not been in many years: a favorite.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mobley, Jude key for EKU

    Eastern Kentucky coach Dean Hood has revamped the Colonels’ defense in hopes of containing OVC opponents’ spread offenses.

    July 29, 2014

  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos