It was a season of repeats in cross country, and even The Independent’s All-Area Girls and Boys Teams reflect that, to some degree.
The Class 2A Region 6 titles stayed in the clutches of Russell’s boys and Boyd County’s girls.
Fairview’s girls haven’t released grip on the Class A Region 7 title since in six years.
Coaches weighed in and once again decided on Russell’s Crystal Cantrell as the boys’ Coach of the Year. Randee Burke, Boyd County’s first-year coach, shared honors with Fairview’s Becca Chaney, who is no stranger to the territory, on the girls’ side.
Boyd County’s Courtney Gibson and Morgan County’s Kailee Perry were named Co-Runners of the Year. Perry took first-place individual honors with a time of 20:30.68 at the region meet in Westwood. Gibson was third in her region run in Winchester, and finished 19th at the State Championships — 56 places better than last year.
Rowan County senior Shelley DeHarte took seventh in the state meet, at 16:55.72. He won the region meet a week prior. DeHarte was selected the boys’ Runner of the Year.
Josh Riley turned in a whale of a senior campaign, as did Jacob Heyerly. The duo led the Devils to a fourth-place state finish, which was the goal all along. In early October, Riley said area and regional titles coupled with a state stage appearance (top four finish) would qualify as a “dream come true.” The dream became reality.
Riley, Heyerly, Tyler Andre, Seth Atkins and Jax Downs all made the All-Area team.
Hunter Gullett and Tristian Kennard represented Ashland.
Elijah Miller was Boyd County’s sole selection.
Vikings teammate Bevan Samuals joined DeHarte on the squad.
On the girls’ side, East Carter’s Macy Dyer capped an outstanding running career. She was named Runner of the Year in 2012.
Kara Coldiron, a continuous top-five finisher in local races, represented Russell.
For Boyd County, Cydney Thompson and Darian Steele were named alongside Gibson. Steele actually finished just ahead of Gibson in the thrilling region meet.
Fairview’s Haley Layne made the team after putting forth a third-place region finish to help pace the Lady Eagles.
Ashland’s lone honoree was Michaela Polley.
Chelsea Mayse (Elliott County) and Kelsey Cyrus (Rowan County) rounded out the team.
AARON SNYDER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2664.