WESTWOOD Boyd County made a great first impression at the Eastern Kentucky Conference cross country meet on Wednesday.

The new member took first place in both the girls and boys team divisions and Lions senior Elijah Miller added an EKC individual title to his ever-growing running resume.

“It was a little hot outside and it was a rough course,” Miller said. “It was a great race, for sure.”

All 62 competitors had to battle the elements on a hot and sticky October evening. The rain that plagued the area over the last week left several muddy areas as the runners navigated the course around the Fairview football field.

Miller broke away from the pack and led wire-to-wire. He crossed the finish line with a time of 17:22, a full 12 seconds in front of Elliott County’s Lucas Ison.

“I really wanted to go hard and stay out front,” Miller added. “That was my main plan. I knew about the course a little bit. I studied the map and figured out where I needed to be to be surging and kicking for my final sprint.”

Boyd County placed four runners in the top seven positions. Isaiah Caperton (17:55) was fourth, J.B. Terrill (18:25) placed sixth and Grant Chaffin (18:32) was right behind in seventh.

Bath County had a successful meet with James Overholser, Caleb Brown and Hunter Middleton each recording a top-10 finish.

The Lions took home first place in the team competition followed by Bath County, Russell, Rowan County and Elliott County.

Boyd County coach Becca Chaney said the team was invited to the EKC after a successful run by the track team last spring. The offer was extended to the cross-country team this fall. The field offered a huge test for the team.

“Even with the small schools in our area, there is some really good competition,” said Chaney.

Miller devotes the same strategy to every race. Race to the front and never look back.

“I like to try and do that,” Miller said. “I definitely start out strong. I always find it’s harder to get up front if you fall behind. When you get into the middle of the race, you really start pushing a little harder. The more energy you put out, the more you are going to keep your spot.”

Miller is the ultimate motivator for his team as they try to match his energy level.

“He is a veteran,” Chaney said. “He has been at it since seventh grade. He is just phenomenal. He leads by example. They know if he is out there running his guts out, they are going to do it too. They have that camaraderie this year. They will do what they have to do to overtake everybody else.”

East Carter freshman Riley Brown overtook Morgan County’s Kailee Perry early in the race and never relinquished the lead to claim the girls individual title with a time of 20:46.

“My goal was to stay with her,” Brown said. “Then coming around that back corner (in the side field), I thought I could push in front of her and I did. I held her from there. I’ve never raced here (at Fairview) before. I was really excited, and I felt I might have a shot before the race. I was shooting for a good time.”

Brown’s running philosophy mirrored Miller.

“Get out front and hold it as long as you can,” Brown said with a smile.

Perry, one of the top runners in the state, has missed several meets due to health concerns. Morgan County coach Charlie Bolin said Perry is improving. She finished second.

“We’ve let her take off a couple of weeks because her iron got really low,” Bolin said. “It is supposed to be 15 and it got down to seven. From May to September, she started to get weaker and slower. We tried to figure out what was wrong because she had actually gotten stronger. … Iron affects your muscles and your breathing. We are trying to ease her back into it. She is doing better.”

Russell’s Raegan Osborn, Elliott County’s Abby Adkins and West Carter’s Elizabeth Middleton completed the top five spots.

Boyd County and Russell both tallied 61 points to lead the team standings, but the Lady Lions won the tiebreaker with a higher sixth finisher.

Brown said an EKC crown will give her a huge momentum boost for the postseason.

“After you win a couple, you feel more confident walking into a bigger meet,” Brown said. “You tell yourself, ‘I got this.’”

EKC Meet

GIRLS

Team

1. Boyd County 61*, 2. Russell 61, 3. Morgan County 69, 4. Rowan County 108, 5. Bath County 116, 6. Elliott County 136, 7. East Carter 152.

*won tiebreaker

Individual

1. Riley Brown (East Carter) 20:46, 2. Kailee Perry (Morgan County) 21.23, 3. Raegan Osborn (Russell) 21:43, 4. Abby Adkins (Elliott County) 21:50, 5. Elizabeth Middleton (West Carter) 22:09, 6. Sophia Simmons (Boyd County) 22:18, 7. Autumn Egleston (Rowan County) 22:38, 8. Isabella Copher (Bath County) 23:09, 9. Jordan Riley (Russell) 23:22, 10. Tatum Rooker (Boyd County) 23:38.

11. Autumn Brown (Morgan County) 23:38, 12. Alexis Russell (Boyd County) 23:55, 13. Riley Goodman (Russell) 24:03, 14. Ariah Egleston (Rowan County) 24:15, 15. Josie Atkins (Russell) 24:17, 16. Amelia Oldfield (Bath County) 24:18, 17. Anna Cantrell (Morgan County) 24:26, 18. Jasmin Parker (Boyd County) 24:30, 19. Krista Perry (Morgan County) 24:32, 20. Emma Steel (Boyd County) 24:34.

21. Hannah McDaniels (Elliott County) 24:37, 22. Lexie Sworski (Boyd County) 24:44, 23. Abby Baldridge (Boyd County) 24:50, 24. Faith Bolin (Morgan County) 25:07, 25. Stevie McSorley (Russell) 25:11, 26. Emily Greene (Rowan County) 25:27, 27. Jaycie Bussell (Bath County) 25:29, 28. Megan Burch (Russell) 25:59, 29. Mary Stephens (East Carter) 26:00, 30. Jaime-Lynn Daniel (Morgan County) 26:01.

31. Angela Marcum (Rowan County) 26:14, 32. Kirsten Martin (Bath County) 26:28, 33. Olivia Inskeep (Russell) 26:30, 34. Mikaila Cox (Elliott County) 27:02, 35. Taylor Crawford (Boyd County) 27:28, 36. Torie Hester (Russell) 27:37, 37. Kristen Roberts (Rowan County) 27:45, 38. Erin Borders (Boyd County) 27:58, 39. Aubrey Hill (Russell) 28:03, 40. Sophie Price (Rowan County) 28:15.

41. Emily Harrington (Boyd County) 28:44, 42. Jennifer Nguyen (East Carter) 29:00, 43. Morgan McNabb (Bath County) 29:21, 44. Hannah Sparks (Rowan County) 29:43, 45. Destiny Allison (Nicholas County) 30:48, 46. Alexa Brunson (Rowan County) 31:02, 47. Hannah Jones (Elliott County) 31:33, 48. Jasmine Ison (Elliott County) 31:45, 49. Audrey Pennington (Elliott County) 31:50, 50. Kenzie Bowles (Nicholas County) 33:42.

51. Gracie Harper (Elliott County) 34:51, 52. Isabella Mccloud (Russell) 35:31, 53. Hannah Robinette (East Carter) 35:57, 54. Jessie Carpenter (Nicholas County), 55. Ava Hines (Nicholas County) 36:56, 56. Kylie Pennington (East Carter) 46:34.

BOYS

Team

1. Boyd County 33, 2. Bath County 52, 3. Russell 80, 4. Rowan County 88, 5. Elliott County 116, 6. East Carter 150, 7. Fairview 216, 8. Morgan County 224.

Individual

1. Elijah Miller (Boyd County) 17:22, 2. Lucas Ison (Elliott County) 17:34, 3. James Overholser (Bath County) 17:46, 4. Isaiah Caperton (Boyd County) 17:55, 5. Caleb Bowen (Bath County) 18:21, 6. J.B. Terrill (Boyd County) 15:25, 7. Grant Chaffin (Boyd County) 18:32, 8. Jonah Stanley (Rowan County) 18:34, 9. Hunter Middleton (Bath County) 18:36, 10. Jared Goodman (Russell) 18:51.

11. Tyler Conn (Russell) 18:56, 12. Caleb Handley (East Carter) 18:59, 13. Trad Egleston (Rowan County) 19:05, 14. Carson Kidwell (Russell) 19:22, 15. Waylon Smith (Boyd County) 19:25, 16. Taylor Purvis (Bath County) 19:32, 17. Jake Crawford (Boyd County) 19:34, 18. Mason Simmons (Boyd County) 19:36, 19. Sammie Bodine (Bath County) 19:43, 20. Lucas Hart (Rowan County) 19:45.

21. Gavin Brock (Boyd County) 19:48, 22. Matthew Sloan (Russell) 19:55, 23. Jayson Ingles (Rowan County) 19:56, 24. Gavin Whitt (Elliott County) 20:04, 25. Elijah Pridemore (Russell) 20:08, 26. Aaron Smart (Rowan County) 20:11, 27. Curtis Giles (East Carter) 20:11, 28. Blake Holbrook (Elliott County) 20:12, 29. Richie Knupp (Russell) 20:14, 30. Nolan Sabotchick (Russell) 20:31.

31. Dameon Twigg (Russell) 20:50, 32. Logan Bodkin (Boyd County) 20:54, 33. John Ison (Elliott County) 21:23, 34. Jaysten Maze (Rowan County) 21:29, 35. Johnny Elswick (Fairview) 21:33, 36. Zeb Bame (Russell) 21:45, 37. Adam Sworski (Boyd County) 21:52, 38. Joe Ammons (Rowan County) 21:57, 39. Chase Wilson (Elliott County) 22:05, 40. Spencer Bolin (Morgan County) 22:13.

41. Zachary Holtsclaw (East Carter) 22:18, 42. Brody Sparks (West Carter) 22:42, 43. Gabe James (East Carter) 22:53, 44. Kole Hester (Russell) 22:58, 45. George Thacker (Rowan County) 23:03, 46. Travis Jones (West Carter) 23:06, 47. Kaleb Fry (Fairview) 23:10, 48. Coby Handley (East Carter) 23:42, 49. Chris Martin (Bath County) 24:08, 50. Sam Dehart (Elliott County) 24:14.

51. Kye Havens (Morgan County) 24:15, 52. Nathan Sturgill (Elliott County) 24:23, 53. Eli Giles (East Carter) 25:10, 54. Stephen Copeland (East Carter) 25:13, 55. Jeremy Pack (Morgan County) 25:36, 56. Ray Boyd (Fairview) 26:04, 57. Jacob Claar (Fairview) 26:10, 58. Chad Mabry (Rowan County) 26:13, 59. Isaac Wright (Morgan County) 26:37, 60. Rodney Crouch (Bath County) 26:53.

61. Rodney Johnstone (Fairview) 28:33, 62. Aiden Morgan (Morgan County).