PARIS Sophia Newsome’s parents call her “A Tough Mudder.”

Now they can also say “State Champion.”

The second moniker came courtesy of Friday afternoon’s KHSAA Class 2A state cross country championship, when the Boyd County senior outraced the field to bring home the title at Bourbon County.

"Coming around the bottom that leads up to the finish when you have about 400 meters left, (Boyd County coach) Becca (Chaney) was standing right there and she said ‘You’ve got 400 left, this is all you need, you know how to do it,’ and that’s when it just kind of clicked in my head that like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m state champion if I make it to that finish line,’ and then I just gave it all I had,” Newsome said.

All she had was good enough for a time of 19:17.68 in the 5K race.

“We had a game plan coming in. We wanted her to kind of let the other girls lead her around for the first part of the race and then we had a game plan for her to drop it on the back part of the course from the 2K to the 4K,” Chaney said. “(For that 2K), she really needed to stay focused because that seems to be the hardest part of the course, where it’s rolling hills up and down. So, it seemed like that's where she executed that plan and she gapped the girls on that, and I said just hold on for that last 1000 (meters).

"She gapped and put a spread enough on those girls to hold that position.”

Newsome’s victory was just one of several positive results for the Boyd County squads. The girls team finished in third, moving up a spot from last year’s race, while the boys claimed fifth place.

“I’m proud of all of our kids today, the girls especially, and Sophia, that’s my first, as a coach, individual cross country team individual champ,” Chaney said. “It’s bittersweet too with her being a senior and I’m just glad that’s how she went out.”

After placing sixth last year, Newsome entered the race targeting at least a top-three finish.

“Coming in from region, I had my goal set on (winning) State. I know my training. I know my body and I know my mind, and so I had the expectation to come in and win,” Newsome said. “In the back of my head, I had that really strong hope that I could win, that this is a real possibility. And so my expectations were pretty high coming in and then it just kind of happened.”

Newsome outlasted Lexington Catholic’s Caroline Beiting and Elizabethtown’s Ella Johnson in the latter stages of the race to claim the crown. The Lions also got a boost from eighth-grader Sami Govey, who finished fifth in 19:42.70. Rowan County sophomore Autumn Egleston claimed 12th in 20:20.10.

Lexington Catholic won the girls meet with 77 points. Scott took second with 132 points, followed by Boyd County with 142 points and Mason County with 153 points. Rowan County also posted a strong team performance and placed sixth with 209 points, while Russell claimed 14th with 359 points and Ashland took 15th with 375 points.

Boyd County’s boys led the area contingent with a fifth-place finish after tallying 199 points. Russell came in 17th with 472 points, with Ashland taking 22nd with 558 points and Mason County in 25th with 588 points. North Oldham defended its team crown after scoring 68 points.

Seniors JB Terrill (Boyd County) and Davis Brown (Russell) saw their distinguished high school cross country careers come to an end after finishing 12th and 13th, respectively. Terrill covered the 5K course in 16:53.79, while Brown did so in 17:00.61. Bell County’s Caden Miracle won in a time of 16:04.67.

“I went out way too fast,” Brown said. “And I really struggled at the end, but I sprinted the last 100 (meters) and passed a couple of people.

“I also took out probably a little too fast and I started losing it after about a mile and a half, but thankfully I was able to hold on to a top-15 spot,” Terrill said.

Among the other area entrants, Rowan County’s Kaycee Moore finished 20th in the girls race in 20:48.22, with Boyd County's Lexie Sworski in 24th in 20:59.28, East Carter's Riley Brown in 28th in 21:08.42, Ashland’s Aubree Hay in 34th in 21:18.74, Russell’s Raegan Osborn in 37th in 21:26.83 and Stevie McSorley in 41st in 21:31.68, Ashland’s Hope Harris in 55th in 21:52.10, Boyd County’s Olivia Phillips in 57th in 21:53.80, Rowan County’s Ariah Egleston in 61st in 22:02.22 and Ivey Litton in 66th in 22:11.24, Boyd County’s Emily Harrington in 76th in 22:21.85, Rowan County’s Ella Besant in 83rd in 22:27.34, Russell’s Courtney Fitzpatrick in 87th in 22:33.13, Rowan County’s Sallie Robbins in 88th in 22:35.46, Ashland’s Haley Fielding in 98th in 22:48.57, Boyd County’s Taylor Crawford in 100th in 22:52.96, East Carter’s Ryann Brown in 101st in 22:54.72 and Ashland’s Macie Bevins in 102nd in 22:55.79.

For the boys, Boyd County’s Mason Newsome placed 29th in 17:50.48, with teammate Spencer Elswick in 51st in 18:17.55; Rowan County’s AJ Barker in 53rd in 18:23.67; Boyd County's Adam Sworski in 56th in 18:28.70; Greenup County’s Cody Brown in 59th in 18:29.56; Boyd County’s Gavin Brock in 66th in 18:34.87, Hudson Cox in 67th in 18:35.19 and Grant Chaffin in 68th in 18:35.39; Russell’s Luke Pridemore in 78th in 18:44.26; Ashland’s Tre Troxler in 82nd in 18:49.23; and East Carter’s Tyler Rupert in 104th in 19:09.47.

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