STANTON Apparently Bath County’s girls cross country team liked tromping and stomping in mud.
The Lady Wildcats especially enjoyed it Saturday. They won the Class A, Region 7 team title at Powell County Lions Club Park over Morgan County, 29-57.
Senior Isabella Copher was Bath County’s toughest mudder. She beat West Carter’s Elizabeth Middleton by about 52 seconds and Elliott County’s Hannah McDaniels by a little more than a minute.
“I knew it was going to be a challenge with the mud (Saturday),” Copher said. “So I tried to watch myself and not take any chances. I like running in the mud, but it’s kinda hard on you to run fast.”
The rest of Bath County’s team finished in the top 15, too: junior Amelia Oldfield was fourth, seventh-grader Madison Mabior was eighth, junior Jaycie Bussell was 11th, and junior Jaelyn Gibson was 15th.
Copher’s Saturday simple strategy: don’t take corners too fast and avoid holes.
“I took off kinda early ’cause I was tryin’ to get in the 19s,” said Copher, who finished in 20:47.25.
Morgan County junior Krista Perry was fourth overall. Because a new Kentucky High School Athletic Association rule eliminated a four-race requirement, Perry could run in next Saturday’s state meet despite running just three races.
“Last year when I ran, my hip bothered me when I ran a very long distance,” Perry said. “I ran on my own, shorter stuff. I felt like I was in good enough shape to run (Saturday).”
Pikeville, Elliott County and Jenkins also qualified as teams for next week’s state meet in Lexington.
Five girls not on winning teams are going to next week’s state meet in Lexington: Middleton, Leah Wells (East Ridge), Taylor Parks (Menifee County), Jaycie Stanley (Phelps) and Hadley Burchett (West Carter)
Pikeville overwhelmed the field to take the boys regional crown — five Panthers placed in the top six for 20 points, 38 fewer than Elliott County’s 58 — but the Lions’ Lucas Ison won the race by nearly three seconds over Pikeville’s Drew Hurley.
“I’m not surprised,” Elliott County coach Jonathan Sloas said. “I know what he can do, I think he can run a better time than he did (Saturday); he’s been sick the whole season.”
Bath County, Morgan County and East Ridge qualified as teams. The Wildcats finished third with 74 points, the Cougars placed fourth with 102, and the Warriors were fifth with 111.
Individual qualifiers were Betsy Layne’s Colin Howell, Paintsville’s Anakin Slone, Menifee County’s Brevon Ricker, Raceland’s Connor Hogsten and Tyler Hughes (Piarist).