MAYSVILLE For 10 months and five days they've thought about it – at least a little.
It's been that long – Nov. 3, 2018, to be exact – since Boyd County's boys cross country team finished second to Lexington Catholic in the Class 2A state meet. If you cogitated much about the Lions' title chances this season, meditate on what they did at Saturday's Mason County Invitational meet: a significantly breezy 48-118 win over Simon Kenton.
As for remembering what happened last fall …
“We kinda keep that in our minds, but we know this is a new season,” Boyd County coach Becca Chaney said. “There's new runners, we know there's new teams out there. So we still kinda keep focused on ourselves and our training right now.”
The object in cross country is to have five runners finishing together in front of the field. Saturday, four Lions, senior Isaiah Caperton, sophomore J.B. Terrill, senior Tyler Conn and sophomore Grant Chaffin, were a tighter group than five 320-pound offensive linemen in a single sleeping bag – just a shade over 36 seconds.
The 5-kilometer times: Caperton, second place behind Lexington Christian's Connor Hayes, 16 minutes, 27.95 seconds; Terrill, third, 16:30.42; Conn, eighth in 16:55.18; and Chaffin, ninth in 17:04.01.
When not catching his breath after the race, Caperton said he was elated. He didn't look like he is battling what Chaney called “hip issues” last spring.
“I'm very happy,” Caperton said. “I think we all did really good. J.B. was in front of me a lot of the race and beside me; it really helped me push through.
“ … I was in fifth for a while, but then after the first mile J.B. started pushing, and I started following him.”
Terrill added: “You're always right there with him, just keepin' him goin', cheerin' him on. Sometimes you want to try and pass him to get him all fired up and stuff.”
Sophomore Gavin Brock, Boyd County's fifth runner, finished 26th in 17:46.29.
In the team standings, Ryle, Campbell County and Russell completed the top five. Rowan County was sixth, Elliott County was 20th and Morgan County was 22nd.
Four and 20
A quartet of local runners finished in the girls top 20.
Boyd County sophomore Sophia Simmons finished sixth in 19:50.15. Following her were Rowan County eighth-grader Autumn Egleston in seventh (20:16.69), Bath County senior Isabella Copher (11th place, 20:26.72) and Russell senior Jordan Riley (17th, 20:54.41).
“I felt like I ran really good,” Simmons said. “I pushed it over in the second part, where the hills are. You hit two miles over there, so I just kept lookin' ahead tryin' to pick off girls and gain time over there.
“(19:50) was what I was shootin' for, so I got a (personal record).”
Like Simmons, Egleston was pleased with her race – sort of.
“I feel like I couldn't have done better, but I could've at the same time,” Egleston said. “I feel like I could've had a faster sprint if I didn't waste a lot of my energy in Death Valley … the hilliest part of the course (at the two-mile mark).”
Defending Class A state champion Anna Rupp of Lexington Christian won the girls race in a PR 18:31.24. If you're wondering, she is the great-granddaughter of University of Kentucky legend Adolph Rupp.
Rupp is often asked about the family connection. “I definitely bleed (Kentucky) blue,” she said.
Bishop Brossart won the girls team title over Mason County, 72-79. Boyd County was eighth, Rowan County was 13th, and Greenup County was 14th.