Boyd County’s cross country motto this season was “Don’t count the miles, make the miles count.”
Behind another storied year for the Lions, miles are not the only thing they are counting.
After back-to-back region championships and runner-up finishes at the Class 2A state championship, the Lions are starting to count their newest hardware as well.
“Year 1 validated us as a team on the state level,” Boyd County coach Becca Chaney said. “Year 2 was a big accreditation to our program and our hard work. These kids know how close the score was, and the wheels are turning for 2020.”
Much like many of its meets this season, Boyd County cleaned up on All-Area accolades, claiming half the 16 total spots — including the Runner of the Year for the sixth consecutive season.
JB Terrill unseated teammate Isaiah Caperton for the top runner position. The duo finished 1-2 at the region championship, with Terrill breaking the tape 21 seconds ahead of Caperton with a time of 16:52.98.
“JB and Isaiah were constantly pushing each other in practices and races the whole season,” Chaney said. “The rest of the team followed. When you have two great runners pushing each other at that level of performance, only great things can happen.”
“We always push each other,” Terrill said of Caperton. “I don’t think the team would be even close to as good as we are without the constant little thought of, ‘Oh, I have to be up there with Isaiah,’ or, ‘I got to be up there with Grant (Chaffin) today.’ It has definitely been a huge benefit for everyone.”
Terrill admits it’s humbling to continue the streak for the Lions.
“It was a big honor for me since the past (six) years it has been some Boyd County runner,” Terrill said. “First Elijah (Miller), then Isaiah, then me.”
Chaney said the competition for the top runner motivates her team.
“Having the Runner of the Year is what sets the tone for our team,” she said. “If we have the No. 1 runner in the area, we know the rest of the team is close or chasing after their teammate due to the fact that we put a lot of emphasis on packing together and keeping our team gap (distance from our 1-5 runner) as low in time as possible. As a team, they know keeping the Runner of the Year in our program means our team remains competitive in our area and potentially in the state.”
Terrill made the 2018 All-Area team as a freshman but made leaps and bounds in his sophomore campaign.
“JB has really found his comfort racing this year,” Chaney said. “He knew his job and his role for the team. As the season progressed, so did he. After the KOVCCT meet, and his outstanding performance there, I think he became more confident and more of a fierce competitor. Our coaching staff has told him in the past seasons that he has it in him to do great things.”
Terrill finished fifth at state (16:45.35) to pace the Lions’ runner-up finish to Corbin. Spencer Elswick crossed in 26th place. Caperton was 30th. Six of the seven Boyd County runners finished in the top 75 out of 250 runners in the event.
Chaney went back-to-back herself, earning Coach of the Year to round out the top honors for the Lions.
“Being the Coach of the Year back-to-back again just speaks volumes of how great these boys are,” Chaney said. “They are a very hard-working, talented group of young men that I’m proud to represent. The way they stepped up for each other and had each other’s back this season was amazing to watch. I can’t say how proud I am of them.”
Joining Terrill were Caperton, Elswick, Gavin Brock, Tyler Conn, Chaffin, Mason Newsome and Waylon Smith.
“Our team breeds success due to the fact that these kids work together as a unit,” Chaney said. “They have a really close bond almost like family. They all have the same individual goals in order to make the team better. They just talk about it and discuss what it takes. They not only hold each other accountable, but they support each and pick each other up through the whole season.”
Russell turned in a 12th-place finish at the state meet, led by Davis Brown’s 25th-place finish. Elijah Pridemore and Logan Harrison rounded out the Red Devils.
Rowan County placed 16th at state while placing five members on the 2019 team.
Jonah Stanley finished 46th to lead the Vikings. He’s joined by teammates AJ Barker, Trad Egleston, Lucas Hart and Jayson Ingles.
The All-Area Runner and Coach of the Year were selected by The Daily Independent sports department. The team was composed based on the top 16 individual times among all northeastern Kentucky schools reported to MileSplit.
AJ Barker (Rowan County)
Gavin Brock (Boyd County)
Davis Brown (Russell)
Isaiah Caperton (Boyd County)
Grant Chaffin (Boyd County)
Tyler Conn (Boyd County)
Trad Egleston (Rowan County)
Spencer Elswick (Boyd County)
Logan Harrison (Russell)
Lucas Hart (Rowan County)
Jayson Ingles (Rowan County)
Mason Newsome (Boyd County)
Elijah Pridemore (Russell)
Waylon Smith (Boyd County)
Jonah Stanley (Rowan County)
J.B. Terrill (Boyd County)
RUNNER OF THE YEAR
J.B. Terrill (Boyd County)
COACH OF THE YEAR
Becca Chaney (Boyd County)
Honorable mention: Sammy Bodine (Bath County), Alex Boyle (Ashland), Chandler Boyle (Ashland), Jake Crawford (Boyd County), Curtis Giles (East Carter), Carson Kidwell (Russell), Jared Goodman (Russell), Taylor Purvis (Bath County), Matthew Sloan (Russell), Adam Sworski (Boyd County).