Johnson leads Lincoln XC runners at state meet

Published 11:07 am Friday, November 9, 2018

LEXINGTON — Lincoln County cross country runners McKenzie Settles, Constance Johnson and Alexis Slone ran their final race of the season over the rolling hills of the Kentucky Horse Park Saturday in the KHSAA 2A Cross Country State Championships.

The trio of Lincoln runners were not the fleetest of foot in the hotly-contested race, but all three finished ahead of the middle of the pack of 237 runners and topped their pre-race performance rankings.

Johnson, a freshman, who was the second Lincoln runner to cross in the Class 2A, Region 5 meet, was the first Lady Patriot at the finish line in Saturday’s state meet. Johnson, who qualified for state with a time of 23:32.93 and was ranked 137th in the pre-race performance list, cut almost a minute and a half off her time at state and bested her ranking by 71 spots. Johnson covered the 3.1-mile distance in 22:03.20 to place 66th overall.

Slone, the lone Lady Patriot to qualify for state last year, trimmed about 30 seconds off her region time of 23:04.14 and improved 27 spots over her pre-race ranking of 114. The LCMS eighth-grader crossed the finish line at the Horse Park in 22:24.78 to place 87th overall.

Settles, who turned in Lincoln’s best time at region, 22:52.94, was ranked 99th going into Saturday’s race. While she was the third Lady Pat runner coming in Saturday, she still cut 20 seconds off her race time and finished ahead of her ranking. The LCHS sophomore covered the distance in 22:31.56 to place 94th overall.

The Lincoln runners would had to have cut substantially more time off their race times to have gotten on the medals stand Saturday as top 10 performers, as all of the top 10 times were sub-20.

Ft. Thomas Highlands sophomore Maggie Schroeder posted a winning time of 19:07.68, despite taking a wrong turn in the last quarter mile. Addi Dewey, a freshman at the Louisville Christian Academy claimed the runner-up medal with a time of 19:24.89, Paige Decker, an eighth-grader at Mason County, ran third in 19:30.08, Elizabethtown senior Sarah Been was fourth in 19:40.57 and Rebekah Howard, a junior at Ashland Blazer, ran fifth in 19:45.24. Rounding out the top 10 were Dyllan Hasler of Scott, sixth, 19:46.29, Makena Gillion, Franklin County, seventh, 19:48.72, Ximena Tamariz, Bourbon County, eighth, 19:53.60, Alyssa Harris, Highlands, ninth, 19:56.48, and Katie Giles, North Oldham, 10th, 19:56.80.

Scott won the girls title out of 30 teams. Ft. Thomas Highlands placed second overall, Mason County came in third, Bourbon County was fourth and Louisville Christian Academy finished fifth.

Saturday marked the first time since 2012 that Lincoln had more than one runner on course at the state meet. Alex Bunch, Morgan Gourley and Brian Carlson represented Lincoln at that state meet. Gourley then made it individually in 2013 and 2014 and Slone was the next Lincoln runner at state, qualifying last season as a seventh-grader.