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Cross Country: LC to run in region Saturday

The Lincoln County girls’ and boys’ cross country teams will take to the fields and hills around Cave Lake Park in Monticello this weekend for the Class 2A, Region 5 Championships.

This year’s competitive field includes 14 teams, with Lincoln to be joined on the 3.1-mile course by runners from Bell County, Boyle County. Casey County, Clay County, Corbin, East Jessamine, Garrard County, Knox Central, McCreary Central, Mercer County, Rockcastle County, Russell County and Wayne County. O!

The Lady Patriots had three runners to qualify for state at last year’s regionals. Alexis Slone, a freshman, will be looking to qualify for a third straight state meet Saturday. Slone was the lone state-qualifier in 2017 but was joined by Constance Johnson and McKenzie Settles at state last year.

Settles, a junior, had Lincoln’s fastest time at last year’s regionals. She covered the 3.1 miles in 22:52.94 to place 13th overall. Slone came in two places back of Settles, finishing in 23:04.14 to place 15th. Johnson, a sophomore, claimed 18th place last year in a time of 23:32.93.

Settles, Slone and Johnson came oh-so-close to having the rest of the Lady Patriot team accompanying them to state last fall, with Lincoln just missing the state cut. The top five teams in each region advance and Corbin edged out Lincoln for the fifth spot.

The Lincoln boys’ team did not have a state-qualifying runner at last year’s regionals. Bradley Adams, a junior, was the Patriots’ first finisher in the regional run, placing 37th overall in a time of 20:31.23.

Elijah “Hoot” Johnson was the fifth of Lincoln’s seven runners to cross at the 2018 region championship, placing 68th out of 81 runners in a time of 22:54.37. This season, as an eighth-grader, Johnson has proven to be the consistent lead runner for the Patriots. His time in last year’s regionals, 22:54.37. His time in his latest meet, run Saturday in Lexington, was over two minutes faster.

Johnson posted a time of 20:26.77 at the KTCCCA Meet of Champions, which was run at Masterson Station Park. There were 451 runners on course in the race and Johnson finished 266th. Connor Hayes, a junior at Lexington Christian Academy, won the race in 15:36.90.

Lincoln runners staying in the 21-minute range at the Meet of Champions were senior Gabe Singleton and juniors Damien Hodge and Davis Wardrip. Singleton was 310th in 21:06.66, Hodge ran 327th in 21:23.26 and Wardrip was 331st in 21:25.70.

The times for the other Patriot runners Saturday were: John Sparkman – 22:04.86; Sebastian Odle – 22:05.77; Dalton Patterson – 22:20.77; Toby Sallee – 22:22.43; Ethan Lane – 43:17.29.

There were 253 runners on course in the girls varsity run Saturday and Lincoln was led by Ava Morgan, a sophomore, who placed 59th overall in a time of 22:31.96.

The Lady Patriots had four runners placing in the Top 100 at the large meet, with Johnson, Slone and Settles rounding out the quartet. Johnson placed 84th in a time of 23:09.72, Slone ran 89th in 23:20.15 and Settles was 98th in 23:35.40.

The times for the other Lady Patriot runners Saturday were: Jasmine Steele – 24:10.22; Shayley Reed – 25:34.24; Mayci Godbey – 25:59.17; Andrea Garcia – 27:56.21; Desirae Ellison – 28:30.67; Chloe Tillett – 30:09.53.

The Lincoln girls will start at 2:15 p.m. Saturday in the Class 2A, Region 5 Championships with the boys meet to follow.