• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

WCHS cross country teams earn trip to state championship

Woodford County High School is sending both its boys' and girls' cross country teams to the Class 3A state championship after both teams qualified Oct. 27 at the regional meet in Danville. “It has been 11 years since both the boys and girls teams have qualified to state in the same season,” said WCHS Coach Brooke Stickel. “I was pretty confident the girls were going to make it, and am so pleased with a third place finish, but the boys were ranked sixth coming in, and I knew they all had to have a good day to make it. But, when the race was over and they asked me what I thought, I was 100 percent sure they did not make it. When the results were announced, I screamed because I was so surprised. I can’t wait to see how they do this weekend. The goal for this meet is to get the experience of state meet competition and prepare for next year.” The WCHS girls' varsity team placed third with an average time of 20:53.20. Woodford had three runners in the top-25 and six in the top-50. Eighth-grader Eva Kate Probus placed fourth (20:53.20) and fellow eighth-grader Maggie Twehues was eighth (21:35.86). Katie Gatewood finished 22nd (22:59.47), Morgan Reynolds was 28th (23:10.45), Abby Bleuel finished 37th (23:41.55), Katherine Crain came in 44th (24:08.49) and Parker Robinson finished 65th (27:49.83). "This course was fun to run on because we went through the woods and it had some challenging hills," said Probus. "I met my goals for today and overall for the season. I am pleased with how far I've come." The WCHS boys' varsity team placed sixth with an average time of 18:46.62. The Jackets had two runners in the top-25 and five in the top-50. Kyle Holt finished 22nd (18:04.09), Clay Thomas was 24th (18:09.27), Abran Santos finished 38th (19:03.99), Korry Blankenship was 40th (19:08.45), Collin Charles was 48th (19:27.29), Jalen Newton was 53rd (19:36.74) and Jackson Gordon was 71st (20:48.79).

"The start and finish hills were killers," said Holt. "There were some hairpins mixed in there and those will slow you down as you navigate them. I think we may not have performed as well with the conditions getting the best of us, but getting the sixth spot gets us to state."

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