Clark County cross country has put in strong performances this season

Published 4:00 pm Friday, September 16, 2022

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On August 20, cross country teams from the Clark County area gathered at George Rogers Clark High School to begin the season in earnest.

For the Cardinals, a highly respectable second-place finish out of ten teams in the 19th Annual Run for the Water Barrel demonstrated success after a long offseason of training. They placed just behind Great Crossing High School out of Georgetown and ahead of third-place Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School of Lexington.

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Junior Liam Parido led the Cardinals, with freshmen runners Lennon Smith and Ben Wilson close behind. Senior Hayden Cecil came fourth, with freshman Hunter Rogers rounding out the team’s top five.

“It was a good start to the season,” said coach Dodd Dixon.

The Lady Cards found themselves in an unusual position as they competed without an entire squad of runners. Junior Laura Ross led the way.

In the middle school race, the Robert D. Campbell Junior High School girls’ team placed first overall after taking over and running away from fellow competitors. 8th grader Savannah Thomas led the team, while Kinslee Wesolowski stood out as the team’s second runner, followed by Lakelyn Hoffman. Not only were Thomas, Wesolowski, and Hoffman the top three runners for RDC, but they placed first, second, and third at the event itself.

Laney Spurlock was in the team’s number four spot, with Marissa Thomas coming in fifth place.

“This was a good matchup with Area 6 teams. Beaumont in Lexington is always one of the state’s top schools, so to win out over them at our first meet was a huge accomplishment for our girls”, Dixon said.

At the month’s end, the boys and girls cross country team also traveled out of state to Bristol, Tennessee, and competed in the team’s second meet of the season. In so doing, they took on some of the top competition the Volunteer State offers.

Junior Liam Parido led the boys’ team in the 5K race, placing 12th overall in a field of 165 runners for a time of 17:57.9.

“This was a good meet for Liam,” Dixon said. “The course had a challenging second mile which showcased the strength of Liam’s preseason training.”

The second runner for the Cards was freshman Lennon Smith, placing 20th in the competition via a time of 18:29.3. Just behind was fellow freshman Ben Wilson, who finished 24th in the race with a time of 18:35.9.

Placing 31st in the race with a time of 19:05 was senior Hayden Cecil, followed by freshman runner Hunter Rogers with a time of 20:39. Also competing were Aiden Larkin (21:57), Dallas Hall (23:04), and August Tobias (24:07). They finished respectively with times of 21:57, 23:04, and 24:07. Overall, the Cards finished sixth out of 20 full teams.

Daniel Boone High School and Dobyns Bennett High Schools, perennial Tennessee powerhouses, finished in first and second, respectively.

For the Lady Cards, junior Laura Ross led the team with a time of 24:42. The RDC girls team was able to finish in the top five, coming in fifth overall in a field of 20 teams. The middle school girls covered a distance of 1.5 miles. Savannah Thomas led the way, who arrived in 7th (10:06.8) in a field of 246 middle school girls. Kinslee Wesolowski placed 14th, Lakelyn Hoffman 22nd, and Laney Spurlock 29th overall. Also competing for the girls’ team was Katie Ross.

“We are pleased with the high school and middle school kids’ progress thus far in the season,” Dixon said.

This was the first time the team could travel out of state since Covid-19 began. Before the pandemic, the team made a trip out of state annually.

“We are glad to get back out on the road,” Dixon said. “It is good to get on new courses and to renew old out-of-state rivalries.”

The team also visited a national park and three museums during their travel out of state.

“Ultimately, I tell the kids that we are an educational institution, and it would be irresponsible to drive past a museum or cultural site,” Dixon said.