LEXINGTON, Ky. – Keeton Thornsberry returned to the site of last year’s state runner-up finish a year older, a year wise and a year stronger.
The Holy Cross sophomore won an early duel with Lexington Christian senior Adam Huff over the chilly 5,000-meter (3.1-mile) course to win his first state title in 16 minutes, 16.25 seconds on Saturday morning at KHSAA Class 1-A boys cross country championship at Kentucky Horse Park.
“This feels a lot different than last year because last year was kind of a disappointment and today I wanted to make up for that,” said Thornsberry, who beat runner-up Huff by about 10 seconds. “I didn’t want to have that feeling again.”
Thornsberry entered the 220-runner race with the fastest regional time in Class A, while Huff was ranked second. So Thornsberry had an inkling who he might have to contend with.
“I don’t know if I necessarily put him away, but after a mile, I decided that I was just going to start cranking the pace just to see if I could come away with the win,” Thornsberry said.
Thornsberry’s teammates didn’t come away with a win, but they had a great feeling as the Cougars (106 points) were the team runners-up to the champion Lexington Christian Eagles (68 points). Holy Cross sophomore Caleb Bolus earned a spot on the all-state team by finishing 15th in 17:09.06.
After dealing with pain in both knees and an arch issue in his left foot to go along with body pains from growing more than four inches from last year, Bolus said he was pleased to earn the last all-state spot.
With no graduating runners, the Cougars could return all seven runners next season.”We’re going to try busting our butts this offseason and try to come together as a team and next year we’re probably going to try to win the state title,” Bolus said. “Make history.”
“We’re going to try busting our butts this offseason and try to come together as a team and next year we’re probably going to try to win the state title,” Bolus said. “Make history.”Morgan County sophomore Kailee Perry made some history of her own, winning the Class 1-A girls title in 19:46.11. Perry, whose regional time was the second fastest in 1-A, was fourth at State last year.
Morgan County sophomore Kailee Perry made some history of her own, winning the Class A girls title in 19:46.11. Perry, whose regional time was the second fastest in Class A, was fourth at state last year.
Meanwhile, St. Henry (91 points) won a tight race for the girls team title, edging out runner-up Lexington Christian (92 points) and third-place finisher Bishop Brossart (99)
Presentation senior Julia Vogt was 24th in 21:02.38, while Collegiate freshman Sydney Ragland was 31st in 21:17.24 in her state debut.
“I was trying to get in the top 20, but it was cold,” said Ragland, who entered with the Louisville metro’s best regional time for Class A girls.
Williamsburg sophomore Selena Mattingly, last year’s champion, was fifth in 20:16.84. Newport Central Catholic eighth-grader Abby Jones, who had the fastest regional time for Class A girls, was 21st in 20:56.21.