Matching the feat his older brother, Brett, accomplished in his sophomore year, Cougar cross country runner Jarrett Crawford captured the championship of the Region 2 Cross Country finals, held Saturday at Logan County High School.
Crawford ran with the lead pack for more than two-thirds of the 5K race, but with less than a mile to go, took charge on the only hill of the relatively flat course and raced out to a large lead. Crawford’s winning time of 16:38.90 was nearly 12 seconds faster than second-place Josiah Harp, of Central Hardin.
The Cougars as a team were hoping to place in the top four teams, which would have earned them a spot in next week’s State Cross Country Championships at the Horse Park, in Lexington, but they had to settle for a fifth-place finish with 117 points.
Central Hardin won the team title after placing all five of its scoring runners in the top-11 spots. Their total of 27 points was way ahead of second-place Bowling Green’s 86 points. North Hardin was third with 91 points, and South Warren was fourth with 95 points.
The Lady Cougars had also hoped to make it to state as a team this season. After finishing just two points out of first place last season, the Lady Cougars had hoped this would be their year, but it was not to be. They finished sixth with 118 points.
Bowling Green, which did not field a full team last year and were not eligible for the team title, made a huge turn-around to win this year with 32 points. The Purples’ Madisyn Peeples was the individual winner with a time of 19:01.92.
Lady Cougar freshman Hailey Stallings qualified for the state meet with her fifth-place overall finish. She was the top non-team qualifier with a time of 20:17.91.
Sophomore Heather Priddy was a victim of numbers in her bid to qualify for state. With only eight full teams at the starting line for the girls’ 5k, that meant just three teams would qualify. South Warren and Barren County were the other qualifiers, with Central Hardin coming in fourth.
Had there been four team qualifiers, Priddy would have been among the top five individual state qualifiers. Because the Bruins put two runners ahead of Priddy, she was knocked out of the running.
Priddy finished 21st overall with a time of 22:27.07. Others earning points for the Lady Cougars were Shannon Smith, 25th in 22:37.46, Morgan Kannapel, 30th in 22:47.57, and Kaylee Masden, 37th in 23:15.80.
Running out of the points were Grace Childress, 40th in 23:34.68, and Rachel McMahan, 42nd in 23:15.80.
Scoring points for the Cougars were Eli Thomas, 22nd in 18:20.40, Noah Saltsman, 25th in 18:24.80, Luke Weedman, 32nd in 18:40.20, and Nate Saltsman, 37th in 18:51.60.
Julian Colvin and Anthony Darst ran out of the points, with Colvin finishing 41st in 19:10.80, and Darst coming in 46th in 19:24.60.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.