The 16th edition of the Mason County Cross Country Invitational will showcase the largest field in the meets history. The meet has 51 schools and 1,800-plus athletes registered to compete.
“This is almost a 20 percent increase in size from last year. We seem to grow every year” said Mason County Coach Mark Kachler.
The meet will begin with an open 5k for local runners and coaches at 8:30 a.m. A mixed JV race begins the high school races of the day followed by the girls’ varsity and then the boys’ varsity races. There will be middle school and elementary races later in the day.
The girls’ varsity race could be a showdown of Class AA powers. The current MileSplit power rankings have Bourbon County No. 1, Mason County No. 2, Ashland Blazer No. 4 and Boyd County No. 6. They will square off with Class A ranked schools with Bishop Brossart at No. 2, Morgan County at No. 3, and St. Henry at No. 5.
The individual title fight could be one to watch. Senior Kailee Perry of Morgan County, who was the 2016 Class A State Champion and 2017 Class A State Runner-Up, won the 2017 Mason County Invitational going away last year. She will be challenged by Ashland’s trio of Rebekah Howard, Mary Alice Thornburg and Aubrey Hay, but don’t rule out Mason County eighth grader Paige Decker or Bourbon County Sophomore Ximena Tamariz from challenging for the individual title.
The boys’ varsity will pit Class AA No. 1 Boyd County against Class AAA No. 5 Covington Catholic in a tough battle for the team title. Boyd County’s Isaiah Caperton is the early favorite to take the individual title but he will be challenged by Covington Catholic’s Will Tate and Bath County’s James Overholser.
Admission is $5. The race site is at 721 Clarks Run Road, Maysville.