Decker, Jefferson brave conditions for first

EVAN DENNISON - [email protected]
Mason County’s Paige Decker claimed first at the Mason County Cross Country Invitational with a time of 18:50. The win was Decker’s second of the young season. -
Bracken County’s Jared Jefferson defended his title at the Mason County Cross Country Invitational with a time of 16:21 on Saturday. -

The remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon tried its best to put a damper on things during the Mason County Cross Country Invitational on Saturday.

Mason County’s Paige Decker and Bracken County’s Jared Jefferson were having none of it.

The two won their respective races, Decker claiming the girls’ race by a whopping 26 seconds while Jefferson edged out teammate Brandon Cox by four seconds in the boys’ race, winning the Invitational for the second straight year.

In a stacked field in both races, 18 teams and 150 runners in the girls’ race, 21 teams and 187 runners in the boys’ race, Decker and Jefferson sledged through the tough terrain of the course due to all the rain accumulated prior and during the race and came out on top.

“Just had to stay tough,” Jefferson said. “There were a lot of bad spots on the course, but you just had to stay strong through all of it.”

Jefferson ran a 16:21, overcoming a near fall during the run, that coming off losing a shoe during the race at the Bourbon County Colonel Charge two weeks ago.

“Water that tall, there were some areas with some puddles that were nearly knee deep. Peanut “Jefferson” almost went down, almost wiped out and the kid from Montgomery County passed them and then Peanut established that he was going to take the win and then Brandon moved up pretty close and was gaining. I couldn’t be more pleased on how he performed than two weeks ago.” Polar Bears coach Forrest Hunt said.

Cox, who finished ahead of Jefferson at the Bourbon County Colonel Charge two weeks ago, had to jump a couple spots in the final half-mile to get where he placed Saturday. His improvement from just a year ago continues to be a drastic.

“Training and keeping healthy. Don’t get sick, don’t get injured. Doing the things we’ve been doing,” Cox said. “Looking ahead to every race, last year I was looking ahead towards state. Now I’m breaking it down every race and looking at what’s in front of me and not down the road.”

Saturday was all about mental toughness with the heavy downpour.

“If we showed up to have practice today and as long as it wasn’t lightning, I would have had them run in the same conditions. You never know what regions or state is going to hold, so you better train in everything and expect the worst always,” Hunt said. “That way if it’s good, great, but for those people that shy away from it, that’s a leg up for us.”

Decker ran a 18:50, hitting the final turn with no one in sight as she raced toward the finish line.

“I just tried to stay focused and kind of get through it,” Decker said.

The win gives the eighth grader her second of the year, claiming first at the Bourbon County Colonel Charge two weeks ago to start the season.

“I’ve been working really hard during the summer and practice and I think that’s what’s really contributed to that,” Decker said.

The race on Saturday included 2016 Class A state champion Kailee Perry of Morgan County, who placed third, 32 seconds behind Decker.

“She convincingly beat Kailee Perry, who won state as a sophomore. She beat girls from Ashland and Simon Kenwho who are ranked high in the state. Look at who she beat and how she beat them, it’s very impressive,” Lady Royals coach Mark Kachler said.

Her slew of teammates weren’t too far behind as Alyssa Bisotti finished in 12th at 20:18, Hayden Faris in 21st at 21:17, Kylee Howe in 25th at 21:22 and Layla Henderson in 35th at 21:50, earning the Lady Royals a third-place finish.

“I was in hopes to be in the top three. Brossart is very good, Bourbon is very good. We had an injury to our top five, but it was a gut check today,” Kachler said. “I asked the girls, ‘How are you going to handle this?’ Last year we had rough weather at region and we didn’t handle it very well. We had six girls’ that were top 40 today. With the level of the meet and the competition, it’s a significant accomplishment for us.”

Bourbon County came in first in the girls’ race with 56 points, Bishop Brossart placed second with 82 points and then the Lady Royals at 87 points. Other coverage area schools included West Union in 12th and Bracken County 13th.

Addie Shupert led the Lady Dragons in 23rd with a time of 21:20 while Macie Sharp led the Lady Bears in 26th in a time of 21:25. St. Patrick’s lone varsity runner was Allison Hughes, placing 81st in a time of 24:11. Fleming County’s Carys Earlywine was the top Lady Panthers runner in 87th at 24:23. Manchester’s Billie Jean Kinhalt placed 96th at 24:55. Ripley’s Lisa Dugan placed 99th in a time of 25:07.

Covington Catholic won the boys’ race with ease, tallying 67 points and topping second place Williamstown by 61 points. Bishop Brossart rounded out the top three with 150 points.

The Polar Bears placed seventh, Mason County 13th, West Union 17th, Ripley 20th and Fleming County 21st.

The top finisher for the Royals was Carson Adams in 31st at 17:48, placing right behind him was Isaiah Riggs in 32nd at 17:52.

The Dragons top finisher was Steven Runyan in 61st at 18:50, Ripley’s Joseph Castle placed 110th in at 20:19 and Fleming County’s Cody Kissell came in 153rd in a time of 22:52.

Manchester had a couple of individual runners and Declan Huron was the Greyhounds top finisher in 96th at 19:50.

Saturday’s Invitational featured an open race to the public/coaches, a boys’ and girls’ varsity race, boys’ and girls’ JV race, boys’ and girls’ middle school races and boys’ and girls’ elementary school races. By the time it was done, the course looked like what the Kentucky Derby would look like after a solid day of rain.

“It was as bad in regards to rain as it could possibly get. Only thing that could have made it worse, is if it was cold. The two officials that were at the meet can only recall one meet that was worse and they’ve been doing this a long time,” Kachler said. “In the 16 years of having this here, we’ve never had to deal with the weather in this bad of shape. It will take some work to get the course back to normal. May be a few weeks. There’s days when things are so horrible, to just survive it, makes a memory.”



1. Decker, Paige 08 Mason County 18:50.6

2. DeLisio, Sophia 12 Simon Kenton 19:16.7

3. Perry, Kailee 12 Morgan County 19:22.3

4. Tamariz, Ximena 10 Bourbon County 19:36.4

5. Howard, Rebekah 11 Ashland Blazer 19:47.0

12. Bisotti, Alyssa 09 Mason County 20:18.0

21. Faris, Hayden 10 Mason County 21:17.4

23. Shupert, Addie 09 West Union 21:20.1

25. Howe, Kylee 09 Mason County 21:22.0

26. Sharp, Macie 08 Bracken County 21:25.6

35. Henderson, Layla 08 Mason County 21:50.0

38. Carpenter, Morgan 08 Mason County 22:01.6

65. Dawson, Abigail 12 Mason County 23:31.6

66. Decker, Alexis 08 Mason County 23:33.2

67. O’Hearn, Olivia 12 Mason County 23:35.2

68. Ebert, Holly 12 Bracken County 23:37.0

79. Shivener, Christia 09 West Union 23:59.9

81. Hughes, Allison 09 St. Patrick 24:11.5

85. Maher, Hadley 08 Mason County 24:22.5

87. Earlywine, Carys 09 Fleming County 24:23.7

89. Ebert, Heather 12 Bracken County 24:31.2

96. Kinhalt, Billie Je 12 Manchester 24:55.4

99. Dugan, Lisa 10 Ripley Union 25:07.8

100. Francis, Kayden 09 West Union 25:09.6

102. Ebert, Joy 11 Bracken County 25:16.4

106. Grooms, Kendra 10 West Union 25:50.7

109. Fulton, Katie 10 West Union 26:01.8

110. Boldman, Katrina 11 West Union 26:02.1

112. Mcclanahan, Jenna 11 Manchester 26:09.3

113. Taylor, Maddie 09 West Union 26:17.1

119. Grannis, Leia 09 Fleming County 28:28.8

133. Evans, Ashley 09 West Union 31:44.4

139. Cluxton, Leanna 09 Ripley Union 33:14.3

144. Flores, Zoie 09 West Union 34:48.0

147. King, Emily 11 Ripley Union 35:13.7

150. Day, Leanna 10 Bracken County 37:50.9



1. Bourbon County 56

2. Bishop Brossart 82

3. Mason County 87

4. Simon Kenton 96

5. Campbell County 139

6. St. Henry District 157

7. Morgan County 188

8. Beechwood 236

9. Russell 263

10. Boyd County 282

11. Montgomery County 325

12. West Union 347

13. Bracken County 361

14. Elliott County 372

15. Boone County 400

16. Greenup County 435

17. Holy Cross (Covington) 458

18. Nicholas County 485



1. Jefferson, Jared 12 Bracken County 16:21.7

2. Cox, Brandon 12 Bracken County 16:25.7

3. Forrest, Jarrett 12 Montgomery County 16:30.9

4. Overholser, James 12 Bath County 16:33.8

5. Tate, Will 12 Covington Catholic 16:35.0 4

31. Adams, Carson 10 Mason County 17:48.8

32. Riggs, Isaiah 11 Mason County 17:52.6

57. Jefferson, Collin 12 Bracken County 18:41.7

61. Runyan, Steven 11 West Union 18:50.5

75. Drury, Nicholas 11 Mason County 19:22.0

84. Yelton, Thomas 10 Bracken County 19:32.4

96. Huron, Declan 11 Manchester 19:50.0

108. McDowell, Jonathon 09 West Union 20:17.2

110. Castle, Joseph 09 Ripley 20:19.9

111. Knox, Jai-Michael 10 West Union 20:20.3

115. Dodge, Mathew 10 Mason County 20:24.8

118. Simons, Daniel 12 Bracken County 20:30.5

119. Woods, Jarrod 10 Bracken County 20:33.2

123. Carrigan, Andrew 11 Bracken County 20:43.8

124. Rigsby, Daryan 11 Manchester 20:44.2

126. Bryant, Damon 09 Bracken County 20:48.8

135. Bartley, Clinton 11 Ripley 21:15.4

139. McCarty, Grant 11 West Union 21:24.4

144. Morgan, Daniel 10 Ripley 21:45.8

147. Castle, Jacob 10 Ripley 22:02.9

152. Darnell, Kaleb 11 Bracken County 22:27.1

153. Kissell, Cody 11 Fleming County 22:52.2

155. Whaley, T k 11 Ripley 23:01.0

159. Thompson, Tyler 09 Mason County 23:28.3

166. McKee, Jacob 10 Ripley 24:11.1

167. Carson, Logan 10 West Union 24:11.4

173. Hurst, Noah 10 Fleming County 26:03.6

174. Peterson, Nate 11 Manchester 26:16.0

177. Carrera-Vebber, Ez 11 Fleming County 27:39.7

178. Jacobs, Marcus 12 West Union 27:52.2

180. Fannin, Caleb 10 Fleming County 28:27.5

184. Kemp, Jacob 09 West Union 31:02.1

187. Dehart, Calvin 09 Fleming County 37:09.7



1. Covington Catholic 67

2. Williamstown 128

3. Bishop Brossart 150

4. Boyd County 150

5. Campbell County 172

6. Simon Kenton 188

7. Bracken County 217

8. Montgomery County 229

9. Beechwood 234

10. Russell 247

11. Ryle 250

12. Bourbon County 322

13. Mason County 333

14. Rowan County 337

15. Ashland Blazer 417

16. Elliott County 430

17. West Union 466

18. Holy Cross (Covington) 504

19. Lloyd Memorial 505

20. Ripley 536

21. Fleming County 644

Mason County’s Paige Decker claimed first at the Mason County Cross Country Invitational with a time of 18:50. The win was Decker’s second of the young season. County’s Paige Decker claimed first at the Mason County Cross Country Invitational with a time of 18:50. The win was Decker’s second of the young season.

Bracken County’s Jared Jefferson defended his title at the Mason County Cross Country Invitational with a time of 16:21 on Saturday. County’s Jared Jefferson defended his title at the Mason County Cross Country Invitational with a time of 16:21 on Saturday.
Lady Royals take third at Mason County Invitational


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