Lunsford, Daniels are winners in Harlan County All-Comers Meet

Published 3:00 pm Thursday, September 14, 2023

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By Abby Sherman
Contributing Writer  
After nearly two decades of coaching cross country, it’s rare for Harlan County coach Ryan Vitatoe to see something he has never seen before.
But that is exactly what happened recently at the Bears’ first home meet of the season.
The Harlan County girls varsity team posted a perfect score as they claimed their second team win of the season.
A perfect score in cross country means that a team’s first five runners claimed the top five point-scoring positions.
“I’m really proud of our kids for their performance tonight,” Harlan County coach Ryan Vitatoe said. “The girls really set the tone. We’ve been balancing our girls between middle school and varsity competition, and I was really excited to see our full team on the line tonight. Every single girl ran great, and I’m so proud of them. This was a great performance. It is really difficult to run a perfect score and it’s a neat accomplishment. I’m really proud of them. They all had a great night.”
Peyton Lunsford led the Lady Bears, winning the girls varsity race with a time of 21:35.44. She was immediately followed by Lauren Lewis (22:35.72), Gracie Roberts (22:45.53), Preslee Hensley (23:37.18) and Kiera Roberts (23:51.12). Rounding out the results for Harlan County were Charli Shepherd (14th, 26:32.06), Aliyah Deleon (15th, 26:35.59), Addi Gray (16th, 26:49.47), Olivia Kelly (23rd, 28:23.97), Aliya Burkhart (32nd, 31:05.75) and Taylor Clem (37th, 32:32.42).
“Peyton had a big win, but these girls were just fantastic,” Vitatoe said. “I’m really proud of them, and it’s hard to pinpoint one of them without feeling like you left another out. I’m just really, really proud.”
Harper Carmical finished eighth with a time of 24:32.88, pacing the Lady Dragons to a second-place finish. Chloe Schwenke (25:26.59) placed 10th, while Abbigaile Jones was 18th with a time of 27:12.00. Other finishers for the Lady Dragons were Juliana Damaa (21st, 27:53.38), Ella Farley (22nd, 28:05.91), Ella Lisenbee (34th, 31:33.56) and Gwendolyn Toll (38th, 32:46.03).
Tanner Daniels led the Bears to a second-place finish, winning the boys varsity race with a time of 18:00.97. Jacob Schwenke finished second with a time of 19:05.93. Kaden Boggs (19:18.97) and Elijah Moore (19:56.59) placed seventh and eighth, respectively. Other finishers for the Bears were Evan Simpson (16th, 21:17.56.), DaShaun Smith (20th, 21:40.91), Caleb Schwenke (24th, 22:04.03), Jonavan Rigney (25th, 22:12.69), Ethan Simpson (26th, 22:20.81) and Kaylob Stevens (34th, 24:04.03).
“The boys also had a stellar evening. Each had a great race and we had some guys have breakout performances,” Vitatoe said. “I was really proud of DaShaun and Jonavan. I’ve been waiting for them to pop off big races and they did tonight.
“Tanner had a great race, picking up another win. All of our guys just ran really, really well.”
For the Dragons, Brayden Howard placed 30th with a time of 23:11.84. Connor Collins (24:50.12) finished 36th, immediately followed by Evan Bargo (24:57.78). Rounding out the results for Harlan were Gabriel Xavier Farley (40th, 25:16.56) and Sayed Damaa (49th, 27:50.66). The team finished sixth overall.
For Harlan County, Alice Gross was third with a time of 20:34.31 in the girls middle school race.
In the boys middle school race, Harlan County’s Jayden Sargent was eighth with a time of 14:32.15.
In the boys middle school race, Harlan’s Thomas Cooper (11:45.44) was second. Michael Lindsay (17:48.31) and Landon Traylor (22:02.88) finished 11th and 12th, respectively.
Hutton Sherman won the boys elementary race with a time of 9:21.88, leading Harlan County to a first-place finish. Trey Creech placed third with a time of 9:30.56. Robby Johnson (10:30.78) finished sixth, immediately followed by Jacob Brock (10:46.25). Other finishers were Jace Hensley (12th, 11:15.88), Landin Blackwelder (20th, 12:04.18), Tate Sherman (23rd, 12:14.96), Jonah Sargent (28th, 12:45.09), Levi Hensley (29th, 12:46.00), Connor Banks (30th, 12:46.56), Brycen Saylor (32nd, 13:01.47), Deacon Lisenbee (36th, 13:24.97), Ace Lankford (38th, 14:23.00), Zakk Collins (39th, 14:26.66), Sawyer Shackleford (40th, 14:27.02), Hunter Asher (43rd, 14:44.94), Hunter Evans (44th, 15:27.72), Noah Blackwelder (45th, 15:41.78), Colton Hensley (46th, 15:56.84), Jase Sargent (52nd, 16:45.28), Jordan Sargent (53rd, 17:23.38), Micah Lawson (55th, 18:00.56), Cian Garland (57th, 18:18.56), Brayden Perkins (59th, 18:49.75), Elijah Lundy (60th, 19:42.78) and Jonah Doyle (63rd, 21:36.25).
To lead the Dragons, Aiden Browning was fifth overall in the boys elementary race. Colt Sullivan placed eighth with a time of 10:48.78, immediately followed by Kash Bailey (10:55.22). Rounding out the results were Kelton Dean (11th, 11:08.00), Thomas Miller (14th, 11:18.31), Rhett Davis (15th, 11:21.75), Canaan Bolton (16th, 11:29.41), Ben Parsons (17th, 11:30.97), Mason Raleigh (18th, 11:33.50), Andrew Alred (21st, 12:11.18), Carter White (25th, 12:31.15), Jett Luttrell (26th, 12:31.87), Braxton Sizemore (27th, 12:38.69), Carson Yount (31st, 12:56.41), Tucker White (33rd, 13:02.97), Skylar Boggs (34th, 13:06.91), Justyce Young (37th, 14:18.59), Connor Thomas (41st, 14:27.77), Emmett Alred (42nd, 14:40.25), Perry Manrietta (47th, 15:58.78) and Ashwin Ganti (48th, 16:08.22). The team placed second overall.
Lillie Carver (10:11.03) won the girls elementary race, pacing Harlan to a first-place finish. She was immediately followed by Priscilla Stewart (10:26.62) and Zoe Lawson (10:38.41). Mckenzie Petrey (fifth) and Julianne Miller (sixth) finished with times of 11:05.88 and 11:21.47, respectively. Other finishers were Josephine Toll (16th, 12:57.47), Natalie Adams (23rd, 14:22.56), McKinley Taylor (25th, 14:45.18), Rebecca Adams (26th, 14:49.88), Lillianna Taylor (27th, 14:53.03), Ellianna Carver (31st, 15:05.31), Hannah Adams (36th, 15:18.78), Meredith Lawson (37th, 15:24.81), Ila Hendrickson (38th, 15:48.09), Zoey Phillips (39th, 15:55.81) and Vivian Smith (40th, 15:57.12).
Harlan County’s Kaylyn Lawson (12:20.47) was ninth in the girls elementary race. She was immediately followed by Krislyn Clem (12:26.15), Bella Burkhart (12:31.06), Payton Blackwelder (12:31.46) and Ella Brock (12:31.96). Other finishers were Isabella Burkhart (15th, 12:49.50), Nevaeh Perkins (18th, 13:36.09), Erin McReynolds (19th, 13:43.44), Charlotte Mitchell (20th, 13:44.21), Paisleigh Asher (21st, 14:09.56), Sadie Shackleford (22nd, 14:14.28), Landri Dagnan (24th, 14:27.56), Natalie Moore (29th, 14:59.18), Evva Hensley (35th, 15:14.18), Peyton Sherman (42nd, 16:09.94), Macie Lawson (44th, 18:20.84), Nevaeh Stone (45th, 18:42.94) and Madilyn Turner (46th, 19:02.81).
“I am really proud of my elementary teams,” Harlan County elementary coach Jennifer Brock said. “The boys are so impressive and they just keep getting stronger. Tonight, my girls really stepped it up. Everyone came to run!”
“We feel like our runners are starting to find their stride this season,” Harlan coach Anne Lindsey said. “Harlan County is a challenging course, but overall everyone performed well.”
Harlan will return to action Saturday at West Jessamine. Harlan County will return to action on Sep. 16 for the Wayne County Invitational

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