Cougar runners heading to state meet

By OJ Stapleton - [email protected]

Photo by Chris Cousineau The Logan County Cougars pose with the runner up trophy from the Class 3A, Region 2 meet on Saturday.

The Logan County High School boys’ cross country team punched its ticket to the state championship over the weekend by finishing second in the Class 3A, Region 2 meet at Phil Moore Park in Bowling Green.

The Cougars finished the meet with 59 points, just eight points back of region champ Central Hardin and well clear of third place Bowling Green. South Warren finished fourth and will also make it to the state meet.

“The boys varsity executed our strategy that we had for the race,” said LCHS coach Joe Dan Laster. “We had three in the top 15 and our top five in the top 20. I couldn’t have asked any more from this group of young men. Everyone did their job. And that was the message going in. We were hoping to come out as champions but Central Hardin had an excellent race and were able to get three in the top eight. But these boys were running for their teammates and the race was an awesome event to watch.”

Sophomore John Hendricks led Logan County with a fourth place finish in 17:14. Josiah Harp, a junior from Central Hardin, won the race with time of 16:44.

LCHS senior Thomas Lyne also finished in the top 10, coming in sixth with a time of 17:19.

Other Cougar runners included Gage Cousineau (12th 17:48), Tanner Morrow (18th, 18:04), Conner Dill (19th, 18:16), Dean Heltsley (29th, 18:43) and Damanuel Barbee (39th, 19:10).

“I can’t accurately describe how proud I am of this group of young men,” Laster said. “They placed second and still came home with a trophy! This is the first time that when Logan County has been classified as a 3A (the largest class in cross country) cross country school that we have; one brought home a regional trophy and two qualified a whole team for the state meet. These boys have left their mark on the history books and left a legacy of greatness for the years to come. Next year we will have some big shoes to fill. Thomas Lyne, Damanuel Barbee, Devin Roche, Dean Heltsley, Woody Stamps, and John Higgins will all be graduating this year. Some of them have been running for six years and others this was their first year. They have set the bar very high for the years to come.”

The Logan County girls team finished eighth after two of the Lady Cougars had to miss the race. South Warren won the meet and Bowling Green will also go to state as a team after finishing second. Greenwood and Central Hardin rounded out the top four.

“The girls day unfortunately did not go as we hoped,” Laster said. “Two of our top five had to drop out due to injury. The girls were running in the hottest race at that point in the day. But I know these girls. They won’t hang their heads on this for long.”

Junior Meredith Johnson led the Lady Cougars with a 21st place finish in 22:15. Eliza Hagens, an eighth grader, finished second on the team with a 24th place finish and a time of 22:43.

Other Lady Cougar runners included Alyssa Garret (35th, 23:55), Haleigh Duncan (52nd, 27:00) and Kela Heltsley (54th, 29:34).

“We have a very talented group of middle school girls that will be joining us next year. I’m very anxious to see how these girls will perform next year as a team,” Laster said. “I’m very proud of the season these girls had. The girls 3K and 5K records were broken. Alyssa Garret, an eighth grader from Lewisburg, who was running in her first race ever broke the girls 3K record by several seconds. Meredith Johnson, junior at LCHS, has been working her tail off to break to the school’s 5K record. She did so with flying colors by breaking the old record by 20 seconds. These girls have a lot to look forward to in the coming season and I’m excited to see how far they will go!”

The Cougars will be running in the state meet this Saturday at the Lexington Horse Park.

Photo by Chris Cousineau The Logan County Cougars pose with the runner up trophy from the Class 3A, Region 2 meet on Saturday. by Chris Cousineau The Logan County Cougars pose with the runner up trophy from the Class 3A, Region 2 meet on Saturday.

By OJ Stapleton

[email protected]

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