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WINCHESTER – Jacob Brumley made the best of his last shot.
Make that his only shot at qualifying for the state cross country meet.
The Anderson County High School senior, running cross country for the first time this year, turned in a solid performance of 18:38.83 at the Class 3A, Region 6 meet at Lykins Park in Winchester.
Brumley's effort placed him 21st, but most importantly, he was third among the individual qualifiers with room to spare. With 10 teams running at the region, the top five squads along with the top five individuals not on those teams all get to run at Saturday's state championship meet, to be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
The Class 3A boys' race is set to commence at 1:30 p.m.
“Jacob has just worked very hard this year,” Anderson coach Scott Ellis said. “He has worked hard every day to get his time down.”
Brumley was in the second group of runners for most of the race and finished 1:45 behind the winner, Ben Young of Tates Creek.
At the halfway point, Brumley was bunched in a group of about 10 runners about 200 yards behind Young. Through the second lap of the race, the group stayed close and did not spread out until the final half-mile.
While Brumley has run track, this is his first year in tackling the hills nuances of the different terrain that is involved in cross country. His one shot at the big show was successful.
The rest of the Anderson team ran well, according to Ellis, but was unable to crack the top. Lafayette won the boys' team championship, followed by Tates Creek, Dunbar, Henry Clay and George Rogers Clark as state qualifiers.
“Our times were consistent with what we have been doing all year,” said Ellis, who noted that Saturday was the first time his runners had been on what is considered a moderately difficult course that serves as home to George Rogers Clark's team.
Cody Dillow was the next Anderson finisher at 20:57.59 while Blake Borwig edged teammate Casey Moninger at the line.
“This year has been the first year that we have had five to seven runners who are all close together,” Ellis said.
On the girls' side, no Anderson runner qualified. Mikayla Marshall led Anderson with a 23:48.84, good enough for 32nd place. She was three places off a qualifying place.
Woodford County took the girls' team title followed by Tates Creek, Henry Clay, Lafayette and Dunbar.
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