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LEXINGTON – Austin Dillow knew that running in the state cross country meet was going to be different but little did he know how much of a change he was in for Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Fighting temperatures that plummeted into the 30s, a stinging rain and a slippery course, Dillow turned in a respectable 18:37.13 over the 5K course.
“I have never run in weather like this,” said Dillow, an Anderson County High School freshman who was competing at the state for the first time.
Dillow placed 133rd out of 229 runners in the Class 3A, or largest school class. Greenwood’s Ryan Eaton captured the state championship with a 15:55.70.
The slippery conditions prompted several scary moments throughout the race. “Someone slid right in front of me,” Dillow said of an incident at about the one-mile mark.
The slippery conditions were compounded by muddy conditions created by the pounding of four previous races on the day.
Shivering just moments after his run, Dillow acknowledged a desire to return to the state in 2009.
“Just getting to the state should be a confidence builder,” Ellis said.
Anderson assistant coach has tie to champ
Anderson County assistant coach Jared Graves had a rooting interest both in Dillow from his team and Greenwood’s Eaton.
Graves is leaving his coaching position as he has accepted the position as youth minister at Bowling Green Christian Church. “The kid who won it (Eaton) will be in my youth group,” Graves said.
E-mail John Herndon at email@example.com.