by Gary Stepp
The Alice Lloyd College Eagles Cross Country squad ventured to Berea, KY in the early morning hours this past Saturday to participate in a big conference meet. The race was held on the campus of Berea College.
The event was a challenge as the heavens opened up from the early morning hours and saturated the course with rain. Adding to the runners’ dilemma, at one point during the race the contestants had to traverse a swiftly moving, shin-deep-level creek.
On the women’s end, nine teams and 76 ladies started the race. For the Eagles, Allison Holbrook (Leslie Co.) was the first to cross the finish line with a time of 24:20. She was followed closely by the freshman duo of Harlan County natives Jennifer Graham and Kassie Rouse with times of 24:23 and 24:53, respectively. Rounding out the order were sophomores Brianna Osborne (Wise Christian) and Katelin Hilton (Lawrence Co.) Their final times were 28:28 and 31:20. The squad’s team score placed them in 8th place out of the 9 participating teams.
On the men’s side, 77 runners toed the starting line for the 8K race. When the dust had settled, freshman Donavan Johnson (Harlan Co.) led the Eagle runners with a time of 33:37. This was an improvement of almost three minutes from his last meet. He was followed by sophomores Clay Montgomery (North Laurel) and Tyler Turner (Harlan Co.) who completed the course in 34:18 and 39:36, respectively. Montgomery saw his time drop by just over one minute from his last race.
“I felt that this meet was a major challenge for our young squad,” commented Eagles coach Gary D. Stepp. “These kids showed a lot of fight in running a wet and muddy course against top-flight competition. Several of them took nasty falls and were scraped and bruised pretty badly. However, no one can question their heart or effort, and I’m pleased with their determination.”
Alice Lloyd will be off until October 18th when they will participate in the University of Pikeville Invitational.