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D’Anthony Collins was the lone Carroll County cross-country runner to qualify for the state championship meet, set for Saturday at Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park.
Collins turned in a blistering time of 18:15 for the 3.1-mile race that saw him cross the finish line 10th ahead of 41 other runners on Nov. 8 during the Class A Region 5 meet at Admiral Stadium in Danville.
“His time of 18:15 in the race has him ranked in the top 50 in the entire state, and only seconds from the top 25,” Coach Jay Jones said. “He has been running in the low- to mid-18s for the last several meets, and I look for him to run in the 17:40-50 range next weekend in the state championship.”
Cross-country is an individual sport as well as a team sport. An individual can do well, even if the team doesn’t. And it’s a lonely sport, because the bulk of the practice must happen at times other than the daily team workouts.
Because of this, keeping the motivation level up during long isolated runs is difficult, but Collins seems to be handling everything quite well.
Collins, a junior, also is a member of the Panther football team, which also plays Saturday in the Class AA tournament in Covington. Naturally, both coaches want Collins to participate in both events, so they are working out how to get him from one event to the other.
Jones said that kind of pressure shouldn’t be an issue for Collins, who has run in evening meets following hours of football practice and morning meets after Friday night football games.
“Collins has a real chance of running in the 17s and, with training, in the 16s next year,” Jones continued. “He should be in the top five in the state in the 400 and 800 this year in track, and on top of that he is a good kid.”