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Over 300 runners from 40 teams competed in each race making last weekend’s Kentucky State Middle and Elementary State Cross Country Championships worth seeing.
The Runnin’ Raiders held their own as they competed in the 6th Grade and Under State Girls and Boys Championship, Middle School Boys State race, and Middle School Open Girls State race.
Erin Gonterman’s future as a runner came to life Saturday when she crossed the finish line first in the Middle School Open State race. Gonterman’s time of 16:51 edged out North Oldham’s Kelsey Hall (17:08) to win the race.
In the same race, Olivia Cooley also proved Trimble County’s future looks bright as she crossed the finish line in 18th place. Cooley’s time was 18:38. Both Gonterman and Cooley received medals for their outstanding performances.
In the Middle School Boys State Championship race, which included 380 runners, Christian Apel, Connor Ball, Tray Robbins and Cory Bailey finished their season on a positive note and ensured Trimble County several more years of success.
Christian Apel placed 124th in 15:52, Connor Ball finished 144th in 16:05, Tray Robbins placed 193rd in 16:34 and Cory Bailey finished 252nd in 17:14.
In the 6th Grade and Under Girls State Meet, the Lady Raiders placed 31st. There were 350 girls in the contest. The young Lady Raider team consisted of all 5th graders.
Morgan Chappell was Trimble’s first finisher, coming in 75th in 13:47. Kirsten Baird finished 95th in 14:06 and Amber Bowyer placed 178th in 15:26.
Katie Gonterman finished 197th in 15:36, Naidelyn Cabada placed 238th in 16:52 and Bonnie Wilson finished 256th in 18:03.
In the 6th Grade and Under Girls Open State race, Kayla Bailey finished 114th in 20:02 and Megan West placed 116th in 20:22.
In the 6th Grade and Under Boys State Meet, the Raiders placed 42nd. They were led by 6th grader, Dustin Wise, who finished 148th out of 388 runners, with a time of 13:28. Jonathon Papai finished 220th in 14:20 and Brennen Kunkel placed 241st in 14:47.
Tanner Draque finished 261st in 15:44, Dale Davis placed 261st in 15:49, Robert Harris placed 344th in 15:53 and David Arteaga finished 277th in 17:36.
Following the races, coach Jeff Vincent said, “I thought all of our runners came ready to compete today. Some of them have improved their time by over eight minutes from the beginning of the year. We have watched kids get healthy, improve their running, self discipline and attitudes over the course of the season and that is what it’s all about at this level. Coaches Christy McKinney and Holly Heath did an excellent job this season making the practices challenging and fun. The kids love both of them and it shows by our progress and improvements. What a fun year!”
The Elementary and Middle School team attend an end of the season banquet at 6:30 p.m. today, Wednesday, Nov. 5 in the Bedford Elementary School cafeteria.