Cross country runners are a tough lot by nature, and Kathryn Bayless just might be tougher than most.
The Boyle County senior has endured ailments over the last 18 months that would have sent many athletes to the sidelines. A bout with anemia, a battle with shin splints, then a rematch with anemia were enough to make a mess out of her last two cross country seasons. But they weren't enough to stop her.
Cross country isn't even Bayless favorite sport - she said track is first on her list - but she likes it enough to put up with the problems that have made the last two seasons a challenge.
"I just love running," she said. "I just love competing and the thought of winning."
She'll run one last time Saturday when the Boyle girls compete in the State Cross Country Championships at Lexington.
She finished seventh in Boyle's regional meet last weekend at Millennium Park, but she said she doesn't usually run as well on her home course as she does on the state meet course at the Kentucky Horse Park.