"At the first mile he took off on me," Morgan said. "But I got second, and I'm happy."
Morgan still figures to be in the hunt for the Class AA boys state championship next weekend in Lexington.
"I'll have a lot more competition, so it'll be interesting," he said. "There's going to be seven or eight of us going for that first place."
"I was sorry that Patrick wasn't able to win his last regional," Sharp said. "But I think he's got a shot at the top five next week, and I think he's got a shot to win."
Morgan's brother, Sam, was fifth for Boyle, and Mason Glass was eighth.
Piper leads girls
The Boyle girls were led by senior Abby Piper, who bounced back from an injury to finish fourth with a time of 23:01.
Piper was sidelined for about three weeks last month by a tendon injury, and she had to drop out of a race last week to make sure she was ready for the regional.
"I felt winded, but this was a good way to finish off my senior year, and I'm really looking forward to state," she said.
"She was a little out of shape, and all you can do this time of year is maintain," Sharp said. "Fourth was good for her."
Piper said she was pleased with the team's performance as well.
"Every one of our girls did a fantastic job," she said. "We couldn't have done any better."
Kelly Jameson finished seventh for the Boyle girls, and Kelsey Barbato was 12th.
The field had gained on Boyle's teams since last year, when its boys beat Catholic by 10 points and its girls were within one point of Rockcastle.
This time, Catholic's boys bested Boyle by 17 points, and the Rockcastle girls won by 43.
Rockcastle runners took the top three spots in the girls race, and five of them were among the first eight across the finish line.
Catholic's boys had only two runners in the top eight but had four more in places 9-13.
"Catholic did a good job this year of bunching up one through seven," Sharp said. "In a small race like a regional, there's nothing you can do with that."
Casey, Mercer runners qualify
Boyle was the only one of the three local Class AA teams to earn a team qualifying berth at next weekend's state meet, although a total of eight runners from Casey and Mercer counties qualified individually.
One of the top individual qualifiers was Casey eighth-grader Jenna Lee, who stayed close to Piper throughout the girls race to finish fifth with a personal-best time of 23:07.
"I was just trying really hard and trying to keep up with the person in front of me," Lee said.
Casey also qualified another eighth-grader, Rae Cowan.
Mercer girls coach Leslie Smith had hoped for a team qualifying berth for her team but got the next best thing when four individuals earned state spots, led by freshman Loran Crowell and eighth-grader Amber Tyler.
"I'm really pleased with what they did," Smith said. "And three of the four are middle-schoolers."
On the boys side, Casey seventh-grader Nolan Weddle and Mercer freshman Jim Mangum qualified by finishing 14th and 20th, respectively.