"It wasn't bad considering how hot it was," she said. "The one part of the course with the most hills, on the back loop, was the worst. There wasn't any shade so you really felt the heat."
As the lead runner, it didn't help having an ATV running directly ahead of her.
"The gator in front of us didn't make it easy," Bunch said. "It (course) was so dusty and the gator was throwing up so much dust that I couldn't see. I don't know that that slowed me down, but it didn't help me run any faster."
The one thing, or rather person, that Bunch had hoped would help her boost her time in the race wasn't on hand for the meet. Danville's Kaitlin Snapp, the defending Class A cross country state champion and one of Bunch's biggest challengers, missed Saturday's run because she was playing soccer.
"I thought Kaitlin Snapp was supposed to be here," Bunch said. "I thought she'd be here because it was their home invitational. I was wanting to pace off her and stay as close to her as I could. But, when I got to the starting line, she wasn't there so I had to think of a completely new plan."
Lincoln swept the varsity competition at last week's Lincoln Relays, but there was no sweep Saturday, with Patriot runner Eric Sanders running second in the boys division.
West Jessamine's Jarred Brewster smoked the Admiral Stadium course, winning with a time of 17:48. Sanders, a junior, came across 40 seconds later, timed at 18:28.
Sanders showed no signs of disappointment following the race.
"I'm pretty satisfied with second place," he said. "The first-place guy was pretty far out there. I just thought I'd let him go and try and hold my spot."
Early in the race, it seemed that Sanders might not even be in the hunt for the top spot as a couple dozen runners ran ahead of him. However, Sanders said it was all strategy.
"I wanted to take it easy to see pretty much where everybody's at since this was a bigger meet and I haven't run with a lot of these guys for a while," he said. "I was being open-minded ."
Lincoln did walk away with two winners' trophies from the Plummer run, with fifth-grader Morgan Gourley outrunning all her competitors in the girls' elementary division. Gourley's time for the 1.1-mile race was 8:13.
Gourley's teammate, sixth-grader Tevin Newcomb, finished in the top 10, placing sixth in a time of 8:50.
Lincoln had a total of seven top 10 finishers in the E. G. Plummer Invitational. Emily Frith turned in a time of 21:57 to place her fourth out of 94 runners in the girls varsity run while Nolan Sanders and Jacob Gourley ran eighth and ninth, respectively, in the boys' middle school run. Sanders' time was 12:49 over the 3K race and Gourley's was 12:54.
Frith's and Bunch's combined placements along with the running of Shelby Meece, Kennedy Dupray and Alaina King helped Lincoln place sixth overall in the girls varsity division. Meece finished 77th in the race in 32:21, Dupray was 85th in 34:39 and King ran 86th in 34:41.
The Lincoln boys placed 10th out of 16 teams. Lincoln's Ricky Foley and Skyler Caudill helped raise Lincoln's finish with sprints to the finish line. Foley passed two runners on the uphill finish to place 69th out of 143 runners in 22:55 and Caudill did the same to run 102nd in 25:44.