George Rogers Clark senior Alex White concluded his cross country career in impressive fashion Saturday in the KHSAA state championships Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park.
White led the boys team in the 5k course with a time of 16:51.20 and a 10th-place finish. It was highest state finish ever for a Clark boys runner in the 37-year history of the program. White also captured the Class 3A male Sportsmanship Award.
“I was surprised and I am really grateful,” White said after making a school-record fourth straight appearance in the state event. "That award means a lot to me.”
Clark coach Dodd Dixon said White deserved the honor.
“There are thousands of cross country runners in Kentucky,” Clark coach Dodd Dixon said. “To have Alex named over all of these runners is a huge honor for Alex, the school and our community."
“I was impressed with the sportsmanship award,” Clark assistant coach Tee Harrington added. “Alex has developed as a team leader. He did not let his achievements overshadow the team.”
The boys team made its second straight appearance in the meet and finished 25th overall. In final team standings, St. Xavier was first, while defending Champion Trinity placed second.
Grayson Brookshire (18:28.13) was the boys second finisher, followed by Ben Petrey (19:12.89) and Brandon Bailey with a 19:34.17. Bailey was making his third state appearance.
"I am glad that the team went (to state) instead of just me,” said Bailey, who qualified as an individual three years ago.
Clark’s fifth runner was senior Clay Dixon with a 19:36.37.
“It was a good race,” he said. “I spent most of the year in the seven spot and the last few races I moved up to the six spot. I am happy to finish in the five spot at the state meet.”
Rounding out Clark’s roster were James Banks (19:56.64) and Cody Cox (20.02.62). Alan Barnett was an alternate.
“I believe that this group of kids are solid and we should continue to be a successful program into the future,” Dixon said.
In the girls race, Tiffany Toler concluded her high school carreer as she started it — as the team’s top runner. Toler ran the 5k distance in 20:50.25. Toler’s effort qualified for her fourth straight KTCCCA Cross Country Academic all-state Award. Toler is the only Lady Cardinal runner to earn the honor.
Lydia Gapp covered the distance in 22:36.84. Alyssa Gaunce was the team’s third runner, completing the course in 23:23.41.
Senior Lindy Darnell was the team’s fourth runner with a 24:15.79. Genna Petrey was the fifth runner, followed by teammates Destiny Hembree and Callie Miller.
For Toler, Darnell, Petrey and Miller this was their fourth straight State Meet appearance. Miller said the race was “harder” compared to previous appearances.
“The competition was more intense (this year),” Miller said.
In final team standings, Assumption won the event, followed by Sacred Hart. Clark finished 28th.
Most of the runners will compete on the indoor and outdoor track and field teams.
"We will enjoy a little break before we start training again in December,” Dixon said.