The starter’s gun on Lincoln County’s cross country season officially sounded Saturday in Louisville at St. Xavier’s 2012 Tiger Run.
Elite cross country runners from Kentucky and neighboring states tested their mettle in the large meet, with 624 of the region’s best varsity athletes taking on the course at Louisville Champions Park.
Lincoln did not have a team on course in either the boys or the girls varsity run, but the Lady Patriots and Patriots were represented in the races, with Alex Bunch and Brian Carlson both lacing up their running shoes for the opener.
Bunch, a senior on the Lady Patriot team, more than held her own in a field of 281 runners, placing 18th overall in the girls 5000 meter varsity run in a time of 20:22.46.
Sydney Leiher of Beavercreek (Ohio) beat out defending Class 3A state cross country champion Cassidy Hale of duPont Manual to win the girls varsity. Leiher finished in 18:29.77 and Hale crossed in 18:45.64. Nicole Gardner of Siegel (Tenn.) was third in 18:47.68, Maggie Allen of Sacred Heart Academy was fourth in 19:08.89 and Maddox Patterson of Sayre was fifth in 19:28.09.