HC sweeps varsity races at home meet


Jon Dickenson

Harlan County and Harlan runners left the starting line Tuesday in a meet at Harlan County High School. HCHS sophomore Peyton Lunsford (right) was the winner.

By Abby Sherman, Contributing Writer

Harlan County’s home course-and Harlan’s de facto home course-proved to be very welcoming for both teams in cross country action Tuesday.
Harlan County and Harlan combined to win five of the six races in Harlan County’s second all comers meet of the season.
Peyton Lunsford (22:09.03) won the varsity girls race, leading the Lady Bears to their overall win. Sophie Day and Kendall Brock placed sixth and seventh with times of 25:47.28 and 26:03.09, respectively. Rounding out the results were Kylie Jones (ninth, 26:22.91), Addi Gray (10th, 26:26.00), Olivia Kelly (14th, 26:53.96), Taylor Clem (17th, 31:31.72), Lainey Garrett (18th, 31:42.59) and Mary Gross (19th, 33.41.12).
“We’re still down several high school girls, but tonight was a good effort by our girls.” Harlan County coach Ryan Vitatoe said. “Williamsburg has a good team, so to get that win while missing our two and four girl shows a great effort.”
Harlan County varsity boys also won their race. They were led by Andrew Yeary, who placed first with a time of 18:11.03. He was followed immediately by Tanner Daniels (18:21.91), Kaden Boggs (19.19.78) and Jacob Schwenke (19:40.28). Other finishers for Harlan County were Austin Crain (eighth, 20:42.22), Caleb Schwenke (12th, 21:52.53), DaShaun Smith (14th, 22:42.00), Hunter Smith (16th, 22:42.00) and Jonavan Rigney (22nd, 26:40.00).
“The boys looked great. Andrew had a nice win, and Tanner is adjusting great to high school races.” Vitatoe said. “Kaden and Jacob were lights out tonight. Those two keep getting better every meet. Austin and Caleb also ran well. I’m anxious to see what both of these teams do when we get back to full strength.”
Chloe Schwenke led Harlan, placing fifth with a time of 25:18.06. Mia Pace (11th) finished with a time of 26:31.53, while Abbigail Jones placed 15th with a time of 27:10.28.
Dylan Cox (seventh) led Harlan to their third place finish with a time of 19:55.40. Brayden Howard placed 13th with a time of 22:22.84, while Evan Bargo (19th) finished with a time of 24:53.03. Rounding out the results were Sayed Damaa (20th, 25:09.22), Connor Collins (26th, 31:08.50) and Seth Coogle (27th, 31:33.53).
“Our high school girls and boys ran this tough varsity course well last night. They fought and improved their times from the previous race at HC,” Harlan coach Anne Lindsey said.
Harlan County boys elementary won their division. Hunter Fuson placed first overall with a time of 9:08.38. Nathan Barger and Trey Creech finished third and fourth with times of 9:37.57 and 10:09.72, respectively. Rounding out the results were Hutton Sherman (fifth, 10:25.12), Jacob Brock (sixth, 10:44.22), Eli Barger (eighth,10:52.37) Ryland Burke (13th, 11:48.78), Levi Hensley (14th, 11:56.18), Robby Johnson (16th, 12:08.47), Jonah Sargent (18th, 12:17.50), Brycen Saylor (20th, 12:54.41), Jayden Sargent (21st, 13:09.38), Carter Daniels (23rd, 13:16.34), Carson Sanders (24th, 13:17.75), Sawyer Shackleford (29th, 13:36.18), Zakk Collins (34th, 13:55.28), Hunter Evans (37th, 14:36.34), Jase Sargent (38th, 14:47.38), Hunter Asher (41st, 15:34.18), Deacon Lisenbee (42nd, 15:55.97), Jordan Sargent (43rd, 16:00.12), Brayden Perkins (45th, 18:18.44) and Reid Daniels (46th, 19:48.00).
Harlan County’s Jaycee Simpson (10:06.66) won the girls elementary race, setting a new school record and leading the girls to a second place win overall. Anna Gross (fifth) finished with a time of 11:54.75, while Ella Brock finished eighth with a time of 12:50.15. Other finishers were Isabella Burkhart (14th, 14:05.75), Paisleigh Asher (15th, 14:35.50), Charlotte Mitchell (16th, 14:43.12), Alice Gross (17th, 14:48.62), Madelyn Craig (25th, 16:22.00), Nevaeh Perkins (26th, 16:22.40), Evva Hensley (27th, 16:23.23), Peyton Sherman (28th, 16:26.34), Savannah Fuson (30th, 16:47.43) and Nevaeh Stone (35th, 19:49.09.
“I’m proud of all of our kids. The elementary groups keep improving and they’re learning more about the sport.” Vitatoe said. “Jaycee and Hunter had great races, but all of our kids did great and that’s a reflection of our elementary coaches.”
Priscilla Stewart led the Harlan elementary girls to their victory, finishing second with a time of 10:31.88. Cora Jones (11:11.22) and Mckenzie Petrey (11:32.18) finished third and fourth, respectively. Rounding out the results for Harlan were Lillian Daniels (sixth, 12:01.91), Shaedyn Crow (seventh, 12:27.15), Addison Sanford (ninth, 12:56.53), Lillie Carver (10th,13:06.50), Megan Lewis (12th, 13:26.72), Julianne Miller (13th, 13:32.28), Rebecca Adams (18th, 15:11.84), Arianna Raleigh (19th, 15:23.66), Sophia Damaa (21st, 15:40.62), Natalie Adams (22nd, 15:42.28), Hannah Adams (23rd, 15:56.91), Meredith Lawson (31st, 17:26.22), Bella Lemar (32nd, 17:28.96), Everly Freyer (33rd, 17:29.65) and Arwen Lemaster (36th, 20:48.00).
“Our elementary girls team continues to lay down solid times.” Lindsey said. “Even with one our top runners, Zoe Lawson, out with an injury, our girls stepped up last night. I’m proud of them.”
Harlan placed second overall in the boys race. The Dragons were led by Cooper Thomas (9:16.25), who placed second. Braxton Sizemore finished seventh with a time of 10:49.34, while Colt Sullivan (ninth) finished with a time of 11:18.31. Other finishers for Harlan were Micah Shope (10th, 11:23.59), Aiden Browning (11th, 11:31.18), Thomas Miller (12th, 11:33.90), Mason Raleigh (15th, 12:00.12), Kash Bailey (17th, 12:09.87), Connor Niday (19th, 12:22.18), Canaan Bolton (25th, 13:19.06), Kelton Dean (26th, 13:21.34), Ben Parsons (27th, 13:21.99), Jayceon Young (28th, 13:32.34), Andrew Alred (30th, 13:37.00), Saylor Crow (31st, 13:45.09), Jett Luttrell (32nd, 13:48.68), Justyce Young (33rd, 13:54.50), Toby Hensley (36th, 14:03.90), Finn Lemar (47th, 20:07.62) and Nolan Niday (48th, 22:38.00).
“Our elementary boys are improving each race. We have a lot of strong, young runners coming up.” Lindsey said. “I’m excited to watch these boys develop into individual runners and a cohesive team.”
Drew Sergent (11:08.59) finished first, leading the Harlan County middle school boys to their overall win. Luther Gross finished second with a time of 11:23.88. Riley Fuson (12:14.91) finished fourth. Other finishers were Xavier Farley (seventh, 14:21.31) and Kaylob Stevens (eighth, 14:34.94).
Gracie Roberts (13:16.28) led the Harlan County middle school girls, finishing second overall and breaking her own school record. Keira Roberts finished fifth with a time of 14:07.44, while Autumn Farley finished sixth with a time of 14:35.28.
“Our middle school kids ran great. Drew picked up a big win, and all of our guys are rapidly improving. Our girls keep getting better every race,” Vitatoe said.
Harper Carmical led Harlan, finishing first overall with a time of 12:29.69. Juliana Damaa placed 10th with a time of 15:35.84, while Brooklyn Evans (21:58.97) finished 18th.
Harlan’s Michael Lindsey finished 12th with a time of 16:05.96. Landon Traylor placed 16th with a time of 20:50.97.
“Our middle school runners all improved greatly this race.” Lindsey said. “They continue to work hard to fine tune their ability. I’m proud of them.”
Harlan will return to action Saturday at Berea. Harlan County will travel to Bell County on Tuesday for the Bobcat Invitational.

Harlan’s Harper Carmical was a winner in the middle school race Tuesday at Harlan County High School. (Jon Dickenson)