HC boys, Harlan girls are winners in elementary division of Bobcat Invitational


Harlan County’s Jaycee Simpson was first and Harlan’s Priscilla Stewart (center) was second in the Bobcat Invitational on Monday.

By Abby Sherman, Contributing Writer

The Harlan and Harlan County elementary cross country teams competed Monday evening at Bell County’s Bobcat Invitational.

The Harlan County boys and Harlan girls won their respective races, while Harlan boys and Harlan County girls placed third overall in their races.

Jaycee Simpson led the Lady Bears, finishing first overall and setting a new school record with a time of 9:06.49. Anna Gross (10:09.78) finished fourth, while Ella Brock finished 16th with a time of 11:33.98. Other finishers for the Lady Bears were Alice Gross (27th, 12:32.71), Isabella Burkhart (32nd, 12:46.05), Nevaeh Perkins (36th, 13:06.28), Madelyn Craig (37th, 13:10.68), Paisleigh Asher (38th, 13:15.89), Charlotte Mitchell (54th, 14:28.45), Peyton Sherman (55th, 14:32.89), Evva Hensley (56th, 14:39.19) and Nevaeh Stone (60th, 17:09.96).

“The girls ran really well also. Jaycee had another big win, and Anna is improving every meet. Really, all these girls are improving each week. We are really proud of them,” Harlan County coach Ryan Vitatoe said.

Harlan’s Priscilla Stewart finished second overall with a time of 9:47.11. She was followed immediately by Cora Jones with a time of 10:00.51. Lillian Daniels (10:19.59) finished sixth. Other finishers for Harlan were Addison Sanford (10th, 10:44.06), Mckenzie Petrey (15th, 11:23.21), Lillie Carver (19th, 11:42.98), Shaedyn Crow (25th, 12:17.43), Rebecca Adams (29th, 12:36.16), Julianne Miller (41st, 13:25.36), Arianna Raleigh (42nd, 13:26.31), Natalie Adams (45th, 13:45.49), Sophia Damaa (48th, 14:11.74), Meredith Lawson (49th, 14:13.20), Alexis Middleton (50th, 14:13.45), Hannah Adams (51st, 14:20.52), Tori Wattenberger (59th, 16:26.08), Chasity Middleton (62nd, 17:23.83) and Arwen Lemaster (63rd, 19:31.47).

“Our elementary teams performed well on Bell County’s tough course. We had four girls place in the top ten. Priscilla Stewart and Cora Jones continued to lead our pack, followed by strong performances by Lillian Daniels and Addison Sanford,” Harlan coach Anne Lindsey said.

Nathan Barger led the Bears, finishing sixth with a time of 8:56.28. Hutton Sherman (9:17.45) and Jacob Brock (9:27.28) finished eighth and 10th, respectively. Rounding out the results for Harlan County were Eli Barger (14th, 9:46.88), Ryland Burke (17th, 10:00.15), Robby Johnson (25th, 10:21.04), Jayden Sargent (26th, 10:27.39), Zakk Collins (33rd, 10:49.18), Levi Hensley (39th, 11:08.41), Jonah Sargent (41st, 11:16.29), Sawyer Shackleford (51st, 11:49.08), Brycen Saylor (52nd, 11:59.39), Jase Sargent (56th, 12:36.48), Hunter Asher (57th, 12:37.35), Deacon Lisenbee (58th, 12:37.83), Hunter Evans (63rd, 12:53.99), Jordan Sargent (84th, 15:02.61), Reid Daniels (86th, 15:47.89) and Brayden Perkins (87th, 15:48.87).

“So proud of our elementary teams. For the boys to come in and get a win in this size of field is impressive.” Vitatoe said. “Our guys are really balanced and they pack up well. It was a total team effort and I’m really proud of them.”

Thomas Cooper led Harlan, finishing second with a time of 8:28.29. Aiden Browning (9:45.81) placed 13th, and Colt Sullivan finished 19th with a time of 10:08.40. Rounding out the results for Harlan were Micah Shope (21st, 10:12.69), Thomas Miller (30th, 10:35.17), Kash Bailey (32nd, 10:41.29), Braxton Sizemore (35th, 10:55.07), Ben Parsons (37th, 10:59.55), Connor Niday (38th, 11:02.85), Canaan Bolton (40th, 11:10.38), Mason Raleigh (42nd, 11:17.78), Connor Thomas (48th, 11:39.02), Kelton Dean (49th, 11:40.28), Justyce Young (54th, 12:26.52), Andrew Alred (59th, 12:38.62), Toby Hensley (62nd, 12:51.64), Jett Luttrell (66th, 12:59.64) and Nolan Niday (94th, 17:16.03).

“Our boys team also ran well. Thomas Cooper ran a great race to place second.” Lindsey said. “Aiden Browning, Colt Sullivan, and Micah Shope also ran well last night.” Lindsey said. “Both teams are consistently running well. We are excited to be back at HC on Saturday for Area 9. Our elementary season is winding down, so we hope to finish strong.”

Harlan County and Harlan will compete in the Black Bear Invitational/Area 9 championship Saturday at HC.