The 2012 edition of the Commonwealth Journal All-County cross country team looks more like a Pulaski County all-star team, as seven of the nine runners on this year’s squad come from the Maroons and the Lady Maroons.
Along with seven runners from Pulaski County, a pair of runners from Southwestern join this year’s squad All-County team.
Mason Blevins, a junior from Pulaski County, has his name at the top of the list, as he is the Runner of the Year for the first time in his running career. This is Blevins’ second selection to the team, however, as he was named to the 2011 squad as a sophomore.
At the KHSAA State Cross Country Meet, Blevins was the top local runner in the Class AAA boys race, as he rounded the top 50. A week earlier, the junior upset Lincoln County’s Brian Carlson to come away with the Class AAA Region 7 individual title with a first-place finish at North Laurel.
Blevins came away with two victories at the local meets, as he won both the Southern Harrier Classic and the Pulaski County Invitational. At the Williamstown Invitational, Blevins finished third in the race with a clocking of 16:40.
Joining Blevins from the Maroons are fellow juniors Austin Hyden and Morgan Stevens.
Austin Hyden came home in the 12th position at the Regional Meet with a clocking of 17:50. At the Pulaski County Invitational, Hyden ran a 17:26, allowing him to grab the runner-up spot.
Hyden, who joins the All-County team for the first time in his career, finished third in the Southern Harrier Classic at GE Field. The junior finished seventh in the Williamstown Invitational in a time of 17:00.
Another Maroon, Morgan Stevens, makes the All-County squad for the second year in a row. Stevens, at the Regional Meet, ran the 3.1-mile race in a time of 17:48, which was good enough for a 13th place finish.
Stevens ran a time of 16:58 at the Williamstown Invitational. The Pulaski County junior grabbed the second spot at the Southern Harrier Classic, while rounding out the top five in the Pulaski County Invitational.
Cory Owens, a senior at Southwestern, joins the team for the first time in his cross country career. Owens was the Warriors’ top runner all-season long, earning him a spot on the All-County team.
Owens finished fifth at the Regional Meet, while sporting a time of 17:34. The Warrior senior ran a 17:59 on two occasions, with one being at the State Meet and the other at the Berea Invitational.
On the girls side, four Lady Maroons and one Southwestern Lady Warrior make the team. Alyssa Hyden, Sydney New, Paige Ingram, and Peyton Ingram join the squad from Pulaski County, while Lady Warrior Ashley Phelps is on the team for the first time in her young career.
Alyssa Hyden, only an eighth-grader, is on the squad for the second year in a row. Hyden was the 2012 Regional champion, as she dethroned Lincoln County’s Alex Bunch by well over a minute. The eighth-grader’s winning time was 19:53.
Hyden swept the races at GE Field this season, as she won both the Southern Harrier Classic and the Pulaski County Invitational. Hyden also picked up a win at the GRC Coaches Classic.
Lady Maroon freshman Sydney New, who was named to the team for the inaugural time, was the top local finisher in the Class AAA girls race. In the season’s biggest race, the freshman finished 95th with a clocking of 22:07.
At the Regional Meet, New crossed the line in the sixth position in a time of 21:54. At the GRC Coaches Classic, the Pulaski County freshman ran a time of 21:50. In the local races, New ran times of 22:06 and 22:07.
For the fourth time in five seasons, Paige Ingram is on the All-County squad. Ingram, a senior at Pulaski County, finished 11th at Region in a time of 22:10. The Lady Maroon senior came home with a seventh place finish at the GRC Coaches Classic in a time of 21:55.
Ingram rounded out the top five in the Pulaski County Invitational, finishing with a clocking of 21:53. At the Southern Harrier Classic, Ingram finished 13th.
Lady Maroon freshman Peyton Ingram joins her older sister on the squad, as this is her second consecutive selection to the All-County team. Ingram’s best time of the year came at the KTCCCA Meet of Champions, where she ran 3.1 miles in 21:50.
Ingram finished seventh at Region with a time of 21:55. The Pulaski freshman ran a 22:17 at the GRC Coaches Classic, and came home with a pair of top-15 finishes in the two races at GE Field in 2012.
Southwestern went down with two big injuries to Katie Goff and Tiffany Russell this year, which meant someone had to step up and fill their positions. That’s exactly what Ashley Phelps did for the Lady Warriors this season, earning her a spot on the All-County team.
Phelps’ last two races of the year were almost identical in time, as she ran a 22:17 at the State Meet and a 22:16 in the Regional Meet. At the Pulaski County Invitational, the Lady Warrior freshman crossed the finish line in the fourth position with a time of 21:53.