On Saturday, the Augusta cross country team competed in the Region 5 A Cross Country Championship. The meet was held at Mason County, only the second time in the last ten years the Region 5 A championship has been assigned to Maysville.
The girls varsity race with 70 runners kicked off first. 8th grader Braylie Curtis got out in the top 15 to start the race. By the midpoint in the race, she had moved into the 12 spot. She ended up with yet another top 10 finish this year, finishing 9th, just missing medaling by one place. She ran 21:26, matching her previously set personal record.
“Braylie ran a strong race and improved her performance from last year’s regional meet,” Coach Tim Litteral said. “She improved by 9 spots and was nearly a minute faster. Next, we’re looking for her to improve upon her state performance from last season. She’s already ran on the state course this year, and that should be beneficial to her.”
Last year, Curtis ran 24:18 and placed 125th at the state meet at the Kentucky Horse Park.
In the boys race that featured 73 runners, the Panthers were expecting a top 3 team finish. Bryant Curtis was the top performer for the boys, running a personal best 18:19 and placing 8th, snagging the last medal. Next in was Conner Snapp running a course-best 18:33 and placing 11th. Matt Jones and Mikes Jones finished 13th and 14th, setting personal records of 18:39 and 18:40. Grayson Miller finished 22nd and ran a PR of 19:23. Eli Cline finished over three minutes faster than his prior personal best, running 22:53.
The boys team finished in first place, claiming the program’s first-ever Region Championship and is the school’s first known KHSAA regional title in at least 90 years. In cross country, the team with the lowest score wins. Team Scores: Augusta – 61, Trimble County – 83, Danville – 87, Frankfort – 100, Sayre – 116, Model – 131, Bracken County – 149, Owen County – 152, Burgin – 176.
“We didn’t have that stand-out runner in the top 5, but we had a solid pack of four runners within a 20 second span that all finished in the top 13, and that will normally give you a shot for a good finish,” Coach Litteral said. “We had a lot guys set personal records today and really put it all out there and it paid off for them.”
The team returns to the state meet for just the second time in program history. Their last appearance was in 2017 when they finished 33rd out of 34 teams.
“We didn’t run real well at the state meet in 2017, and I think there were some feelings that just being there as a team for the first time was enough,” Litteral continued. “I think with this group, there’s not contentment with just qualifying. The guys want to prove that our program has taken a step forward and we’re more deserving of running on the big stage.”
The KHSAA Class A State Cross Country Championship is Saturday at Bourbon County Park in Paris. The boys varsity race is set for 10:30 AM, with the girls race following. Tickets must be purchased online through the KHSAA.