LEXINGTON -- Four schools brought runners to Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington Saturday to attempt to win a KHSAA State Cross Country Championship.
All three classes featured a top finisher with all coming on the boys' side.
The University Heights Academy Blazers entered after finishing second at the First Region race. After taking home first in the region race, Tomas Duncan followed that up with a fourth-place finish in Lexington.
"I knew that I was going to have to go up front and stick with those guys," Duncan said. "When I was up there, I was like, 'Well, I'll try to stick up here as long as I can, try to create some spacing, then try to run away from those guys and hope nobody catches me.' "
Duncan said before the race he wanted to make everyone believe he was capable of winning a state championship and believes his run in Lexington was the start to proving his doubters wrong.
"I know milesplit, they never had me predicted as a favorite and I'm ok with that -- I've accepted that," Duncan said. "I have to make a name more for myself because nobody is going to put you out there more than yourself. Next year I've got to come out here and show them I'm a state champion and try to earn that."
His younger brother Tobias, who finished second in Benton, took home 17th.
"I really impressed myself," Tobias said. "I realized the high schoolers are more aggressive than the middle schoolers that I'm used to running with so I had to get used to that."
As a seventh-grader, Tobias has an opportunity to make a big impact in the next five years.
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He said his ability to run up with the best in the biggest race of the year is a big confidence booster.
"It makes me feel better as an individual," Tobias said. "I use that and push myself."
UHA finished 12th overall as a team.
While the Trigg County girls' team didn't have their best runner, the Lady Wildcats took home a 16th-place finish overall. Riley Brame was the highest finisher, crossing the finish line in 64th place.
On the boy's side, freshman Austin Cavanaugh accomplished something that hasn't been done in a long time in Cadiz.
Cavanaugh took home a 10th-place finish, becoming the first Wildcat since Eric Ezell in 1986 to finish in the top-10 at the state race.
The freshman said he used the runner in front of him to pace him for the race.
"I did well keeping Trevor Baker (Webster County) right in front of me -- I used him to pace me," Cavanaugh said.
However, Trigg County finished 18th as a team.
Fort Campbell brought its girls' team, finishing 28th as a team.
Hopkinsville was the only area team in Class 3A and only three individuals qualified to make the trip.
Chase Atkins was the highest-finisher for the Tigers, posting a seventh-place finish.
Atkins said he stuck with the same group of people he did at the regional race to keep his pace up.
"(I) got a great start," Atkins said. "Coming around that first bend I was in third position. Once we got to the top of the hill, I kind of stayed there -- let some of the pack come up because I didn't want to burn out. I kind of stayed in that position for the whole race."
Chance Jones finished 208th as well.
For the girls, it was Allison Wood making the trip. Wood finished 54th overall in the girl's race.
Tomas Duncan: 4th - 16:41.11
Tobias Duncan: 17th - 17:33.74
Walter Kunnmann: 41st - 18:09.35
Luke Shouse: 151st - 19:50.57
Chase Hendricks: 219th - 20:47.77
TRIGG COUNTY 2A
Austin Cavanaugh: 10th - 17:03.89
Jonathan Williams: 108th - 18:48.34
Marshall Jenkins: 128th - 19:06.62
Apollo Black Bear Francis: 131st - 19:08.96
Alex Skinner: 136th - 19:13.86
Riley Thompson: 144th - 19:20.83
Colin Stevens: 166th -19:43.95
Riley Brame: 64th - 21:57.62
Dede Barbee: 84th - 22:23.94
Reese Bush: 95th - 22:37.84
Grace Hill: 107th - 22:51.15
Kylie Alford: 124th - 23:15.35
Livi Ricks: 139th - 23:51.32
FORT CAMPBELL 2A
William DeShazo: 182nd - 20:09.93
Marielle Delpilar: 138th - 23:43.70
Alexandra Stearns: 190th - 25:27.55
Madeline Thomson: 202nd - 26:10.07
Haley Davee: 206th - 26:48.26
Alaina Rogers: 212th - 27:43.43
Chase Atkins: 7th - 16:11.81
Chance Jones: 208th - 18:38.52
Allison Wood: 64th - 20:47.44