Frankfort High is doing something Saturday it hasn’t done since 2001 — sending two teams in the state cross country championships.

Both FHS teams finished fourth in the Class A Region 5 meet Saturday at Mason County, and they’ll run at state at the Bourbon County Cross Country Course Saturday morning in Paris.

“I had no expectations going in,” FHS co-coach Zach Moore said. “I’m super excited.”

The Panthers boys team have run at state the past two years, but this will be the first time the FHS girls team has been at state since 2002.

“Our girls team is made up of five seventh graders, one eighth grader and two juniors,” Moore said. “I’m super excited that they did that.”

FHS’ Kenzie Barber, a seventh grader, finished third at the regional meet with a time of 20 minutes, 28.90 seconds.

The Lady Panthers got a boost from the return of seventh-grader Emme Moore, who missed six weeks with a stress fracture. She was 34th in 24:35.15, and eighth-grader Cate Looney was 23rd in 23:57.68.

“Kenzie and Emme usually run 1-2, back and forth,” Moore said. “Kenzie ran a phenomenal race.”

On the boys side, Chase Sweger led FHS with seventh-place finish in 18:17.42, and Ethan Vermillion was ninth in 18:26.06.

“The guys qualified for the third year in a row,” FHS co-coach Mac Yocum said. “Not bad for a bunch of soccer players.”

Sweger is the only member of the team who doesn’t play soccer for FHS.

“With the soccer schedule so different this year, the guys only were together once for a meet,” Yocum said. “We were without Sam (Yocum), who’s in quarantine due to possible COVID contact, so we only had five runners, but all five ran the races of their lives.

“We knew where Chase should be and what Ethan Vermillion should do, but without Sam, Preston Barber, McLain Barber and Ethan Carpenter ran their hearts out.”

Frankfort will run Saturday morning at state. Both races will be run in three waves. The boys’ waves are at 10:30 a.m., 10:35 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. The girls’ waves are 11:30 a.m., 11:35 a.m. and 11:40 a.m.

Here are the winners and the local results from the regional meet.

GIRLS

1. Anna Rupp (Lexington Christian) 19:27.23, 3. Kenzie Barber (FH) 20:28.90, 23. Cate Looney (FH) 23:57.68, 34. Emme Moore (FH) 24:33.79, 36. Emily Miklavcic (FH) 24:40.36, 38. Claire Moore (FH) 24:52.50, 54. Helen Hall Abney (FH) 26:45.49, 59. Maddie Starkey (FH) 27:19.96.

BOYS

1. Connor Hayes (Lexington Christian) 16:30.26, 7. Chase Sweger (FH) 18:17.42, 9. Ethan Vermillion (FH) 18:26.06, 14. Preston Barber (FH) 18:55.47, 38. McLain Barber (FH) 20:37.00, 42. Ethan Carpenter (FH) 20:56.40.

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