Western Hills' Griffin Staude nears the finish line at the Franklin County Invitational Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park. Staude finished fifth to lead the local competitors. (Linda Younkin)

The Franklin County Invitational cross country meet, run on the state championship course at the Kentucky Horse Park, always draws a large field.

Saturday was no exception.

Western Hills’ Griffin Staude finished fifth in the boys varsity race that drew 385 runners, covering the 5,000 meters in 16 minutes, 31.25 seconds.

Three local runners were in the top 40 of the girls race, which had 287 runners. WHHS’ Emma Campbell was 23rd in 20:53.27, FCHS’ Makena Gillion was 26th in 20:57.51, and Jett Bradley of Western Hills was 37th in 21:19.43.

“Overall our team did well for their first chance to run on the state course,” Franklin County coach Kristen O’Neil said. “I am very happy with how our girls placed in relation to the teams in our region. It’s a great starting point, and we hope to make a lot of progress between now and state.”


Franklin County's Makena Gillion, left, and South Warrren's Megan Kitchens runs side by side down the stretch at the Franklin County Invitational Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park. Gillion was 26th to lead the Lady Flyers, and Kitchens finished 27th. (Linda Younkin)

The Lady Flyers finished 15th out of 37 teams and finished ahead of regional foes Western Hills and Grant County. Bourbon County, also in Class 2A Region, was fourth, and Highlands was 11th.

The Lady Wolverines were missing runners because of other commitments.

“Jett and Emma had solid races,” WHHS coach Adam Schaffner said. “They had a faster time than they did last year, and they finished about where they’re ranked.


Western Hills' Emma Campbell, right, leads Highlands' Alyssa Harris as they near the finish line at the Franklin County Invitational Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park. Campbell finished 23rd, and Harris was 24th. (Linda Younkin)

“We had three Italian exchange students who were declared eligible Thursday. This was their first experience with cross country, and they did fine for their first race. They’ll know what to expect the next time they run.”

Western Hills’ boys team finished 22 out of 47 squads. FCHS and Frankfort competed but didn’t have enough runners for a team score.

“I didn’t see anything outstanding, but I didn’t see anything too discouraging,” Schaffner said about his boys team. “Most of them had solid races.

“Most of them were probably close, 15 to 20 seconds, from their PRs.”

Nathaniel Lawrence was the top FCHS runner, placing 111th in 18:44.32.

“Nathaniel ran a personal record, and he continues to improve each week,” O’Neil said. “We also had several season bests and great competitive effort among the large fields in all races.”


Franklin County's Nathaniel Lawrence (3700) heads to the finish line behind Southwestern's Nathanael Turner (4826) and Dixie Heights' Joseph Berger (3449) Saturday in the Franklin County Invitational the Kentucky Horse Park. Lawrence was the top finisher for the Flyers. (Linda Younkin)

Second Street’s girls team was runner-up in the sixth grade and under race. Second Street’s Emma Moore was second, and Kenzie Barber took third.

Elkhorn’s boys team finished 11th in the middle school race.

Here are winners of each race and the complete local results.


Girls: 1. Ciara O’Shea (Madison Central) 18:45.47, 23. Emma Campbell (WH) 20:53.27, 26. Makena Gillion (FC) 20:57.51, 37. Jett Bradley (WH) 21:19.43, 52. Molly Stigers (FC) 21:54.17, 112. Kiera Carlee (FC) 23:27.86, 127. Elizabeth Valladares-Valles (FC)23:43.32, 174. Riley Gillis (FC) 25:05.38, 217. Eliza Boone (FC) 26:38.15, 224. Harper Heffley (WH) 26:59.44, 240. Gaia Vavala (WH) 28:22.83, 258. Irene LoBosco (WH) 29:51.40, 269. Abbagail Grimes (FC) 31:00.96.

Boys: 1. Conner O’Shea (Madison Central) 15:59.72, 5. Griffin Staude (WH) 16:31.25, 111. Nathaniel Lawrence (FC) 18:44.32, 139. Luke Staude (WH) 19:04.40, 146. Josh Downey (WH) 19:10.44, 177. Chase Sweger (FH) 19:30.26, 211. Leeland Fern (FC) 19:54.77, 212. Jon Eades (WH) 19:57.86, 220. Sahil Shaik (WH) 20:08.98, 229.  Nathan Goodpaster (WH) 20:13.76, 310. Venish Patel (FC) 21:56.77, 332. Jacob Kendall (FC) 22:52.34, 333. Caleb VanEste (FH) 22;54.19.


Boys: 1. Luke Stopher (Trinity) 18:08.40, 106. Kobe Staude (WH) 22:07.43, 111. Conner Hill (WH) 22:15.75, 150. Brigham Boone (FC) 23:47.99, 154. Marcus Negron (WH) 23:54.55, 184. Christian Adkins (FC) 26:21.07, 198. Jackson Prewitt (FC) 28:43.31.


Girls: 1. Julia Schmitt (North Oldham) 11:06.69, 21. Kate Alvis (E) 12:46.38, 26. Holland Riddell (B) 12:59.20, 38. Rylee Schaffner (E) 13:16.82, 146. Ridhi Penmecha (B) 15:57.62, 229. Ruby Ruwet (E) 20:33.93.

Boys: 1. Tristan Hindorff (North Oldham) 10:30.13, 35. Isaac Andrews (E) 11:51.77, 49. Matthias Jones (B) 12:09.22, 65. Ismael Valladares-Valles (E) 12:26.37, 74. Graham Clements (E) 12:30.35, 116. Easton Powell (E) 13:05.64, 119. Kaden Bratton (E) 13:08.67, 137. Brenden Bass (B) 13:29.23, 138. Isaiah Sowders (E) 13:29.42, 162. Elijah Lyles (E) 13:49.02, 173. Ben Dunmire (E) 13:58.41, 183. Kaelin Farr (E) 14:08.30, 220. Luis Perez (B) 15:06.12, 223. Christian Roberts (E) 15:10.47, 246. Brady Ellis (E) 15:52.99, 277. Lex Lynn (B) 17:37.42, 291. Logan Prewitt (E) 19:16.17, 302. Ethan Baker (B) 21:00.28.


Girls: 1. Taryn Tracy (St. Michael) 12:20.83, 2. Emme Moore (SS) 12:36.05, 3. Kenzie Barber (SS) 12:46.90, 20. Julie-Anne Monroe (SS) 14:28.48, 22. Emily Miklavcic (SS) 14:32.10, 46. Maddie Starkey (SS) 16:09.37, 61. Cate Looney (SS) 16:47.75, 66. Emily Schweickart (B) 17:00.14, 81. Dakota Bryant-Perez (B) 17:44.32, 89. Kendall McClain (E) 18:02.80, 96. Addison Welsh (E) 18:24.72, 103. Angeleen Amoah (E) 19:25.07, 121. Maeher Joshi (B) 20:39.23, 144. Renaee McKeehan (B) 23:35.19, 146. Hailey Hughes (E) 23:59.99.

Boys: 1. Ayden Taylor (Christian Academy of Louisville) 10:55.37, 7. Houston Hancock (SS) 12:36.01, 42. Ryder Alvis (E) 14:31.09, 85. Kolston Bratton (E) 17:17.23, 128. Dade Seward (E) 24:34.04.

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