Senior night at cross country

Seniors (left to right) Jessica Wicker, Ben Nelson, and Alyssa Wicker were honored for senior night before the meet at Calloway.

MURRAY —  The Calloway County cross country team hosted a laid back competition that allowed for themselves, as well as Graves County and Murray High, to have one last regular season race before regionals. It was also an opportunity for the Lakers to honor their four seniors.

“The seniors have been a group that has not just run but competed well over their careers,” head coach Jonathon Grooms said. “Jessica and Alyssa Wicker have been running since middle school. They have been a key to many invitational victories in their careers. Alaina Davis came on as a sophomore and has been consistent in every race she has ever run. Ben Nelson joined as a junior and has been a big part of the rise of the boys’ team over the last two years.”

This race was also emotional for Murray High’s head coach Emily Chipman. For her, it served as the last race she was able to run all ten of her girls since only the top seven can compete at the regional competition. 

There’s no other race that could have fit the occasion better for both teams. 

“This course is a one-mile loop and is very condensed with the goal of as many straight aways as possible,” Grooms said. 

The course runs faster than the one used for the invitational that Calloway hosted earlier in the season, but it can only handle a smaller-sized crowd such as the one last night that only consisted of three competing teams. 

Therefore, many runners were able to set new personal records last night. Freshman Laker Daniel Puckett came in first place with a personal record of 17:22. Laker Dominic Cashion wasn’t too far behind Puckett. Cashion ran the 5K in 17:25, another personal record. 

As for the girls, the Lady Lakers also had a runner place first. Ainsley Smith ran a season best of 21:55. Bella Swain also ran an extremely impressive race. As a first-year runner, she set her new personal record at 22:11. 

Chipman was impressed by Lady Tiger Kyra Shutt who ran her first race in under 30 minutes. 

This competition gave the teams the confidence they need to start thinking about the regional race on Saturday, October 26th. 

“We will be doing a lot of goal setting and speed work to prepare,” Chipman said.

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