ELIZABETHTOWN - Shelby Jenkins picked up her second win of the season, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Meade County High School sophomore.
Jenkins won the girls’ North Hardin Cross Country Invitational at Severns Valley Baptist Church with a time of 20 minutes and 3.60 seconds.
“At the end of the race, it was tough,” Jenkins said. “The whole finish was uphill.”
It didn’t matter as Jenkins finished nearly four seconds ahead of teammate April Level (20:07.25) and 20 seconds in front of Owensboro senior Ashley Miller (20:23.80).
Central Hardin senior Meghan Baker was fourth (20:35.74), while Elizabethtown eighth-grader Whitney Maurer finished fifth (20:49.66).
Jenkins and Level, an eighth-grader, became the front-runners just before the homestretch.
Level said she was pleased with the way she ran.
“I think it’s really good,” Level said. “I felt really good today. Shelby and I are constantly working together and pushing each other in practice. She’s helped me improve a lot. She’s a real good runner.”
Freshman Tiffany Brown finished 12th (21:19.68) and sophomore Kim Dukes was 15th (21:30.56) as Meade County won the team title with 50 points.
North Hardin finished second with 61 points, Central Hardin was third (63), North Oldham fourth (107) and Elizabethtown fifth (113).
NORTH HARDIN. Freshman Katarina Gimborys led the Lady Trojans by finishing seventh (20:54.09), sophomore Brittney Valenzuela was 10th (21:11.35) and freshman Aubri Snyder was 13th (21:20.34).
Freshman Sammy Walker was 16th (21:35.78) and junior Miriam Cho was 24th (22:08.53).
CENTRAL HARDIN. Baker was right with Jenkins and Level until the duo started pulling away near the end of the race.
“I think I’m good with that,” Baker said. “I don’t think I could have gone any faster.”
Senior Mandi Warren finished eighth (21:02.39), senior Keri Gibson was 17th (21:39.87), freshman Brianna Baker was 19th (21:50.35), freshman Jenny Lynch was 19th (22:01.22) and sophomore Morgan Bell was 25th (22:13.97).
ELIZABETHTOWN. Maurer turned in the best performance for the Lady Panthers, who are ranked No. 10 in Class 2-A by kytrackxc.com.
“There’s a lot of competition out here and I always try to go for Kat from North,” Maurer said. “I’m happy I beat her.”
Freshman Emily Buck finished 18th (21:43.67) and junior Deanna Maurer finished 28th (22:44.58).
FORT KNOX. Freshmen Jessica Tureaud (25:42.82) and Carolyn Allemant (30:45.71) finished 49th and 60th, respectively, for the Lady Eagles.
Michael Wurzbacher and the rest of the Covington Catholic team didn’t travel three hours for nothing.
Wurzbacher, a senior, won the 88-runner race in 17:05.08 after passing Louisville St. Xavier runners Shawn Van Hoose and Matt Saldana.
Wurzbacher passed both and went on to win by four seconds over Van Hoose.
“It’s pretty satisfying,” Wurzbacher said. “I was in need of a good win here. It was just nice to come down and get the win. I wasn’t expecting it either.”
Wurzbacher made his move on the final hill of the course and never looked back.
“I started out in fourth and was getting buried,” Wurzbacher said. “I put it all out there the last 800 (meters), but I got a little scared. It was a gutsy move.”
North Hardin senior Bobby Windham finished fourth (17:18.31) and Bardstown sophomore Adam Kahleifeh rounded out the top five (17:29.03).
St. Xavier won the team title with 28 points. Covington Catholic was second (58), North Oldham third (83), Meade County fourth (114) and North Hardin fifth (118).
Elizabethtown finished seventh (177), Central Hardin ninth (237) and Fort Knox 11th (323).
MEADE COUNTY. Senior Marshall Brown took over the No. 1 spot for the Green Wave after sophomore Sean Breeds transferred to North Hardin, and he didn’t disappoint by finishing 21st (18:21.73).
“Marshall did well,” longtime Meade County coach Larry Garner said. “I’m proud of him.”
Freshman Zach Bowen finished 23rd (18:24.62), freshman Matthew Fackler was 24th (18:30.54), senior Steven Hamlet was 27th (18:44.81) and senior Matthew Spilman was 29th (18:49.84).
NORTH HARDIN. Despite battling a stomach illness the past two days, Windham still managed to turn in one of his best performances of the season.
“I wasn’t giving up,” Windham said. “I don’t ever give up. If you don’t fight through the pain, then everyone will just run you over.”
The Trojans were without senior Timmy Estes, who was out with a leg injury, and Windham said the race was different without him.
“He always pushes me,” Windham said. “He always makes me work hard, but I refuse to let Timmy beat me.”
Freshman Andrew Stewart, running in place of Estes, finished 16th (18:02.22).
“We instructed Andrew to go out with Bobby,” longtime North Hardin coach John Russell said. “Andrew’s not scared or shy to go out with the top guys. Andrew is really, really strong. For a freshman, that’s great.”
ELIZABETHTOWN. Sophomore Marc Oropilla finished 31st (18:54.10) and sophomore Tyler Larkin was right behind him (18:54.59), while sophomore Trent Parker finished 33rd (18:55.55).
“It just happened that we all stuck together,” Oropilla said. “They kept pushing me to go harder.”
CENTRAL HARDIN. Freshman Brandon Woodcox finished 45th (19:21.39), while senior Charles Hayward was 47th (19:34.25).
FORT KNOX. Sophomore Robert Barrasa was the top finisher for the Eagles, finishing 62nd in 20:14.90. Sophomore Michael Taylor was 76th (22:06.23) and senior Matthew Hupp was 78th (22:34.93).
Josh Claywell can be reached at 769-1200, Ext. 243