Bobcats win SEKC crown

Published 12:13 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

By John Henson

Contributing Writer

With five runners in the top seven, the Bell County Bobcats added another trophy to a growing collection by winning the Southeastern Kentucky Conference meet on Tuesday at Harlan County High School.

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“I’m very proud of this team of boys. They have really bought in to our plan for the season and its showing. Winning our conference championship is always a big deal,” Bell County coach Jason Stewart said. “All eight of our boys ran lights out but Hayden Green and Jacob Brannon really stepped up huge for us in this meet also. I was really happy for Hayden Green, him being a senior and all. He had an awesome race. Now we will continue to get ready for region and try to bring some hardware back to Bell County.”

Nicholas Stewart was second to Harlan County’s Tanner Daniels with a time of 17:52.97. Reese Arno was third at 17:54.65, and Braydin Hickey was fourth at 18:05.56. Hayden Green was sixtth at 18:32.81, one spot ahead of Jacob Brannon at 18:46.44. Andrew Roy placed 18th, while Landon Eldridge finished 28th and Ashton Morris was 33rd.

The Bell County girls placed third with Kaelyn Lyrock leading the way in ninth with at time of 24:32.75. Keira Good was 15th, followed by Sophia Good in 18th, Lily Nolan in 22nd, Meredith Allen in 24th and Abigail Kenner placing 30th.

“The girls ran well today. Placing third in your conference meet is always a solid day’s work,” Stewart said. “I really thought Keira Good stepped in and gave the girls a boost. This was her first 5K because she’s been running middle school. All of our other girls really ran their hearts out. Two weeks until region, and I believe they are ready.”

Bell wins Cave Lake Fall Classic

Bell County took three of the top five spots to win the Cave Lake Fall Classic on Saturday in Monticello. The Bobcats finished with 38 points, well ahead of ahead of Wayne County and its 91 points. Southwestern, South Laurel and Franklin County rounded out the top five.

“These boys continue to impress me,’ Bell County coach Jason Stewart said. “This was a great win. We lost four really good seniors last year and a lot of people were ready to write us off. But these boys put in the work and here they are one of the top AA teams in the state. I’m so proud of them.”

Nicholas Stewart, a sophomore, led the Bobcats as he finished second with a time of 17:54.82. Braydin Hickey was fourth at 18:14.27, and Reese Arno was fifth at 18:15.92. Hayden Green placed 19th, followed by Jacob Brannon placing 20th, Andrew Roy placing 56th, Landon Eldridge placing 84th and Ashton Manis placing 93rd.

Katelyn Lyrock led the Bell girls she placed 29th. Meredith Allen placed 47th. Lily Nolan and Keira Good placed 50th and 54th, respectively.

“We were short on the girls side again, but the girls we had raced hard. They still have a shot at making it into state so they have to keep working. Anything can happen at region,” Stewart said.

Bell County returns to action Saturday in the 2A regional meet in Monticello.