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Lady Bulldogs XC makes history with 18th place finish at cross country state championships

Boursaw placed 203rd out of 286 total runners

Burgin sophomore Rebecca Biggs (left) and Grace Cocanougher are pictured competing at the Class A state cross country meet at Kentucky Horse Park, in Lexington on Saturday, Nov. 2. Biggs and Cocanougher helped the Lady Bulldogs cross country team place 18th in the state, their highest ever finish. (photo by Arpan Dixit)

Arpan Dixit
Herald Staff   

History was made for the Burgin Lady Bulldogs cross country team at the state championships on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

Last week, after placing fourth overall in their regional meet, the Lady Bulldogs qualified for state for the second time in school history.

This past weekend, they made more history by finishing in 18th place overall as a team, their highest finish at the state meet in school history.

“Our girls team had a great year and we could not be more proud of the work they have put in over the course of the season,” said Head Coach Bryan Vandiviere.

The girls’ Class A meet was the first of the day, coming in cold and frosty conditions early in the morning.

Sophomore Avery Harmon was the top finisher for Burgin, placing 104th in 23:25.73. Sophomore Kenzie Humber was next, placing 121st in 24:00.43.

After Harmon and Humber, sophomore Rebecca Biggs placed 131st in 24:25.95 and sophomore Grace Cocanougher finished two spots after Biggs in 133rd in 24:26.89. The Lady Bulldogs had three more competitors compete in the race, which consisted of 235 total female runners.

Seventh grader Lincoln McCoy came in 145th place in 24:56.51, sophomore Ellie Jenkins placed 149th in 24:58.80 and sophomore Abigale Church finished 193rd in 27:04.99.

Burgin returns almost everybody next season on the girls side, and will be expected to challenge for another berth at the state meet in 2020.

“Our girls had moved up as a team to be in the top-20 in the state, which for our oldest to be sophomores, you can’t ask for more than that.”

The boys’ Class A meet followed the conclusion of the girls’ meet. Burgin’s lone competitor, sophomore John Boursaw, finished in 203rd in 20:29.71 out of 286 total male runners.

Boursaw competed in the race despite dealing with an ankle injury. Vandiviere said it took guts for Boursaw to be able to finish the race.

“He (Boursaw) had been battling the injury leading up to state, but he was determined to give it all he had during the race,” said Vandiviere. “As coaches, we were so impressed that he never gave up during the race and continued to fight for every position he could. Most runners would give up, but he didn’t. We are proud to have John as a leader on our boys team and know that he will continue his great work ethic moving into basketball.”

Burgin sophomore Ellie Jenkins (146) uses her arms to keep pace at the start of the race at the cross country state championships.

Burgin seventh grader Lincoln McCoy keeps pace with the top runners at the start of the girls’ Class A meet in Lexington.

Burgin sophomore Kenzie Humber makes a turn during the cross country state championships at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

Burgin sophomore Abigale Church (142) starts off strong during the first stretch at the cross country state championships.

Burgin sophomore Avery Harmon (left) passes up a runner at the Class A girls’ state meet on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Burgin sophomore John Boursaw picks it up during the last stretch of the Class A state meet at Kentucky Horse Park on Saturday, Nov. 2.

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