The Perry Central Cross Country runners opened the season with the Owsley County Invitational on Saturday over the scenic grassy course composed of two loops with one steep hill.
The team has undergone a major turnover this season, losing many former runners but striking gold with newfound talent. A newcomer for the Lady Commodore racers this season, 8th grader Dakota Shepherd, led at the beginning scramble then chased Bell County’s senior runner, Kelly Brown, never losing sight of her target, but unable to reel her in.
Shepherd accomplished a second place finish in her first outing for PCC. Her time of 22:28 was an admirable first of the season attempt on the school record of 20:49 set by Laura Caudill in 2001.
Also medaling for the girls team, 7th grader Vada Miller, completed the 5K race for 23rd place. Sophomore Mahala Walker finished 31st. All three girls are first year runners at PCC.
For the boys, Hunter Newsome finished just short of the medals in 21:03 for 27th. Lucas Dixon and Austin Williams also completed the race. The team got off to a late start this season, but is making major improvement every week. Perry’s next outing will be Pikeville Sept. 23.