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LEXINGTON - Bullitt Central senior Alyssa Shifflett and sophomore Lauren Redding both turned in strong performances Saturday in the Class AAA Kentucky State Cross-Country Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Shifflett, who has been one of the best runners in the area this fall, had another strong outing as she finished 20th, the best finish ever for a Lady Cougar at the state finals. Shifflett was timed in 20:14.58 on a warm and windy day that was quite a bit different from the cold, rainy conditions of the previous two weeks.
Redding also ran well, finishing 78th in 21:54.05 in a field of 223 runners.
“Both Alyssa and Lauren had personal best times for that course,” Bullitt Central coach Martin Tallent said. “Alyssa defeated all of the girls who finished in front of her in the regional except for the defending state champion Cassidy Hale (Manual) and Lauren defeated the two Meade County girls who finished ahead of her for the open qualifying positions at region.
“They both ran terrific races,” the coach added. “The Kentucky Milesplit website runs a virtual meet prior to the race with all the runners best times. Alyssa was projected 27th and finished 20th. Lauren was ranked 127th and finished 78th.”
The Class AAA girls race didn’t start until early in the afternoon on Saturday.
“I think the heat and time of the race were factors,” Tallent said. “Historically, the faster times at the state meet are run in the earlier races when it’s cooler and typically runners don’t race at 1:30 p.m. n the afternoon. So, they were fighting the heat and their racing body clock. I believe our ladies were just a little better prepared mentally and physically to deal with it.”