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After finishing second a season ago in the Region 5 Class A cross country meet, Hunter Trenary had one goal – to return this year and win.
On Saturday at Winchester’s Lykins Park, not only did the Owen County senior win the Region 5 championship, Trenary also set a new course record along the way.
Trenary’s time of 16:38.03 was fast enough to finish ahead of second-place finisher Nicholas Waltman from Sayre School in Lexington. Waltman came into the meet as the defending champion.
Trenary said it was great to accomplish what he set out to do.
“It’s been one of my goals this year and it was a great feeling being able to achieve it,” Trenary said.
Owen County High School Cross Country Head Coach Heidi Williams said Trenary’s win on Saturday is the result of a runner who was committed to working hard.
“He works very, very hard and came into the season as prepared as possible by having run 40-70 miles per week this summer,” Williams said.
The hard work from the summer carried over into the season, Williams said.
“He is extremely self motivated and pushes himself to the limit every single day,” Williams said.
Since practice began in July, Trenary has only taken two days off, Williams said.
As for being the coach of a regional champion, Williams said she feels fortunate.
“Many coaches wait their entire career and never have a regional champ and I got to experience it my first season,” Williams said.
Trenary was not the only Rebel to run well on Saturday.
Cory Hudnall medaled and earned a spot on the First Team All-Regional team by finishing 10th.
Keith Stout finished 13th and earned a spot on the Second Team All-Regional squad.
Kyle Flood placed 42nd and Logan Bitler finished 62nd to assure the team would advance to next week’s class A state cross-county meet at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The boys finished fifth as a team.
In the girl’s race Autumn Hunter ran a personal best 22:14 to finish fourth and advance to the state meet on Saturday.
Samantha Tamplin finished 28th for the Rebels.
Williams said Autumn Hunter has been a pleasant surprise this season in her first year running cross country.
“(Autumn) has worked hard and dropped over two and a half minutes off her personal record this season,” Williams said.
The coach is not only looking for Hunter to have a a solid performance Saturday at the state meet, she feels Hunter can anchor the team for years to come.
“She is only a freshman and I am excited about her future,” Williams said.
The girls’ race will begin at 10:30 a.m.
The boys’ race on Saturday will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Williams said she thinks Trenary will be in the mix when then top runners reach the finish line.
“There are five or six guys who are considered to be in the running for it,” Williams said. “I think he (Trenary) is peaking at just the right time. He is healthy, focused and in a great frame of mind to win it all.”