North Oldham boys cross country ran well at the right time.
The Mustangs won the 2020 Class 2-A state championship at the state meet hosted at Bourbon County Oct. 30. A week after winning the regional title, North Oldham continued its ascension at the biggest meet of the year.
“We don’t peak for anything except this race,” North Oldham coach Brian Ruggles said. “We started to feel better and better.”
The Mustangs won their eighth state title, the first since 2015, with 78 points. Corbin was the state runner-up with 133 points.
With four runners finishing the in the top-20, North Oldham comfortably won the state title in a race that was divided into three waves due to mitigation of the coronavirus.
“I think it was a combination of us having a really good day and some other teams having a slightly subpar day,” Ruggles said. “We talked to the kids about just controlling what they can control and to put their best out there.”
After winning the regional title last week, Jake Pyles led North Oldham in seventh.
Pyles, who finished 11th at last year’s state meet, wanted to follow through on his run until the end of the 5K race. The junior finished in 16:55.32.
“The mindset was to get out fast and try to keep up with our state competition,” Pyles said. “Going down the first and second mile, I was trying to stay in the pack. In the second and third mile, I was trying to keep it going.”
Freshman Adam Patel followed Pyles in ninth, finishing in 17:11.97.
“I think I ran good today, it was more challenging than I expected it to be,” Patel said.
Joseph Boyd placed 17th while Evan Patel was 18th.
Micah Steineker was the team’s final scoring runner, placing 31st.
“All year we have really had five guys that were really strong,” Ruggles said.
With the state meet being moved from Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington to Bourbon County, which was announced two weeks ago, North Oldham had to prepare for a new course that it hadn’t run on before.
The course featured gravel pathways and gradually sloping hills, a contrast to Kentucky Horse Park.
“We wanted them to be prepared and not have to think too much about that,” Ruggles said. “We felt good about everything coming into the meet.”
North Oldham placed sixth with 162 points.
Janna Leef (16th) and Rachel Gaynor (17th) finished consecutively to lead the Mustangs.
Reese Bramer placed 41st. Asia Franzel was 52nd.
Abigail Fadel was the team’s final scoring runner, placing 56th.