Friday, October 30th was an exciting day for the Russell County Boys Cross Country team as they competed at Bourbon County in the State Championship meet. The team made school history by qualifying for state two consecutive years in a row. Justin Stearns, Tyler Lulek, Mason Buras, Clayton Trosper, Lincoln Helm, Bryson Trosper, and Nathan Bartrug all competed in the meet with three waves of runners on Friday. Senior Justin Stearns finished 1st in his wave and 25th overall out of 251 runners, being the first runner from Russell County High School in history to place this high in the State Championship. Senior Tyler Lulek also ran well and placed 80th out of the 251, landing in the upper 50% of all runners in the meet.
The two seniors led their team with the fastest times at state, Stearns finishing with a time of 17:41 and Lulek with a time of 18:49. “I felt like I should have had a better run, but I finished 27 spots higher than I did last year so I felt like that was cool,” Stearns said following the State Championship meet. Tyler Lulek reflected on his senior year and how he felt on Friday, “I was really emotional all day. I just kept thinking about the past 4 years that I have put into this sport and all the experiences I’ve had. After the race, I felt a mixture of joy and sadness. I was so proud of myself and my team for all of our running achievements, but it was also sad knowing it was the end.”
As the Cross Country team wraps up a season that they were thankful to have since it was never a guarantee on account of the uncertainties of COVID-19, they will certainly look back and reflect on it as one of the most successful and memorable years the program has ever had in history.