Katie Graham | Bear Tracks

Katelyn Hensley, pictured in action earlier this season, helped lead Harlan County to a third-place finish on Saturday in the Crater City Invitational at Middlesboro.

HCHS teams place third at Middlesboro

Both Harlan County varsity cross country squads came in third Saturday at the inaugural Crater City Invitational in Middlesboro.

The girls finished a point out of second place, just behind Union (Va.) High School and 39 points behind Middlesboro. Harlan County was led by eighth-grader Cadance Ferguson, who came in fourth with a time of 24:41.31. Ariel Madden (26:14.11) finished 10th, followed by Caitlyn Rice (26:15.90) in 12th. Rounding out the Lady Bears’ results were Abby Vitatoe (20th, 29:22.34), Baili Boggs (21st, 29:27.52), Kassydee Owens (23rd, 30:19.87) and Katelyn Hensley (27th, 32:36.68).

Harlan junior Lucy Bryson came in seventh with a time of 25:47.08. Ella Morton (31:21.65) was 25th.

Middlesboro claimed the top three spots, led by Mallory James with a time of 24:00.21.

The Harlan County boys squad finished 18 points behind second-place Whitley County and 29 points behind Union. Caleb Brock led the Bears’ attack, finishing fifth with a time of 19:23.90. Zack Carmical came in seventh, posting a time of 19:48.18. Daniel Joseph (20:47.05) came in 16th, followed by Cooper McHargue (17th, 20:54.40), Matt Yeary (24th, 22:41.81) and Sean Cooper (25th, 22:55.74).

Charles David Morton came in 20th to lead Harlan with a time of 21:24.52. John Mark Bryson (25:17.43) and Jarrett Austin (31:13.92) came in 36th and 42nd, respectively.

Union’s Nathaniel Hersel won the race with a time of 18:15.14.

The Bears came in second on the boys side in the JV race. Lucas Epperson (22:50.80), Shaun Warren (23:50.30), Breydy Daniels (24:42.46) and James Bailey (24:54.58) finished ninth through 12th, respectively, and Joseph Gordon (31:33.01) came in 17th. Hailey Madden finished fourth among JV girls with a time of 42:20.42.

Haylee Couch (17:58.20) and Lainey Garrett (18:19.21) placed second and third, respectively, in the girls middle school race, and Taylor Clark (22:17.84) finished seventh. Mia Pace (19:13.77) came in fifth for Harlan.

Austin Crain was second among the middle school boys with a time of 13:25.04. He was joined by Andrew Yeary (fourth, 14:32.86) and Aiden Seals (ninth, 19:01.55). Ethan Farley was eighth for Harlan with a time of 18:22.74.

Harlan County’s Kaydie Coots won the elementary school girls race with a time of 13:37.24. Dashawn Smith (9:39.74) won the boys elementary race for the Bears as well, followed by teammate Bradley Brock (9:58.34) in second and Ethan Lewis (13:13.24) in fourth. Harlan’s Brody Owens was third with a time of 11:06.27.

Harlan County will host an all-comers meet Tuesday.