Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- The Clay City boys cross country team kept the hardware from their own invitational on Thursday evening, getting an individual victory from Ben Denker to pace the Eels to a 13-point team win over South Putnam in the seven-team meet.
Denker shaved more than a minute off his sixth-place finish in last year's Clay City Invitational and earned the individual win in 18:09 overall.
The Clay City girls sent six runners out in the meet and placed third behind the winning South Putnam Eagles (28 points) and Shakamak (40). The Eels were led by a 17th-place finish from Ashley Sumner, who finished in 26:47, which was nearly five minutes faster than her time in the same meet last season.
Denker's winning effort for the Clay City boys led a team effort that saw the Eels place their five scoring runners in the top-17 overall. Jake Tiefel placed fourth in the event with a time of 18:27 and Austin Sinders took ninth overall in 18:54. Overall, the Eels showed the progress that their runners have made during the offseason as nearly everyone improved their times from the same meet last year.
Wayne Tharp and Blake Cochran each crossed the line nearly in a dead heat and had the same time though Tharp took 16th and Cochran 17th. Jesse Vansickle finished in 18th-place in 20:10 with Michael Brooks in 32nd with a time of 22:14.
The Clay City girls, with a wealth of freshmen and sophomores on the squad, came off the State Preview Meet on Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Course on Saturday and ran well on their home course.
The South Putnam girls claimed the team championship with 28 points and was led by Mallory Glaze in sixth-place with a time of 23:36. Cloverdale's Claudia Monnett was the individual winner in 22:32.
The Eels next meet will be at the South Knox Invite on Sept. 18.
Clay City Invitational
Boys team scores
Clay City 45, South Putnam 58, Eminence 70, Cloverdale 109, Owen Valley 111, Shakamak 112
1. Ben Denker (CC) 18:09, 2. Joe Rumley (CL) 18:15, 3. Jack Petry (OV) 18:22, 4. Jake Tiefel (CC) 18:27, 5. Shea Arnold (SP) 18:30, 6. Hunter Barr (SP) 18:37, 7. Eric Johnson (SH) 18:43, 8. Taylor Davis (Em) 18:49, 9. Austin Sinders (CC) 18:54, 10. Blake Ford (Em) 19:05
Other Clay City: 16. Wayne Tharp, 20:06, 17. Blake Cochran, 20:06, 18. Jesse Vansickle, 20:10, 32. Michael Brooks, 22:14
Other South Putnam: 11. Jorge Cavell, 19:06, 14. Tanner Barr, 19:44, 23. Andrew Kelly, 20:49, 26. Matt Lund, 21:06, 30. Larry Hurst, 21:43
Other Cloverdale: 21. Aaron Whitlock 20:30, 25. Devon Nees, 21:05, 33. Chris Worthington, 22:16, 34. Nick Cupp, 22:41, 39. Garrett Brackin, 26:50, 40. Ethan Maners, 27:40
Girls team scores
South Putnam 28, Shakamak 40, Clay City 58, Eminence, Owen Valley, WRV, Cloverdale Inc.
1. Claudia Monnett (CL) 22:32, 2. Danielle Matsel (OV) 22:45, 3. Amillia Nally (CL0 23:00, 4. Savannah Turner (SH) 23:12, 5. Nikki Routh (CL) 23:30, 6. Mallory Glaze (SP) 23:36, 7. Brooklyn Dowell (SH) 23:53, 8. Megan Phipps (SH) 24:20, 9. Alison Guthrie (SP) 24:41, 10. Nora Nugent (Em) 24:41
Other Clay City: 17. Ashley Sumner, 26:47, 20. Phoebe Farmer, 28:18, 21. Kayla Sinders, 28:50, 23. Alex Wolfe, 29:28, 25. Kristen Sinders, 30:58, 27. Michaela Hogan, 31:42
Other South Putnam: 12. Mattie Varvel, 25:58, 13. Mariah Cherry, 26:03, 14. Lyndsie Beasley, 26:21, 22. McKayla Cherry, 29:15
Other Cloverdale: 19. Cheryl Dean, 26:50