Alex Mortimer’s record day at the Bluegrass Cross Country Invitational was a long time in the making.
As a sophomore, the Tates Creek distance runner dipped below 16 minutes and couldn’t hit that benchmark again until earlier this season. He bested his previous mark by almost 16 seconds with a 15:40.6 to easily take the individual title Saturday morning at Masterson Station Park.
Lexington Catholic’s Spencer Carman was the closest to catching Mortimer; he ran the course in 16:16.4. Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Matthew Inman ran 16:37.7 and was the only other top-10 finisher among Lexingtonians.
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Mortimer ran the first mile of the 5k race 20 seconds faster than he ever had previously.
“I was focused on maintaining the effort of that first mile,” Mortimer said. “ ... I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with the effort that I need to do for my 5k pace so I just kept at it, I trusted it and it turned out pretty good in the end.”
On the girls’ side, Lexington Catholic star Michaela Reinhart won her third straight individual title with an 18:02.5, nearly a minute and a half faster than South Oldham’s Hallie Searcy.
She was somewhat disappointed afterward after failing to attain a PR during the race.
“I just didn’t have that little extra gear at the end there to bring it home,” Reinhart said. “I’ll work on it. I was hoping, but that’s okay.”
Jenna Strange of Tates Creek was third with a 19:35.5. Lexington Christian’s Kendall Hayes, who ran 20:41.9, was the only other city girl in the top 10.
Out of state schools — Indiana Christian and Ohio St. Ursula — took the boys’ and girls’ team titles.
Katy Kunc, Amy Hansen, Caroline McCaslin and Aundrea Busse gave the University of Kentucky 1-2-3-4 finishers in the college women’s race.
Easter Kentucky, ranked ninth in the nation, had three runners in the men’s top five. Erick Rotich took the individual title for a second straight year.