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.
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.