On a perfectly miserable day, Thomas Canary fought the Law and the Law won.
Jacob Law of South Oldham held off Canary, a Lexington Catholic senior, to win the Class 2A boys' division of the KHSAA State Cross Country Meet on Saturday. Light rain fell throughout the day at the Kentucky Horse Park, with temperatures in the mid-40s and wind of about 10 mph.
Ryan Eaton of Greenwood had the fastest time for 5,000 meters, 15:55.70, to win the 3A title. James Maglasang of St. Mary won Class A.
The day's most competitive race saw a pack of a dozen pass the mile marker in 5:15. A mile later, the lead group was five, timed in 10:24. Eaton was chasing Jackson Carnes of St. Xavier.
"Every time I tried to pass him, he threw in a surge," said Eaton, who placed seventh last year as a sophomore. "There was a minute there where I thought he was going to hold on and take it.
"Then, after the two-mile, I threw in another surge and ended up passing him. He didn't have anything to respond with because he was trying to hold me off the whole time. But Stacey Eden (of Shelby County) came with me. I just kept trying to surge and pull away from him."
Eaton fell with about half a mile to go. But he recovered quickly, determined not to let the slip alter his focus.
Eaton's brother Michael, now a junior competing for the University of Louisville, won 3A titles in 2004 and 2005 and set the still-standing meet record of 15:05.81.
Eden held on for second place in 16:02.62, followed by Carnes in 16:03.63.
Daviess County, led by Landon Taylor in ninth, won its ninth team title with 98 points. St. Xavier edged Trinity for second place, 113-118. Paul Dunbar had 151.
Elliott Rosenberg paced Dunbar, placing 13th. Rob Wahl, who led Rosenberg for nearly three miles, was 21st, two spots ahead of fellow junior Quinn Lackey.
"I went a little fast on the first mile, but then I was able to keep a steady pace the rest of the way and I was really happy with the results," said Rosenberg, a senior. "Our team came together today, and it's about the team; it's not really about individuals."
A senior, Law opened a gap early and won in 16:12.61. He placed 11th in Class 3A the previous two years.
"After the first mile, you make a sharp turn and come right back up (a) hill," Law said. "That's the first hill that has any substantial length or angle to it. So I was like 'well, I see this as the best place.'"
Law used that hill to open a gap, and continued to surge on hills that followed.
Canary, third last year, clocked 16:20.51 to beat Western Hills' Daniel Thurston. North Oldham's Taylor Sanders edged West Jessamine's Will Stratford for fourth.
"I was going to try and stay on (Law) for about two miles, and I was up there for a while," Canary said. "But he made a strong second mile, pulled a little bit ahead and I couldn't catch him with the kick today."
Sanders led North Oldham to its first team crown, scoring 108 points. A scrap for second saw Calloway County eke past South Oldham and West Jessamine, 140-141-142.
"My plan was to stick with the lead pack for the first mile (5:16) and pick it up the second mile," said Maglasang, the 2007 runner-up. "And, the last mile, I made my move."
The junior finished in 16:08.79. Corey Stoll of Villa Madonna took second in 16:16.86, followed by Lexington Christian junior Will Mullett in 16:27.90.
"I was planning on coming in and just follow along with Maglasang," said Mullett, who did that through two miles. "... And then they pulled away. I tried to get back with them."
Ninth-place finisher Michael Whitehead led St. Henry to its seventh consecutive and 12th overall team title, 87-110 over Villa Madonna.