Bowling Green freshman cross-country runner Madisyn Peeples joked that she considers herself more of a “weekend person.”
But her Tuesday performance was still plenty good at the SKy Conference meet at Ephram White Park. Peeples didn’t reach a personal-best time, but her 18:06.09 time in the girls’ 5,000 meter run was plenty good enough for her second consecutive SKy Conference meet title.
Peeples finished more than a minute ahead of the rest of the pack. Teammate Sarah-Emily Woodward finished second at 19:16.12 as Bowling Green won the boys’ and girls’ team titles. Greenwood’s Keith Prive won the boys’ individual title at 16:07.07.
For Peeples, her result was a surprise, although it was likely no shock to most spectators considering she’s among the top runners in the state.
“I did not expect to do well,” Peeples said. “After school, you’re kind of tired, and you have to get up kind of early. I’m more of a weekend person, definitely.”
Peeples’ performance came on the heels of a second-place finish earlier this month in the Race of Champions at the Great American Cross Country Festival in North Carolina.
Peeples recored a personal-best time of 17:57 at that meet.
“I was trying to go for under 18 (minutes), but I’ll take this,” Peeples said. “I was coming around the corners and people were saying ‘Come on, Madisyn’ and reading me times. I said ‘Oh please, let me just be close.’ ”
Unlike in North Carolina, Peeples was all alone on the course after pulling away after the first turn.
“It makes it a challenge, definitely, to push yourself,” Peeples said. “In your mind, it’s really difficult. You have nobody you’re going after, so you can’t say, ‘Oh, she’s in front of me, let’s go after that girl.’ It’s definitely more challenging.”
South Warren’s Caroline Haas (19:27.85), Hancock County’s Sydney Young (19:54.44) and Bowling Green’s Lauren Wheeler (20:08.06) rounded out the top five girls’ individuals. After Bowling Green (64 points), Hancock County (72), Edmonson County (74), South Warren (78) and Greenwood (117) rounded out the top five teams.
While Peeples won her second straight SKY Conference meet title, Prive made sure he didn’t have a repeat of last year’s finish. He raced a then-personal best of 16:26 but had to settle for second place. There was no settling this year.
“At the very end, I almost caught the guy that was in first place,” Prive said. “Knowing that and seeing my opportunity for first place, I wanted to keep up there.”
Prive held off Bowling Green’s Kyle Johnson, who finished at 16:24.49.
“During track, I run the mile a lot, so the entire first mile I try and stay relaxed and focus on form and breathing and let the time take care of itself.” Prive explained. “The second mile I started working hard. I knew I was on track for a (personal record), and I was exhausted the third mile, but it helped me push. And I also heard fans cheering for people behind me so that pushed me as well, knowing in the back of my mind it was pretty close.”
Prive’s personal record before Tuesday was 16:16.
Now he’s hoping Tuesday’s win can catapult him through the rest of the year.
“Last year, I was going through a period where I was having subpar performances and was kind of in a slump,” Prive said. “And this race last year was the turning point. I think it’s the same this year.
“It really is motivating since (the region championship) is going to be (at Ephram White Park). It’s a big confidence booster for sure.”
Warren East’s Aaron Osborne finished third at 16:26.49. Greenwood’s Nick Howell (16:39.14) and Bowling Green’s Trajon Hall (16:50.26) rounded out the top five.
Prive’s performance helped the Greenwood boys (49 points) to a second-place finish. Champion Bowling Green finished with 40 points. Warren East (77), South Warren (87) and Edmonson County (162) finished in the top five.