For the third time this fall, Lexie Paszkiewicz was the first to cross the finish line.

The Bowling Green junior posted a time of 19 minutes, 53.51 seconds to win the Gatorland cross country meet at Phil Moore Park on Saturday.

“I felt pretty good after we went up the first hill, then I started noticing that some girls were slowing down, so in the first mile I just tried to work my way up to the front,” Paszkiewicz said. “It worked out pretty well.”

Paszkiewicz won the Purple Strider Invitational at Kereiakes Park to open the season and followed it with a first at the Owensboro Invitational at Yellow Creek Park the following week.

Her victory led Bowling Green to a fourth-place finish Saturday with 197 points. Bourbon County (32) was first after having three runners – MaKayla Felty, Bethany Simpson and Ximena Tamariz – in the top five. Meade County (98) was second and Pope John Paul II (132) was third.

Natalie Carson finished 11th, Bella von Steinfort was 16th, Abby Adams-Smith was 91st and Bella Alcott was 151st for the Lady Purples.

“It’s nice to have that kind of depth so when you’re getting into the second mile of the race or when you’re 2½miles in and you’re trying to find that next gear, one of them can get their eyes up and see a Purple in front of them and the other one knows she’s right behind them,” Bowling Green coach Phillip Russell said.

North Hardin (205) was fifth, Station Camp (207) was sixth and Greenwood (214) was seventh, led by a seventh-place finish from Kaydee Wooldridge in a time of 20:34.21. Kennedy Davis (36th), Delaney Duncan (52nd), Samirah Salifu (76th) and Ashley Gaynor (89th) added scoring finishes for the Lady Gators.

Central Hardin (232) finished eighth, Pulaski County (237) was ninth, Mercy Academy (249) was 10th, White House-Heritage (249) was 11th, Bardstown (285) was 12th, Fern Creek (329) was 13th, Warren East (339) was 14th, Hopkinsville (347) was 15th, Barren County (370) was 16th and Northwest (422) was 17th.

Emma Steff led the Lady Raiders by finishing eighth in a time of 20:45.56. Cady Schoeck (66th), Reyna Morales (114th), Emma McGuffey (118th) and Cheyenne Stark (153rd) added scoring finishes for Warren East.

Barren County’s Chesney McPherson finished fourth individually with a time of 20:04.14. Emakate Atkinson (82nd), Adison Smith (123rd), Karoline Gearlds (173rd) and Skylar Owen (176th) added scoring finishes.

Cole Jackson’s second place individual finish led Greenwood to second in the 26-team boys’ standings with 96 points, 23 more than Apollo.

Jackson, a junior, finished with a time of 16:25.26 in the 314-person field, roughly 25 seconds behind Fern Creek’s Jimmy Mullarkey and 15 faster than Hopkinsville’s Chase Atkins.

“I tried to stay up to the front for the first two miles or so and I kind of fell off a bit before that and the guy in first got away a bit, but after that, I was just making sure I held my spot for second,” Jackson said.

Eli Alvey (15th), Eli Combs (19th), Cates Duncan (27th) and Thorin Byrd (31st) added scoring finishes for the Gators.

“We don’t necessarily worry about the size of the field,” Greenwood coach Jef Scott said. “We pick out a few teams we know we’re competitive with and we really target those teams. ... We were really looking at Apollo and Bowling Green knowing that they were strong competitors and we were really targeting those guys and seeing if we could stack up.”

Bowling Green was fifth in the boys’ standings with 183 points, behind Meade County (101) and Station Camp (135). Gabe Wiles led the Purples by finishing sixth with a time of 17:08.98. Thomas Tinius (ninth), Tate Sine (48th), Clay Wallace (55th) and Cole Renfrow (73rd) recorded scoring finishes for Bowling Green.

Fern Creek (187) was sixth, Grayson County (195) was seventh, Pope John Paul II (206) was eighth and Warren East was ninth (218). Garrett Elrod (seventh), Will Lovell (11th), Trey Colson (33rd), Mason Richardson (42nd) and Trevor Hudnall (159th) had scoring finishes for the Raiders.

Rounding out the top 10 teams was Central Hardin (308). Bardstown (331) was 11th, White House-Heritage (349) was 12th, Owensboro (360) was 13th, Pulaski County (389) was 14th, Westmoreland (414) was 15th and South Warren (518) was 16th.

Max Davison (94th), Roddick Harris (108), Brandon Irvin (109), Joseph Harmon (143rd) and Brandon Armstrong (187) scored for the Spartans.

Northwest (520) finished 17th, Hopkinsville (533) was 18th, Bourbon County (536) was 19th, Owensboro Catholic (547) was 20th, John Hardin (582) was 21st, Logan County (593) was 22nd, Breckinridge County (634) was 23rd, Barren County (666) was 24th, Butler County (736) was 25th and Ohio County (741) was 26th.

Wesley Abney (72nd) led the Cougars and Elijah Hopkins (123rd), Denton Motsinger (140th), Heath Cross (221st) and Trenton Fears (239th) added scoring finishes.

Barren County got points from Jaydin Medley (115th), Brody Miller (144th), Rylee Gaffin (209th), Parker May (212th) and Blaine Smith (236th).

Butler County had scoring finishes from Bowen Kirby (142nd), Conner Glass (184th), Jacob Camp (220th), Dawson Deel (262nd) and Ty Maxfield (268th).{&end}

– Follow sports reporter Jared MacDonald on Twitter @JMacDonaldSport or visit bgdailynews.com.

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