Becoming more competive as the season continues, local high school and middle school cross country athletes are finding their strides and making progress with every meet they compete in.
Tyler Consolidated and Paden City cross country teams particpated at the John Marshall Invitational meet on Sept. 28 at Grand Vue Park.
In the Middle School girls division, nine teams competed with the team from Triadelphia placing first overall with 53 team points. Shadyside placed second with 79; with Linsly taking third with 83 points; Tyler Consolidated fourth, with 83; Vandevender, 131; Warwood, 156; Sherrard, 158; Moundsville, 179; and Cameron, 232.
Eighth grader Amanda Reynolds led the way for the young Lady Knights at the meet with a fourth place finish overall in 11:44; Jahnvi Duncan placed sixth in 11:48.2; Katie Pratt, 12th, 12:29.7; Mercedes Florez, 30th, 14:08.5; Demery Nelson, 42nd, 15:05.3; Kassidy Starkey, 44th, 15:12.9; Megan Sole, 49th, 15:27.3; Miranda Weekley, 56th, 15:39.2; Alli Miller, 79th, 17:26.7; Megan Vandruff, 80th, 17:39.8; Summer Miller, 84th, 18:26.3; Kiera Winfrey, 92nd, 28:02.1.
Representing Paden City Jr. High, Arissa Kline placed 34th overall in 14:14.9; Hannah Loy placed 53rd in 15:33.1; and Paige Leonard finished 77th in 17:22.3.
The Silver Knight boys middle school team highlighted the entire day with the overall win in their division.
The young Knight team team had an excellent day on the course, taking the overall team win over six other teams competing at the meet. The team scored 50 overall points to take the win over Warwood, with 75 points; Moundsville, 82; Linsly, 82; Cameron, 106; Sherrard, 122; and Triadelphia, 145 points.
The Knights finished five in the top 20 with eighth grader Luke Daugherty leading the way for the Silver and Black with a seventh overall finish in 11:56.7. Eli Henthorn finished 9th in 11:59.9; Levi Pratt, 12th, 12:24; Creed Ammons, 16th, 12:39.8; Josh Frum, 20th, 12:48.2; Destry Nelson, 25th, 13:12.3; Colton Mead, 48th, 15:00.6; Chris Chambers, 50th, 15:01.8.
For Paden City Jr. High, it was Marcus Allen finishing 30th overall in 13:36 and Nathan Barker, 38th, with a time of 13:47.2.
"We had a breakout day of racing on Saturday," said head coach of the Tyler Consoldiated teams, Luke Reynolds. "The first race saw our middle school girls run a very good race. This is the right time of year to come on strong, and we are definitely doing so."
"The middle school boys team put in an inspired performance. We don't have an individual who will go out and dominate the race, but we put five kids in the top 20, and that's how you win a team competition! All of our kids have been working very hard all season, and this gives them a verification that there is a payoff for all that sweat."
In the high school girls division, 79 participants took part in the race making up nine complete teams.
The Lady Knights performed very well indeed at the meet, taking third overall in the team competition with 89 points, behind parkersburgh South with 32 and Oak Glen with 72. The Linsly school placed fourth with 90 points, followed by: John Marshall, 112; Magnolia, 136; River, 173; Paden City, 199 and Brooke, 261.
Consolidated sophomore Amber Watson, fifth place overall of the 79 competitors in the race with a time of 23:37.6; Marisa Gogan placed 17th in 26:08.6; Aleah Black, 22nd, 26:28.4; Alexis Chambers, 28th, 27:09.1; Kelly Rice, 36th, 28:18.1;Hannah Phillips, 59th, 33:34.7; Damara Winfrey, 66th, 34:51.2; and Stephanie Wright completed the competition in 69th place with a time of 35:32.4.
"Our high school girls were third, 17 points back from Oak Glen, who are ranked 7th in the state right now," coach Reynolds said. "These girls are overcoming all kinds of adversity and injuries and still putting together very good races."
Junior Kayla Hizer finished first for Paden City in 17th position overall in 26:10.2; Junior Mallory Estel, 46th, 29:32.1; Shelby Gatian, 55th, 32:14.6; Chelsea Dennis, 64th, 32:42.4; Morgan Goddard, 75th, 38:09.9; and Miranda Reynolds, 79th, 41:21.4.
106 participants took part in the high school boys division at the meet with the Monarchs of John Marshall High School placing first overall in the team competition with 44 points. Oak Glen placed second with 52 team points, followed by: Brooke, 102; Parkersburg South, 120; Wheeling Central Catholic, 149; Shadyside, 162; Linsly, 168; Cameron, 173; Paden City (Ninth place) 182; Wheeling Park, 230; and River (11th) 300 points.
Senior Ryan Dalrymple placed 17th overall for the Silver Knights with a time of 21:01.3; freshman Kamron Milhoan placed 91st overall in 26:24.4.
"Ryan and Kamron ran very good individual races in the final event," the coach said.
For Paden City, freshman Cade Crislip led the way placing 27th overall with a finishing time of 21:50.7. Junior Dean Frye ran a good race, placing 30th in 22:04.6, followed by team mates; Jacob Pierce, 40th, 22:29.7; Travis Leonard, 44th, 22:41.9; Tyler Kiger, 64th, 23:35.8; Aaron Heasley, 97th, 27:22.4; and Evan Shreve, 104th, 29:12.19.
The cross country teams head to Meadowbrook this weekend for the OVAC championships.