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Cross Country Runners Compete in Chick-fil-A Invitational

By Staff | Sep 14, 2016

MINERAL WELLS – More than 80 teams and hundreds of cross country runners from small schools across the state competed Saturday at the Chick-fil-A Invitational in what is most likely the largest AA cross country meet of the season.

The 3.1 mile race went over hill and dale around the Wood County 4-H Camp which under ordinary circumstances offered the chance for top times, but not this year as temperatures soared in the low 90s and the humidity was oppressive by any measure.

For the AA-A race, Bridgeport High School won the boys meet with 91 points followed by Caldwell High School at 112 points and Berkeley High School in third place with 121 points. In the boys’ race, the Linsly School placed 14th followed by Wheeling Central Catholic at 19th place, Tyler Consolidated with the 20th spot and Paden City High School in 30th place.

Berkeley Springs girls’ team won the meet with 77 points followed by Winfield High School at 118 points and Bridgeport (W.Va.) High School in third place with 124 points.

Tyler Consolidated’s Gavin Corley at 97th place (20:06) led the team followed by Josh Frum in 114th place (20:31); Trey Keys in 136th place (20:57); Creed Ammons at 147th place (21:16); and Nathan Barker at 155th place (21:28).

“The race was fast, hard and I have something to look forward to at the next race,” said Corley, who attained a personal best 5K time at the meet. “The first mile I went out hard, maybe I was in the top 40, but I fell behind in the second mile. The course was flat and fast, but the heat it felt like an oven.”

Corley offered praise to his teammates, particularly Frum, who had a good race.

“I’m proud of my teammates all of them but I’m really proud of Josh Frum,” he said.

As to the girls’ race, the top 100 finishers included Tyler Consolidated’s Jahnvi Duncan at 25th place (22:08) followed by her teammate Katie Pratt in 51st place (23:42); Emma Paden in 90th place (25:35); and Taylor Ebert in 206th place (39:57).

Pratt said the high temperatures and the crowded field made for a tough race.

“The course was flat, but it was really hot and there was a lot of people so that made it hard,” she said. “It was a fast race. I felt like I ran fast. What would I have done differently? I would have warmed up more. My legs were kind of dead today. I’m happy overall with my performance.”

Duncan had a top time in this highly competitive field of the state’s top runners.

“I think I did really good particularly since it was a big meet,” she said. “I’m pretty proud of myself. I can’t wait for next Tuesday when we compete at the Doddridge Invitational. I think this race will give me momentum going into that race.”

As to the course, Duncan said she prefers hills.

“It was really flat and I wish they had had more hills because I do better on that,” she said.

“It was a long course. It felt like it took forever to get to the finish.”

Worth noting, Magnolia’s Bre Barbera, who finished at 49th place (23:40), said the terrain and the heat were factors that affected her performance.

“I think I could have done better,” said Barbera, who is ranked among the best runners in the state by runwv.com.

Paden City High School’s Arissa Kline finished in 150th place (28:45) with Paige Leonard at 199th place (37:12).

“We have several new runners this year,” said Wildcats’s Coach Kim Huffman. “I am confident that times will contintue to improve throughout the season.”

As to the middle school portion of the meet, Spencer Corley set a school record with a time of 9:52 minutes and finished in fifth place in the 3K race. Oddly enough, the record that he broke was his own from last year 10:04 minutes. Corley said he figures his first mile of the race hovered around 5:30 minutes. Though the eighth grade student acknowledged his success at the meet, he is aware that when he enters high school next year “it will be whole new game” but he will be ready to compete.

Overall, TCMS finished in ninth place with James Streets at 25th place (10:51); Haygen Baker in 27th place (10:56); Hadyn Brown at 114th place (12:25): Austin VanCamp at 148th place (13:18); Logan Smith (13:52); Conner Bailey (14:32).

TCMS girls’ team finished in 16th place Kelsi Vandruff in 62nd place (13;10); Abi Thompson at 63rd place (13:10); Trinity Kanz in 79th place (13:25); Emily Ebert in 123rd place (14:35); Jordan Ebert at 124th place (14:35); Kashia Brown (14:51)Mallory Westbrook (15:38).

Paden City Middle Schools Brandon Hizer finished with a time of 14:34 minutes while Brandis Dalrymple (14:52) and Julianne Hood (14:53).