Prep cross country: Warren’s Blain 1st at MOV Challenge

MINERAL WELLS, W.Va. – For the second time in as many years, the Parkersburg cross country team finished as the overall champion at the Mid-Ohio Valley Challenge.

On a cool Tuesday evening at the Wood County 4-H Camp on Butcher Bend Road, the Big Red boys finished the event with a winning total of 51 points. Thanks to the red and white girls posting a victorious score of 44 points, PHS knocked off runner-up Fort Frye, 95-135. The Cadets also finished as runner-up in each of the 5K team races.

Ravenswood’s Hailey Miller never trailed and finished as the top female runner thanks to her time of 19 minutes and 54 seconds, which was good enough to best runner-up Rachel Morris (20:20) of PHS. Williamstown’s Cami Mosser (20:26), Fort Frye’s Mary Kate McElroy (20:35) and Parkersburg South’s Ally McCulley (20:56) took third through fifth.

For the boys, it was basically a three-man race that saw Warren’s Parker Blain pull away for his third victory of the season as he finished the course in 16 minutes and 19 seconds. Fort Frye’s Jordan Anderson (16:32) was the runner-up and just edged Warren’s Sam Goodman (16:36). Nic Cheuvront’s time of 16:48 was good for fourth and led the Big Reds, while Warren’s Brent Ash took fifth after finishing in 16:54.

“Coming into the race I wasn’t too sure about winning,” Blain admitted. “I was just going to go for time, but once we got into the race the competition was there so I just decided to go for it and I got it.

“My time was good and the finish was interesting with the big straightaway. It’s a good race and I’m getting towards my peak. That’s for sure.”

Parkersburg South head coach Jason Evans’ Patriots also received a 10th place finish from Allison Currey (21:22). Parkersburg teammates Jordan Waters (6th, 20:58) and Chelsea Harper (9th, 21:18) also cracked the top 10 along with Warren’s Hannah Dugan (7th, 21:06) and Ravenswood’s Taylor Treadway (8th, 21:10).

“We’ll take it. I don’t know if we’ll catch PHS, but we’re coming,” Evans said of his girls, who posted 82 points to trail the Cadets’ runner-up total of 74. The Patriots’ other top three runners were Danielle Lockhart (14th), Sweanna Johnson (28th) and Kayla Harmon (31st)

PHS head man Larry Games was excited for both of his teams, which also included top 25 girls finishes from Holly Ackerman (13th), Jennifer Parsons (16th), Swathi Mukkamala (21st), Mary Catherine Bolton (23rd) and Katie Collins (25th).

“We had a really good pack, our depth is what carried us,” Games said of the overall team win. “Our depth is really helping us out right now.”

Eli Strahler of Waterford finished sixth with a time of 16 minutes and 57 seconds. Fort Frye’s Matthew Cheeseman (16:58), Parkersburg’s John Bolton (17:07), Cadet Ford McElroy (17:17) and Williamstown’s Chandler Antill (17:19) comprised the remainder of the top 10.