Williamstown cross country teams qualify for state meet

MINERAL WELLS, W.Va. – University’s Amelia Paladino ran a 17:38 and captured here third straight Class AAA, Region I, cross country title here Thursday at the Wood County 4-H Camp and there was plenty of celebration and heartache for several local programs.

The Williamstown girls successfully defended their Class AA/A, Region I, crown from last year with ease as head coach Jill Bryant’s squad posted a team score of 54. Oak Glen and East Fairmont had 115 and Braxton County, which also qualified for the state meet on Saturday, Nov. 2 in Ona, took fourth with 127 points.

Ritchie County’s boys pulled closer to Fairmont Senior, but had to settle for runner-up honors after falling to the Polar Bears, 61-69. The Webster County boys had 90 points to finish third and Williamstown with 104 points will advance to state as the fourth place regional team.

It was a case of good news and bad news for Parkersburg head coach Larry Games’ programs. The red and white boys will go to state as a team after finishing third with 74 points, which trailed defending champion University (30) and runner-up Morgantown (66). In the girls race, though, top-ranked Morgantown secured a regional three-peat after knocking off University, 29-51. Preston’s total of 85 was good enough to end Pakersburg’s season as the Big Red girls had 87 points.

The 10-member all-region team for the triple-A girls consisted of runners all on advancing teams. Parkersburg senior Rachel Morris finished 11th overall and was nine seconds shy of finishing in the top 10 and earning a trip to state.

“It was very close. Our kids really ran well today,” Games said. “However, we just came up two points short. It’s a shame, but that’s just the way it goes.”Ritchie County senior Johnny Hogue secured his first career regional crown as his effort of 16 minutes and 18 seconds topped runner-up Brettley Harris of Webster County’s 16:31. Rebel teammate Daniel Cooper was third after clocking in three seconds shy of 17 minutes.

“We’ve definitely worked hard during the year to get where we are and we’re not going to stop now,” Hogue said of the Rebels.

Williamstown’s Chandler Antill was fourth, just a second behind Cooper. Braxton County’s Seth Backus punched his ticket to state by finishing seventh with a time of 17:32.

Oak Glen’s Kelsey Chambers breezed to victory in a time of 19 minutes and 13 seconds as she topped runner-up Samantha Stout of Webster County by 79 seconds. Williamstown was led by a pair of all-region efforts thanks to Cami Mosser taking third (20:34) and Andrea Chidester finishing sixth (21:04).

Three other Little Kanawha Conference runners advanced to state thanks to top 10 finishes. Tyler Consolidated’s Amber Watson was fourth (20:48), Doddridge County’s Megan Carder took fifth (20:53) and Ritchie County’s Sarah Cokeley grabbed 10th. Cokeley’s time of 21 minutes and 37 seconds was nine ticks faster than Braxton County’s Kate Golinsky.

In the Class AAA boys race, Univesity’s Seth Edwards came in with a winning effort of 16:16, but it was just one second faster than Morgantown’s Conner Riley. The top four runners all finished within seven seconds of one another as University’s Andrew Paladino (16:19) and Mohigan Anthony Laurtia (16:23) followed in third and fourth. As has been the case this year for the Big Reds, Nic Cheuvront led the way and took fifth with a time of 16:34. Fellow PHS teammate Logan Wooten grabbed the final all-region spot with his 10th place showing of 16 minutes and 50 seconds.

Ravenswood’s girls won their first regional crown since 2009 and the sixth in school history as the eighth-ranked Red Devils surprised No. 2 Charleston Catholic, 48-51. Scott, which scored 56 points in the Class AA/A, Region IV meet, also qualified to state by taking third overall.

“Scott had won two regionals in a row,” said Ravenswood head coach Bryan Canterbury. “We ran great today and I’m really fired up.

“It was their best team effort of the season. Our fourth, fifth and sixth girls really came through today. Our top three have been leading the way all year through.”

Wayne’s Kyle Rutherford won the championship by being five seconds faster than Ravenswood’s Hailey Miller, who finished the 5K course in 21:15. Red Devil Taylor Treadway was third (21:25) while teammate Taylor Love made all-region by finishing ninth (22:44).

Wirt County’s fourth place effort of 93 points on the boys side wasn’t enough to reach the state meet. Charleston Catholic (65) nipped Buffalo (68) and will be joined in Ona by third place Nicholas County (78).

However, Tiger Glenn McMillan posted a time of 17 minutes and 46 seconds, which was good for runner-up honors behind Buffalo champion Hayden Harrison (17:35). Roane County teammates Caleb Pell (6th, 18:20) and Caleb Shirey (10th, 18:57) also qualified for state.

In the Class AAA, Region III, championship, both of Ripley’s cross country programs made it out.

The Ripley boys won the regional with 44 points and was followed by qualifiers George Washington (62) and Capital (66). The Viking girls finished third with 72 points, finishing behind champion Capital (45) and runner-up George Washington (57).

Taking all-region honors for the Ripley boys were Antonio Jones (4th, 17:57), Remington Boyce (6th, 18:02) and Levi Phillips (9th, 18:21). Haley Ford, thanks to a time of 22:20 that was good for sixth, earned all-region accolades.