St. Marys’ Gorrell wins MOV Challenge

Williamstown’s Ella Hesson finished third overall and helped the Yellowjackets to a runner-up finish at the Mid-Ohio Valley Cross Country Challenge Tuesday in Mineral Wells, W.Va. JAY W. BENNETT The Marietta Times

MINERAL WELLS, W.Va. — Parkersburg High School swept the cross country team titles here Tuesday evening at the Mid-Ohio Valley Challenge as Big Red Madison Trippett won the girls race and Brady Gorrell of St. Marys topped the boys field.

Trippett’s time of 18 minutes and 58 seconds bested two-time defending Big Red champion Olivia Collett, who finished runner-up with a 19:16 effort. PHS finished with 27 points and Williamstown came in second with 44 points.

“It was a lot hotter and more humid,” Trippett said of the race compared to what she’s been running in. “I definitely like the cooler weather better, but I don’t think it bothers me as much as it does some other people.”

The Big Red isn’t really fond of going to school all day and then having to compete, but she managed to battle through.

“I think it’s mentally draining and it’s just a different mindset going into the race,” she added.

“I like running in the morning a lot better.

“I think we are doing really well this year (as a team). We have some new girls that keep moving up so that’s really exciting.”

Gorrell was more than pleased with his victorious effort of 16 minutes and 35 seconds. St. Marys is coming off a Class A state championship last fall.

Last year’s runner-up, Bryce Jarrell of Ravenswood, tried to make a final push for that spot on Tuesday, but Parkersburg’s Benjamin Lake clocked in at a flat 17 minutes to get second, just four ticks ahead of the Red Devil.

“I started out and I was expecting it to be like even and was expecting it to be a lot harder than it was,” Gorrell admitted of capturing the top of the podium finish.

“I rolled up there with the guys and we were doing fine and then I just got a gap on them and just kept trucking and they just kind of fell back. The rest of the race I just kind of sat up there.”

When asked if he had a specific plan for the race Gorrell replied, “I try to never really make a plan because they never seem to follow suit. Of course, I come out here and I want to win. That’s the goal of the sport.”

The Big Red boys posted a winning score of 44 and rival Parkersburg South finished runner-up with 54 points.

Parkersburg South’s top finisher was Cameron Marks, who placed fourth with a time of 17:15, which was seven seconds ahead of Ravenswood’s Blake Jarrell. Blue Devil Walker Hashman was sixth (17:24). He was followed in the top 10 by Patriots Kerwyn Marshall (17:30) and Brandon Hardman (17:33) while Big Reds Will Lemaster (17:34) and Keegan Barnette (17:38) rounded out the top 10.

Williamstown’s Ella Hesson crossed the finish line in 20 minutes and 4 seconds to garner third. South’s Abby Herring (20:36) was fourth and Yellowjacket Kasey McNamara (20:50) was fifth. The remainder of the top 10 featured Ellie Dario (PHS, 21:07), Emilee Ellison (WHS, 21:42), Emily Cunningham (PHS, 22:08), Shannon Ruble (South, 22:18) and Katie Farinash (PHS, 22:30).

Also factoring in to the team scoring for Williamstown were Carsen Hesson and Bethany Wager.

The Big Red boys also had Brayden Ray and Devin Ours’ times counted in the top five while Parkersburg South’s fourth and fifth runners were Jake Hoggset and Seven Parr.

Wood County Christian’s Franklin Angelos and Erica Davis of Pleasants County were the individual middle school champions.