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‘Jacket boys takes LKC XC title

SUTTON, W.Va. — Doddridge County’s Trent Gola and Lexi Lamb bested the field here Thursday at Holly-Gray Park during the Little Kanawha Conference cross country championships as the Bulldog girls and the Williamstown boys claimed team crowns.

The junior Lamb finished in 19 minutes and 13 seconds to top Williamstown freshman Alyssa Sauro (19:52). The Bulldogs of head coach Craig Kellar also watched his freshman trio of Katie Cottrill (3rd, 20:45), Bailey Holden (4th, 21:28) and Cassie Cumberledge (7th, 22:07) each finish inside the top 12 to earn first team all-LKC accolades.

“Our girls had a great meet. They’ve been working hard and take nothing for granted,” admitted coach Kellar, whose team scored 33 points to best the runner-up Yellowjackets’ 62 as St. Marys (67), Ravenswood (112) and host Braxton County (117) rounded out the top five team scores.

Maria Bee, who placed 21st, was the Bulldogs’ other scorer. Teammate Hailey Keith, who was 23rd, also nabbed second team all-LKC honors.

“Williamstown has beaten us more this year than we have them. It will be a battle,” Kellar added. “It’s weird. Sometimes you just don’t have it, but our kids had a really good run and we hope to keep going in the regional and state.”

Bulldog Emily Gola, ranked ninth in Class A by runwv.com, didn’t compete.

“I don’t think coach (Josh) Weekley or I expected that,” Kellar said of having four in the top seven. “Emily went to a Harry Styles concert in Pittsburgh. Sometimes kids just do things you don’t expect. Katie and Lexi bring it pretty much every week and Bailey Holden had a great race and Cassie had a really great run and that gave us a lot of help.

“Bee was running better earlier in the season and got sick and she’s on the comeback trail. She did a nice job picking up that fifth spot and Keith also made second team all-conference not too far behind. We had a great day. We hope to have a lot of them, but you never know.”

Along with Sauro, the Yellowjackets also had Brianna Winsett in fifth with a time of 21:33 and Reagan Ortiz in 13th with a clocking of 22:59. Brookelyn Reynolds (25th) and Ava Lightfritz (26th) just missed out on second team all-conference.

Other first team performers were St. Marys’ Virginia Haddox (6th, 21:46), South Harrison’s Madison Stonestreet (8th, 22:08), Webster County’s Alexis White (9th, 22:29) and Alivia Moffatt (12th, 22:54), Ritchie County’s Chesnee Williams (10th, 22:36) as well as Braxton County freshman Laura Cain, whose time of 22:47 was good for 11th. It was the second time Winsett and Moffatt made the first unit.

The Williamstown boys of head man Cliff Taylor almost put their top five scorers on the first team, but Dawson Winsett had to settle for 13th after falling to 12th place teammate Will Coiner, 19:26 to 19:35. The ‘Jackets had a top effort from Julian Johnson (3rd, 18:22) while Zach Cannon (7th, 18:38) and Chase Trembly (10th, 18:59) also had solid runs.

“That’s actually the second time in our school history we’ve won the LKC,” said coach Taylor. “That was pretty impressive. I thought we had a shot at four in the top 12 for first team and Dawson Winsett wasn’t picked to get anywhere near that, but he ran really well last year at the state meet also.

“He was 13th place at the state meet last year and he got 13th today. I think we’re going to start calling him 13th. He says he always picks it up at LKC, regional and state and he’s not failed us yet. That’s really made us stronger.”

The WHS boys, who watched Cannon made first team in 2020, posted a winning score of 36 to top Ritchie County (71), the Bulldogs (103), Webster County (127) and Ravenswood, which had 147 to nip Wirt County by a single point for fifth.

Doddridge County, which was one of the teams unable to participate last year due to the Mountain State COVID-19 color map, only had Gola (17:51) earn first team honors. It was the third time he’s done that in his career.

“The only thing that could stop him was COVID,” coach Kellar quipped of Gola not having the chance to make first team four times. “He ran well tonight. He did a good job. It was a wire-to-wire win pretty much. They weren’t maybe 50 yards into the race and he was near the front.

“Shoot, 100 yards into the race he probably had a 10 yard lead. He led the whole way pretty much wire-to-wire. He’s been a good runner for us and has been overshadowed most of his career by Carter (Lipscomb).”

Tyler Consolidated freshman Jaden Ebert had his best effort of the season and grabbed runner-up honors after finishing in 18 minutes and 7 seconds. Silver Knight senior teammate Haygen Baker was fourth with a time of 18:25. It was the third time he made first team.

Wirt County’s A.J. Petrovsky made his final LKC showing a good one by placing fifth a second behind Baker. It was the Tigers’ second time being first team.

Ravenswood junior Cade Curfman placed sixth with a clocking of 18 minutes and 33 seconds. Also delivering first team efforts were seniors Carter Bowie (8th, 18:57.3) of South Harrison, Wirt County’s Wyatt Nulton (9th, 18:57.5) and Ritchie County’s Jeremiah Dalton (11th, 19:00). The Rebel also was first team in 2020. Nulton missed out on being first team as a junior by less than a second.

Joining Dalton in accounting for the Rebels’ score were second team members Heath Knight (15th), Tatem Elliott (16th), Cayden Moore (19th) and Thomas Miracle (20th).

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