The West Virginia High School Cross Country season began last week with local cross country teams, Magnolia and Paden City, traveling to Belmont, W.Va., on Aug. 24 to take part in the Autumn Classic Cross Country meet hosted by St. Marys High School.
In the high school girls 5K competition, Williamstown took first place overall with 59 points. Ravenswood placed second with 79 points followed by Doddridge County, 107; Oak Glen, 122; Linsly, 145; John Marshall, 146; Wheeling Park, 168; St. Marys, 195; Nitro, 229; Magnolia, 229; Wirt County, 259; Tyler Consolidated, 304; Paden City, 324; and Brooke with 387 points.
Finishing first overall of the 133 participants in the race was Oak Glen High School senior Kelsey Chambers who finished in 21:58.5.
For Magnolia, sophomore Rachel Arbogast set the pace for the Lady Blue Eagles, finishing 32nd overall in 26:34. She was followed across the finish line by sophomore Sofia Herrick in 40th position with a time of 26:34; Ariel Hostuttler, 63rd in 28:27; Emily McIlvain, 71st in 29:11; Katie Ensinger, 92nd in 31:42; and Evan Dawson, 120th in 34:50.
Junior Kayla Hizer was first to cross the finish line for the Lady Wildcats of Paden City at the meet, placing 43rd overall in 27:22. Junior Victoria Anderson placed 65th overall at the Classic in 28:40; Mallory Estel, 84th in 31:44; Shelby Gatain, 122nd in 35:08; Chelsea Dennis, 126th in 36:51; Morgan Goddard, 129th, 39:05; and Miranda Reynolds, 131st in 39:18.
In the competition of the high school boys, Bridgeport took first place with 40 points, followed by: Wheeling Park, 62; Williamstown, 85; John Marshall, 162; Oak Glen, 167; Brooke, 194; St. Marys, 197; Doddridge, 223; Wheeling Central, 232; Cameron, 236; Liberty, 266; Wirt County, 274; Paden City, 331; and Linsly, 365.
Bridgeport senior, Abe Merinar, crossed the finish line first overall of the 168 entrants at the Autumn Classic, turning in a time of 17:50.6.
Paden City fields a full boys team this season and performed very well led by freshman Jacob Pierce who finished the race first for the 'Cats and in 54th position overall with a time of 21:45. Junior Dean Frye placed 84th overall in 23:03; Tyler Kiger, 107th in 24:03; Travis Leonard, 112th in 24:18; Evan Shreve, 148th in 27:38; and Aaron Heasley, 159th in 29:13.
Magnolia had two athletes competing in the boys 5K: juniors Jacob Pancake and David McIlvain. Pancake placed 49th overall in 21:40 and McIlvain finished 58th position in 21:58.
Magnolia and Paden City will next compete at Tyler Consolidated in the "Stormin' the Castle" meet on Sept. 3 hosted by the Knight Cross Country team.