MHS Boys Earn Spot In State Cross Country Meet
The Magnolia Blue Eagle boy’s cross country team will get to compete one more weekend-at the state championships in Huntington on Oct. 29.
The Eagle harriers made it possible to travel to the campus of Cabell Midland High School as a team for the second time in three years by finishing fourth in the Region 1 Championship that they hosted.
Braving the wind, cold, and mud, defending champion Bill Feeney finished a close second to get the nod for states and will attempt to garner All-State awards for the second time in as many years this weekend. Also attempting his second All-State place will be fellow senior Alec Hinerman, who finished fifth to also qualify. This is both senior’s third straight trip to the championship.
MHS junior James Haught helped the team with a 13th place finish in a tough field. Then came junior Kenny Headley in 37th place and freshman David McIlvain in 46th place. Non-scoring members were Kyle Lancaster (50th) and Mikal Raber (61st).
Magnolia Head Cross Coach John Holliday said, “Our region qualifies four teams because it is so large and so tough. To give an example of the difficulty in qualifying: We are ranked as the fifth best team in the state of West Virginia and we finished a competitive fourth in our region. I think that says it all.”
On the girls’ side, junior Christa Harshberger rated 17th to miss the top 10 qualifying field. Taking a plunge into the ice-cold creek while crossing, she completed her race despite being bloodied with a knee injury from the wet fall.
Ever-improving freshman Katie Ensinger was the second runner for the Eagles by finishing 47th to complete a fine first season. She was followed by junior Sarah Goddard (50th), sophomore Shelby Sands (56th), and junior Julianne McIlvain (58th). The girls placed 10th overall.
Coach Holliday continued, “We experienced a little adversity because of it being so cold and the course so wet and muddy, but everyone ran in the same conditions. Wet and cold and falling down is all part of cross country and you can’t let it get to you, and as good as our team performances were, I don’t think it did. The boys and girls ran very well as a team. We can really shake things up at the state championship and it is going to be an interesting race.”
The A-AA State Championship for boys will be run Saturday, Oct. 29, at 1:45 p.m.