Eagles Boys’ CC Team Wins Tyler Invitational
The Magnolia Cross Country teams had a busy week, finishing the Tyler Consolidated “Storm the Castle” meet on Tuesday and on Saturday, at the prestigious West Virginia Insurance Invitational hosted by Ritchie County High School at North Bend State Park.
The state-ranked Blue Eagle boys came away from Tyler County with a first place team win as well an the individual champion, junior Bill Feeney, in a course record time of 18:37.
Teammate Alec Hinerman finished the rugged course right behind in second place in 18:58, with sophomore James Haught also winning an award with fourth place in 19:57.
Kyle Lancaster made a top 10 showing with a ninth place finish in 23:27, supported by Kenny Headley in 10th place (23:40), Dylan King (24:43) and Mikal Raber (27:46) for Magnolia’s championship win.
On the girls side at Tyler, Christa Harshberger continued a strong season by winning a medal in fourth place with a time of 25:22. Her teammate, Rachel Hoffpauir, finished in 27:26 (7th place), to go along with Shelby Sands in 30:32 (11th) and Julianne McIlvain 35:03 (12th place).
Perhaps the beautiful Saturday weather and post-race picnic made the rolling course at North Bend seem less intimidating. However, the Eagles couldn’t quite put a team performance together to bring home a trophy, finishing the course in seventh place in the boys meet.
According to head Coach John Holliday, “Our top runners again showed that they can run with anyone in the state by finishing this course in second place (Bill Feeney, 17:30) and fourth place (Alec Hinerman, 17:39). As a team, we worked hard. We were beaten by three good triple A schools, in addition to three teams from our region. I’m not ready to concede anything out of our region. As hard as we ran today, I know our best is yet to come. I’m not happy with us yet. My guys had better not be, either.”
The top two medalists were supported by James Haught (19:42, 32nd), Kyle Lancaster (22:03, 68th), Dylan King (75th, 22:30) and Kenny Headley (81st, 23:01).
In the girls race, Harshberger, a sophomore, toured the course in 24:07 to complete a fine 27th place, just missing a medal. Following were Rachel Hoffpauir (45th, 25:55), Shelby Sands (62nd, 29:01), and Julianne McIlvain (70th, 30:41).
Holliday continued, “Christa is ranked in the top 15 in our region. But, to go to state, an individual has to finish in the top 10. With only four girls, we don’t score team points and she knows exactly what she needs to do to keep her season going. There is no doubt she has the talent to get there.”
The Blue Eagle teams will next compete at the OVAC Championship, where the boys are defending class Triple-A runners-up, at Meadowbrook High School on Saturday Oct. 9.
The girls’ race at 10 a.m. and the boys will run at 10:45 a.m.