West Union hosts annual County XC Meet on a muggy Tuesday –
By Mark Carpenter –
Nothing like some serious end of summer heat to greet 71 young athletes who gathered at West Union High School on Tuesday, Sept. 18 as the Dragons hosted the annual Adams County Cross-Country Meet, featuring only the four schools from the county. With a heat index nearing the 90 degree mark, a lot of young people showed a lot of determination and desire to complete the course, though understandably the finish times may not have been on their normal par.
As has become the norm, the event began with two elementary races, one for fourth grade and under and the other for fifth and sixth graders. In the fourth and under event, the top three places went to runners from West Union Elementary, Gage Knox, Gavin Rowe, and Tyler Pennington. Fourth place went to Gracey Barr from Manchester Elementary, fifth, sixth, and seventh to Lydia Armstrong, Braylan Scarbough, and Jakeb Thompson from WUES, and the top 10 was rounded out by Jenna Wilkins from MES, Kennedi Campbell from North Adams Elementary, and Sammie Estes from MES.
The top two spots in the fifth and sixth grade race went to runners from NAES, Beau Hesler and Dalton Pence respectively. Third place went to Teegan Knox from WUES, fourth to Colin Tolle from NAES, fifth to Kelsey Cornette from NAES, sixth to Brayland Roberts from MES, seventh to Chloe Freeman from MES, eighth to Ryan Rains from MES, ninth to Skylann Pennington from WUES, and tenth to McKenna Shelton from NAES.
There were 14 runners in the Junior High Girls race with the top seven earning All-County recognition. The winner was Peebles seventh grader Samantha Seas in a time of 15:13 in the excessive heat. West Union eighth grader Makenna Armstrong was second at 15:33, with seventh grader Hunter Grooms of North Adams third at 16:07. Rounding out the All-County honors were: fourth place- Allie McCarty (WU- 16:11), fifth place- Sara Boldman (WU-17:00), sixth place- Kirsten Campbell (NA-17:23), and seventh place- Leena Blanton (WU-17:44).
Sixteen runners comprised the Junior High Boys race and topping the field was North Adams seventh grader Cody Hesler with a time of 13:44. Finishing second was Manchester’s Tyler Harp at 14:00, with the third spot occupied by West Union’s Landen Fulton in a time of 14:20. Manchester’s Carver Morgan was fourth with a time of 14:48 with Greyhound teammate Anthony Young fifth at 15:12. The final two All-County spots for Junior High Boys went to West Union’s Carson Brinker in sixth (15:14) and Manchester’s Grant McClanahan seventh (15:18).
The varsity girls, with 20 runners, was dominated by the West Union Lady Dragons, who grabbed five of the seven All-County berths, including the winner, freshman Adelyn Shupert in a time of 23:42. Peebles junior Alisan Behr was second with a finish of 24:50, while West Union’s Lexie Rowe came through the chute in third place with a time of 25:00. Fourth place went to North Adams freshman Ainsley Grooms at 25:33, while the final three slots went to West Union-Christian Shivener fifth (25:41), Madison Taylor sixth (26:20), and Kendra Grooms seventh (28:23).
Finally the temperatures began to break as 21 high school boys competed, with West Union junior Steven Runyan winning the race win a time of 19:40. Second place went to Manchester junior Declan Huron, who finished at 20:26. In third was West Union sophomore Jai-Michael Knox with a time of 21:01, with fourth place going to West Union freshman Jonathon MacDowell in a time of 21:02.Placing fifth with a time of 21:05 was Peebles freshman Bryce Willoughby and he was followed in sixth by junior teammate Cade Williams, who finished the course at 21:12. Sprinting to the finish to capture the final All-County spot was West Union sophomore Braxton Blanton, who flew down the chute to finish in a time of 21:35.
As far as the team scores went on the day, West Union won the high school boys and girls and the junior high girls, with Manchester taking the top spot in the junior high boys.