Pipestem, WV – The West Virginia Wesleyan (WVW) Bobcats slammed the door shut on all competitors and took every event of the two days of racing at the WVIAC Championships. The men and ladies teams won convincingly and in commanding fashion. On an individual basis, each race from Friday through Saturday was won by a Bobcat.
Amanda Griffith fought off an asthma attack and a strong challenge from Kallen Weaver of West Liberty to take the first place plaque. The lady bobcats claimed the first place trophy with a score of 26 points. Alderson-Broaddus (AB) was 2nd with 49 points. University of Charleston (UC) with 69 points was 3rd.
The ladies 6K race saw Weaver take the early lead, but by the first mile Griffith was alone in first as she came across the mile marker in 6:07. Rebecca Daniel of UC, Weaver, and Amanda Maxwell of AB were in a tight trailing pack. By the 2nd mile, Griffith had built over a 20 second lead, but was noticeably struggling with her breathing. As Weaver approached with a few hundred meters to go, Griffith through guts, determination, and another gear kicked it in and crossed the line easily ahead of Weaver. WVW had 4 runners claim all-conference, AB had 3, West Liberty, UC, and Seton Hill had one each in the top ten.
The Challenge from Kallen Weaver
The men's race saw a lot of see-sawing and lead changes, but in the end WVW had the stronger team. Sophomore Eric Cooper took the lead away from Chris Herron of Concord University (CU) at about the mile and half point and cruised to the win. However, the men's race was not decided until about 4 miles. At the 3 mile mark of the 8K race, Concord was in the lead and it looked insurmountable. With Cooper comfortable in the lead, the rest of his teammates were in a huge fight. After 3 miles, Concord had 5 runners in the top 9 while WVW had 3, and UC had Cory Mehl in the mix. When the smoked cleared, Cooper finished 1st, Pat Reagan of WVW took 2nd, Mehl was 3rd, Woody Snoberger of WVW was 4th, Chris Snell, Herron, Michael Smutko, and Adam Coon of Concord took places 5th through 8th. But, the Bobcats placed their 4th and 5th runners ahead of Concord's 5th man.
Julian Florina of newcomer Seton Hill University, and Scott Bonnette of West Liberty claimed all-conference honors by placing in the top ten.
Look for this battle to continue at the NCAA Division 2 Region Meet held at Slippery Rock University on November 4th.