West Virginia 2013 Cross Country Preview: Abbey Harrison

Abbey Harrison - Photo by Lance McDaniel

This is the 10th in a series of previews on West Virginia High School boys’ and girls’ cross country for the 2013 season.


Athlete: Abbey Harrison

Year: Junior

School: University High School (Class of 2015)

Location: Morgantown, WV

Class: AAA Girls

Pre-Season Rank: West Virginia #3

Coach: Ed Frohnapfel


Personal Bests:

800 Meter Run - 2:23.70

1,600 Meter Run - 5:32.58

3,200 Meter Run - 12:33.17

5,000 Meter Run - 18:45.52


Athletic Honors:

2012 WV Cross Country All-State First Team – 3rd Place (18:45)

2011 WV Cross Country All-State First Team – 4th Place (19:22)


Abbey Harrison, a junior at University High School, is the pre-season WV#3 ranked runner for AAA girls. She had an outstanding sophomore year in cross country, but got an injury during track.

Cross Country: In October, Abbey ran a PR of 18:45.52 at the West Virginia State XC Championships, placing third.

Outdoor Track: In April, Abbey ran a PR of 5:32.58 in the 1,600 at the Russ Parsons/Clear Channel Radio Invitational, placing third; ran a PR of 2:23.70 in the 800 at the Charleston Gazette/Friends of Coal Relays, placing third; ran a PR of 12:33.17 in the 3,200 at the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference 2A-5A Championship, placing 5th.


Abbey Harrison Career Graph For 5,000 Meters



When did you start running track or cross country?

I began running both cross country and track in middle school.

Do you like one more than the other?

I enjoy both.

I noticed that you didn’t run as much tracki. Is there a reason for that?

Last track season was the first I didn't run due to a minor knee injury that I have now recovered from.

What sports did you participate in when you were younger?

Track, Cross Country and Basketball.

Do you have one race or personal record time you are most proud of?

My PR overall so far would have to be the one I'm most proud of.

What are your goals for you and your team this XC season?

Our goal this season is to just do our best and push each other to be the best we can as a team.

After the regular XC season is over, will you take part in any of the national races like Foot Locker Championships or the Nike XC race?

I do plan on participating in a few races after the regular season ends.

I imagine that you are getting recruited pretty heavily with some of the times you have posted. Do you plan on running in college?

I do plan on running in college if the opportunity comes.

Who is the most influential person in your running career?

I wouldn't say there is one person, but my whole team and all the girls who run in Morgantown definitely influence me and help push me to do my best.


Harrison’s  2013 Cross Country Schedule:  

Aug 24 - Knight Night XC Relays at Preston, WV

Aug 28 - UHS Invitational (Home Meet)

Aug 31 - California University of PA/Marty Uher Invitational at California, PA

Sept 7 – Chic-Fil-A Invitational at Mineral Wells, WV

Sept 13 - Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational at State College, PA 

Sept 25 – TRAC Championship

Sept 28 - Carlisle Invitational at Carlisle, PA

Oct 5 - OVAC Championship at Meadowbrook, OH

Oct 12 - Cameron Wild and Wet Invitational at Cameron, WV

Oct 26 – WVSSAC Region I - Class AAA at Wheeling Park, WV

Nov 2 – West Virginia State Cross Country Championships at Ona, WV


A Final Thought:

Abbey Harrison could have been WV#2 going into the 2013 cross country season with her fourth-place finish in 2011 and her third-place finish in 2012 at the West Virginia High School AAA Girls Cross Country State Championships. Amelia Paladino has the times to keep her No. 1 in the 2013 season. Personally, I look for another great battle between Abbey Harrison and Kaitlyn Workman of Preston High School. Harrison is now free from injury and looks to pursue her quest to be the best. She should finish at least in the top three and make All-State First Team for the third year in a row.

At last year’s state meet: At the mile mark, Abbey was 19 seconds behind Paladino, but only two seconds ahead of Workman. At about 1.5 miles, Abbey was 28 seconds behind Paladino, and now three seconds ahead of Workman. At the two-mile mark, Abbey was 39 seconds behind Paladino, but only had the slimmest margin over Workman. At the finish, Paladino ran an amazing time of 17:47.32, while Abbey Harrison finished 57 seconds back in a time of 18:45.52. Harrison pulled away with a five-second margin over Workman, who finished in a time of 18:50.22.

Will Abbey Harrison be back this season performing the times she was before her injury? Paladino, Workman and Harrison are the pre-season top three runners. Will they hold to their rankings or will an up-and-coming star steal the spotlight?