Opening Weekend - August 24

08/24 Autumn Classic
St. Marys

Bridgeport’s Abe Merinar and Oak Glen’s Kelsey Chambers got their 2013 seasons off to strong starts, claiming the top spots in the Autumn Classic.

Merinar covered the 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, 50.6 seconds, while Jason Weitzel of Pikeview was second in the boys’ race in 18:01.8. Albert Shrimp of Wheeling Park was third in 18:06.2. In the team standings, Merinar’s Indians finished first with 40 points, placing seven runners in the top 25 overall. Wheeling Park was second with 62, while Williamstown claimed third with 85.

Meanwhile, Chambers won the girls’ race comfortably, crossing the line in 21:58.5. Hailey Miller of Ravenswood was the runner-up in 22:48.5, and Lavania MeMasters of Robert C. Byrd claimed third in 23:17.6. The team title went to Williamstown with 59 points. Ravenswood was second in 79, and Doddridge County claimed third with 107.

St. Marys, WV
08/24 Elizabeth S Broughton Memorial Invitational
Marietta High School
Marietta, OH
08/24 Knight Night XC Relays
Meet Story and Photos by Rollie Jacobs

The University High School girls’ and boys’ cross country teams had high expectations heading into the season and the opening Knight Night Relays. On Saturday, they took a first step toward meeting those expectations. Led by Millie and Andy Paladino, University swept the Knight Night Relays by taking both team titles in a meet that featured many of the top runners in the state.

In the girls’ race, top-ranked and defending champion Morgantown was expected to take the title. As the race progressed, it appeared that would be the case with the Morgantown A and B squads getting out strong. In the end, however, this race would be determined by Millie Paladino. Taking the baton (or in this case, the glowstick) 30 seconds behind very capable Morgantown “B” squad anchor Sydney Pineault, Paladino raced around the 1.5-mile circuit in 8:24.1 to secure the victory for the University “A” squad.

University’s Robin Altman, Abbey Harrison and Sarah Wills ran the opening legs of a 36:54.5 clocking over a 36:58.9 by the Morgantown “B” quartet that also featured Kaitlyn Woods, Hannah Pineault and Skylar Brooks. Demonstrating the depth of their squad, Morgantown “A” and its lineup of Victoria Cooke, Caroline Moore, Emma Hagerty and Allison Lynch took third in 38:02.1. Hampshire “A” (38:56.5) and Preston “A” (39:38.8) rounded out the top five teams.

Including Paladino’s superb dash, the top individual times were dominated by Morgantown and University runners with only Preston’s Kaitlyn Workman, Jefferson’s Abby Colbert and Hampshire’s Ashleigh Martin breaking into the top 10:

1.       Millie Paladino         University           08:24.1

2.       Kaitlyn Workman   Preston                08:49.7

3.       Hannah Pineault     Morgantown     08:53.1

4.       Sydney Pineault     Morgantown     09:00.1

5.       Allison Lynch            Morgantown     09:00.3

6.       Abby Colbert           Jefferson             09:01.0

7.       Victoria Cooke         Morgantown     09:07.5

8.       Abbey Harrison       University           09:13.6

9.       Ashleigh Martin      Hampshire          09:18.1

10.   Kaitlyn Woods         Morgantown     09:27.0

A great victory for a spirited University squad over two deep and strong Morgantown teams. These two teams will no doubt continue to battle this year culminating at States. It should be a great year in West Virginia Girls XC!

In the boys’ race, preseason No. 1 University was expected to take the title, and they did not disappoint. Nevertheless, it may not have been as easy as expected as Jefferson gave them a run for the title.

The first leg set the tone for the race as three runners battled for the lead. The lead changed hands several times with Jefferson’s Jackson Jacobs, preseason state AA/A No. 1 Johnny Hogue of Ritchie County and University’s Seth Edwards out front. Jacobs led coming into the stadium before being overtaken by Hogue and Edwards in the final 200 meters. It was a battle to the handoff with Hogue passing the baton in 7:34.2, just ahead of a rallying Jacobs (7:34.8) and Edwards (7:35.2) at the line. Jefferson’s Rhett Zillinger paced his team to a lead with a strong second leg (7:40.7), but after that point, it was a see-saw affair that came down to a final leg battle between WV #2 Andrew Milliron and WV #4 Andy Paladino. Paladino inherited a 28-second lead as he took the glowstick for the final carry. Milliron ran a superb 7:16.4 split, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the lead and the speedy Paladino (7:30.9) as University “A” (Paladino, Edwards, Tristan Harvey, Alex Minor) topped Milliron and his Jefferson “A”teammates of Jacobs, Zillinger and Colin Hayes, 30:46.8 to 30:59.2. Morgantown “A” of Connor Riley, Jacob Shockley, Colby Gresak and Jacob Jaquez seized third in 32:22.7, with Parkersburg “A” (32:34.7) and Hampshire “A” (33:12.3) rounding out the top five.

Individually, the top 10 splits for the 1.5 miles were:

1.       Andrew Milliron       Jefferson             07:16.4

2.       Andy Paladino           University           07:30.9

3.       Johnny Hogue           Ritchie County   07:34.2

4.       Jackson Jacobs          Jefferson             07:34.8

5.       Seth Edwards            University           07:35.2

6.       Rhett Zillinger            Jefferson             07:40.7

7.       Connor Riley              Morgantown     07:43.1

8.       Scott Nesland            Philip Barbour    07:49.0

9.       Alex Minor                  University           07:49.7

10.   Tristan Harvey           University           07:51.0

The strength of preseason #1 University is obvious with four runners cracking the top 10 individually.  Nevertheless, Jefferson showed well, with three of the top six finishers and some young talent on the way up.  While University should remain a solid favorite, Jefferson, Parkersburg (their “A” and “B” squads finished fourth and sixth, respectively) and the ever present Cabell-Midland may have more to say before the season is out.

Overall, it was a great night in Kingwood with near perfect weather, a great crowd and a well-organized event by the staff at Preston High School. The cross country season is now in full swing.  Best of luck to all the teams and runners as they work toward successful seasons!


Flash Results

University had the fastest quartets and one of the top individual splits in the Knight Night Relays.

Defending AAA champion Amelia Paladino needed just 8 minutes, 24.1 seconds to finish her 1.5-mile leg, anchoring the Hawks to victory in 36:54.5 to Morgantown’s 36:58.9. Another Morgantown squad was third in 38:02.1 as the Mohigans scored six of the 11 fastest splits.

Preston’s Kaitlyn Workman was second fastest in 8:49.7, followed by Morgantown’s Hannah Pineault (8:53.1), Sydney Pineault (9:00.1) and Allison Lynch (9:00.3), and Jefferson’s Abby Colbert (9:01.0).

In the boys’ relay, University won in 30:46.8 to Jefferson’s 30:59.2 and Morgantown’s 32:22.7. Andrew Milliron of Jefferson had the fastest carry at 7:16.4, with Andy Paladino of University next quickest at 7:30.9. Johnny Hogue of Ritchie County clocked 7:34.2, while Jackson Jacobs of Jefferson was fourth at 7:34.8 and Seth Edwards of University fifth in 7:35.2.

Kingwood, WV