The WV 2008 State Cross Country Championship held in
Be sure to check out all of the links to athletes, teams, photos (WV 2008 State XC Photo Album), and more embedded in the article.
We will start with the AA-A boys race which got things started.
The AA-A Boys race presented the drama that would carry on throughout the day. Ravenswood entered the meet with 8 consecutive State cross country championship, but the boys from Berkeley Springs came into the meet in a strong position to derail plans for #9. Led by senior Lenny Roach, Berkeley Springs would lead until the 5th runner on the team was accounted for. In the end, Ravenswood would win by a slim 4 point margin 77-81 to claim their 9th consecutive State title. This is one of the most amazing accomplishments for any team, from any State, or from any level. Consider that in order to win 9 consecutive meets, how many runners it would take. It is possible that a runner from Ravenswood could have been on 4 consecutive State championship teams and never ran with another Ravenswood athlete that was also on 4 different championship teams.
Roach, the pre-race favorite led from start until the finish. He came through the mile in , two miles in and came across the finish in which tied the 3rd best course time equaling last year’s time posted by State AAA winner Ryan Beabout.
Nathan Rees of Ravenswood passed Ronald Read of Weir on the track to take runner-up honors. Rees, a senior, streaked by the line in as Read claimed his 2nd All-State designation with his strong showing in16:49.
Others claiming All-State with top 10 finishes were David Rhodes 16:50), Brent Roark (16:55), Cuylor Edgell (16:55), Drew Woodford (17:00, John Mundey (17:03), Skylor McCoy (17:05), and Derrick Chaffin (17:05).
AA-A Girls was much anticipated close race didn’t materialize as new AA-A 2008 State Champion Shady Spring with 61 points blew the competition away with a dominating performance and a 20 point win over State runner-up Wheeling Central Catholic who tallied 81 points.
Shady Spring Girls - Photo provided by Coach John Lucento
The 2008 AA-A individual state champion belonged to Rebecca McBride of Frankfort as she led from the beginning until the final step on the track at
Others claiming All-State awards with their top 10 finishes were freshman Brianna Robbins (20:29), Brittany Armentrout (20 :31), Molly Summers (20:32), Kelley Mortakis (20:32), Macy Houck (20:34), and Aly Carpenter (20:35).
The first race of the afternoon after the AA-A awards presentation was the AAA Boys race. Sophomore Cody Pelliccioni of Morgantown and the WV runners #1 ranked runner coming into the meet with his impressive performance at the Octoberfest Invitational took over first place from Cory Hampshire, a senior from Jefferson at about the two mile mark and never looked back as he pulled away for a 13 second win in 15:56 over Hampshire (16:09) and missing the course record by 3 seconds set by Zach Tennant of North Marion. Due to an injury Tennant was unable to race in the State meet. Pelliccioni became only the 2nd cross country runner to break 16 minutes on the Cabell Midland 5K course and the first to do it during the State meet.
Hampshire would lead the pack until just before the two mile marker as he crossed the first mile marker in , but was overta
Other boys receiving All-State awards at the presentation were Kyle Gramlich (16:26), David Caldwell (16:33), Craig Pritt (16:37), Logan Wojcik (16:39), Russell Mulley (16:49), Adam Frohnapfel (16:50), and Brandon Doughty of Jefferson (16:51) who fittingly was the last runner to break 17 minutes.
Gramlich’s 4th place finish and Wojcik and Mulley’s 7th and 8th place finishes would lead the Wheeling Park boys to a State championship over
The last race of the day brought out the old cliché of saving the best for last. This race was the most interesting and was the only race which experienced a lead change in the last few hundred meters of the race and the only race with a defending State Champion in the race.
Kasprowicz in the early lead
Letitia Propst trailing early
Propst was the only runner from Elkins in the girl’s race. However, for the first 2 ½ miles the race was between Kasprowicz and Courtney Yaeger a senior and the lone representative from Wheeling Park. Kasprowicz made a big statement early by going to the front. At the first mile mark Kasprowicz was in the lead with a time of , but Yaeger was sitting nicely and comfortable in 2nd place about a few steps back. By the two mile mark it was a two person race with Kasprowicz stretching out about a 5 second lead over Yaeger. Almost 20 seconds back was Propst. When they came down the hill and next to the start line it appeared that Yaeger was gaining and we knew this was going to be a close race to the finish. However, something strange happened around the ball field and when the runners came into view on the track Propst had caught the leaders and she was in high gear. Propst’s mad dash to the finish line capped off a remarkable comeback as she eclipsed the course record in and by 21 seconds that she set last year at the State meet. Yaeger gave it her all and nearly kept pace with Propst as she finished in and 19 seconds ahead of the previous best course mark. Kasprowicz ran out of steam down the stretch, but her time was still better than the previous course record by 9 seconds.
Propst - Two time champ
Other girls receiving All-State designations were Alex Dent (19:12), Megan Truelove (19:13), Andrea Nickerson (19:14), Jordan McDonald (19:20), Alyssa Boucher (19:21), Josie Crouch (19:22), and Sarah Martinelli (19:32).
While the two solo runners gained State Champion and State runner-up titles, the team points were up for grabs. University with 81 points and led by Martinelli took the State Champion trophy back to
Congratulations to all for another outstanding State Meet and especially to Cabell Midland for being a great host.