Recap: St. Mary's Medical Center XC Festival

A pair of Morgantown runners knocked off reigning West Virginia Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year Tori Starcher at the St. Mary's XC Festival held at Cabell Midland on August 31th.

Mohigans sophomore Lea Hatcher won the Class AAA girls race in a meet-record time of 18:11.82, while senior teammate Athena Young finished second in 18:23.70. Starcher, a Ripley senior, placed third with a time of 18:46.03.

With her victory, Hatcher avenged placing second to Starcher at the Class AAA track and field state championship in May when Starcher set meet records in the 800-meter run and 1600.

"I knew I was going to be racing Tori," Hatcher told MileSplit WV following her victory. "We're great friends. I had planned to just stay behind her and kind of stay controlled, figure out her pace. Going through it, I felt really good. I was just able to keep pace and felt good enough through the course."

Finishing one-two with her teammate in Young also provided a rewarding experience, Hatcher said.

"That was so awesome," Hatcher said. "We're always running together in practice, so it was really cool. During the finish, I just tried to think of it as our normal run, pushing each other at the end of a workout."

Morgantown freshman Irene Riggs finished fourth to also help propel the Mohigans to the top of the podium in team standings. Hurricane placed second, led by freshman Audrey Hall, who placed sixth individually. Host Cabell Midland finished third as a team.

For Hatcher, the first-place showing on the state meet course provided the inspiration to return atop the podium.

"It's really exciting," Hatcher said. "Going through, I feel like I will know the course better. I really like this race, because it's like a practice race for states. You get to figure out how it feels through the first mile, through the second mile, you just get comfortable."

AAA Boys

Hurricane senior Wyatt Hanshaw captured the title in 16:07.70, besting Preston senior Cole Friend by four seconds. Morgantown senior Jackson Core paced the Mohigans in third place en route to a team victory. 

Preston finished five points behind Morgantown for second, while Hurricane placed third. The host Knights placed fourth behind three top-10 individual performances.

A-AA Girls

Anna Rupp, a Lexington Christian sophomore, won comfortably in 19:21.16, with a more than 35-second margin against Williamstown's Ella Hesson, who placed second overall and the top West Virginia finisher. East Fairmont junior Erykah Christopher placed third.

Behind Hesson's effort, Williamstown claimed the team victory, with Winfield second and Bridgeport third.

A-AA Boys

Bridgeport senior duo Jackson Jacobs and Cade Robinson finished successively in fourth and fifth places to lead the Indians to the team title, while Doddridge County senior Carter Lipscomb claimed the individual win in 16:38.06.

Matthew Scheneberg, a Winfield sophomore, placed second individually to lead the Generals to second place in team standings. Lexington Christian junior Connor Hayes followed in third place individually. Ritchie County took third in team standings.

JV Girls

Morgantown finished one-two-three individually and claimed seven of the top 10 spots to capture the team title.

Freshman Amelia Summers paced the Mohigans in winning individually with a time of 22:08.63, with teammates Leona Chorpening and Maggie Goodwin following in order. In team standings, Hurricane and Cabell Midland finished second and third, respectively.

JV Boys

Landon Young, a Morgantown sophomore, won individually with a time of 18:17.45, while Winfield finished three runners among the top 10 to take the team victory.

Bridgeport's Landon Burns, a junior, eclipsed Cabell Midland freshman Jared Bailey by less than a second to claim second place. Morgantown finished third as a team, with Bridgeport third.

Middle School Girls

Ripley eighth-grader Ellie Hosaflook placed first in the 3K race with a time of 12:18.65.

Alyssa Sauro led a trio of top-10 Williamstown runners, placing second individually, en route to a first-place team win. Doddridge County's Katie Cottrill finished third.

Middle School Boys

Putnam County athletes dominated the individual and team standings, as Hurricane manufactured a 10-point team victory behind top-10 performances by Aaaron Kidd and Justin Lipscomb, while Winfield's Brayden Marshall won individually in 11:13.55.

Barboursville eighth-grader Tristan Blatt finished second, with Ripley's Max Meadows third. Park Junior High placed second and Winfield third in team finishes.

Middle School JV Girls

Ava Mitias finished first in 15:13.81 to lead John Adams to the team victory. In total, four John Adams runners finished among the top 10.

Williamstown's Sydney Anderson placed second individually, with Hurricane's Jillian Noel third. Hurricane finished second and Hamlin third, respectively, in team standings.

Middle School JV Boys

With four top-10 finishes, Winfield won a narrow seven-point team victory against Barboursville.

Hurricane's Cooper Mick won the individual title in a time of 13:49.07, with John Adams runner Tyler Nantell second and Barboursville's Yousef Baryun third. In team standings, John Adams placed third.