Preview: Chick-fil-A Invitational In Mineral Wells

Each of the top-five finishing teams from last season's Class A-AA boys state championship will race at the 20th annual Chick-Fil-A Invitational in Mineral Wells on Sept. 7.

Class A-AA

Defending champion Fairmont Senior will be in attendance, as will runner-up Winfield and third-place finisher Bridgeport. The three teams were separated by nine points last year, with Fairmont Senior edging Winfield by a single point.

Individually, Doddridge County junior Carter Lipscomb lists among favorites at the Chick-Fil-A meet. Lipscomb, who placed third at the 2018 state meet, represents the top-returning runner from last year's championship. Ethan Kincell and Tyler Hayes will lead the Polar Bears' effort, with others vying for the podium including: Jackson Jacobs and Cade Robinson, both of Bridgeport; Winfield's Matthew Scheneberg and Jordon Thompson; Tyler Consolidated's Spencer Corley; and Philip Barbour senior Noah Ward.

On the girls side, the top-three finishing teams from last year's state meet will also be in attendance in defending champion Winfield, runner-up Bridgeport and third-place finisher Williamstown.

Williamstown junior Ella Hesson captured the Class A-AA state title last year in 19:25.50, and she looks to be among favorites to win on Saturday. Hesson finished second at the St. Mary's XC Festival at Cabell Midland on Aug. 31.

Winfield junior Baylee Adkins figures to be among top finishers, too, after placing third last year at state. Other challengers for the individual title include Winfield freshman Rachel Withrow, Fairmont senior's Lydia Falkenstein, Williamstown sophomore Natalie Sawin and Bridgeport's Emerson Grafton, among others.

Class AAA

Ripley standout Tori Starcher will look to battle defending state champion Madison Trippett, of Parkersburg, in the girls varsity race.

Starcher, the reigning West Virginia Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, led the majority of the 2018 state meet before dropping late, as Trippett eventually prevailed in 18:00.41. At the St. Mary's XC Festival, Starcher placed third behind Morgantown's Lea Hatcher and Athena Young.

Beyond Parkersburg and Ripley, George Washington lists among top teams in the field.

In AAA boys, Wheeling Park enters the meet after placing fourth at the 2018 state championship. Parkersburg, Parkersburg South and George Washington figure among other teams vying for the meet win.

Parkersburg junior Keegan Barnette placed 18th at state and lists as the top returner among the Chick-Fil-A field. Fellow Big Red runner Franklin Angelos, a sophomore, also lists among top runners individually.

The Chick-Fil-A Invitational will commence at 9 a.m. with the girls varsity race, followed by boys varsity at 9:30 a.m. Both races will feature all classes racing at the same time. Following the varsity races, there will be races for junior varsity, elementary school and middle school.

Complete list of teams scheduled to be in attendance:

·         Andrew Jackson Middle

·         Blennerhassett Middle

·         Bridge Street Middle

·         Bridgeport High

·         Caldwell High

·         Caldwell Middle

·         Cameron High

·         Cameron Middle

·         Capital High

·         Chapmanville High

·         Chapmanville Middle

·         Doddridge County High

·         Doddridge County Middle

·         East Fairmont Middle

·         Edison Middle

·         Elkview Middle

·         Fairmont Senior High

·         George Washington High

·         George Washington Middle

·         Grafton High

·         Hamilton Middle

·         Herbert Hoover High

·         Horace Mann Middle

·         Jackson Middle

·         John Adams Middle

·         Magnolia High

·         Marietta High

·         Marietta Middle

·         Nitro High

·         Oak Glen High

·         Paden City High

·         Paden City Middle

·         Parkersburg High

·         Parkersburg South High

·         Philip Barbour High

·         Poca Middle

·         Point Pleasant High

·         Ravenswood High

·         Ravenswood Middle

·         Reedsville Eastern

·         Ripley High

·         Ripley Middle

·         Ritchie County High

·         Ritchie County Middle

·         Roane County High

·         Sherman High

·         Sherman Middle

·         South Charleston High

·         South Charleston Middle

·         Taylor County Middle

·         Teays Valley Christian High

·         Teays Valley Christian Middle

·         Triadelphia Middle

·         Trinity Christian Middle

·         Tyler Consolidated High

·         Tyler Consolidated Middle

·         Van Devender Middle

·         Warren

·         Warwood Middle

·         Wheeling Central Catholic High 

·         Wheeling Park High

·         Williamstown High

·         Williamstown Middle

·         Winfield High

·         Winfield Middle

·         Wirt County High

·         Wirt County Middle

·         Wood County Christian