A pair of northern West Virginia rivals highlighted the top of the Class AAA results, with a slew of outstanding Class AA-A performances at the annual high school cross country championships, held at Cabell Midland in Ona on Saturday.
University sophomore Josh Edwards posted the day's best time, as the only runner to break 16 minutes, with a Class AAA boys championship clocking of 15:49.88, to lead the Hawks to the team title.
Meanwhile, Morgantown sophomore Lea Hatcher sizzled with the course's second-fastest ever time in claiming the Class AAA girls championship in 17:24.66, with teammates Athena Young and Irene Riggs following in succession to lift the Mohigans to the team title.
See below for a breakdown of top team and individual results for each class.
Individual champion: Ethan Kincell, Fairmont Senior (16:20.73)
Class A team champion: Ritchie County (136 points)
Class AA team champion: Fairmont Senior (48 points)
Individual champion: Erykah Christopher, East Fairmont junior (18:53.37)
Class A team champion: Williamstown (87 points)
Class AA team champion: Fairmont Senior (78 points)
Individual champion: Josh Edwards, University sophomore (15:49.88)
Team champion: University (66 points)
Individual champion: Lea Hatcher, Morgantown sophomore (17:24.66)
Team champion: Morgantown (39 points)
Reigning Class AA champion Fairmont added another title to its hardware collection by capturing the team championship again with 48 points.
Polar Bears senior Ethan Kincell paced the field to win individually with a time of 16:20.73. Fellow Fairmont Senior runners Logan Zucelli and Tyler Hayes joined Kincell among the top 10, with fourth- and eighth-place finishes, respectively, after the trio finished one-two-three at the Region I championship.
Individually, Doddridge County junior Carter Lipscomb improved one spot upon last year's third-place showing to finish runner-up less than four seconds behind Kincell.
Bridgeport seniors Jackson Jacbos and Cade Robinson placed third and fifth, with teammate Bailey DeMoss seventh, as the Indians finished second in Class AA team standings with 58 points.
Freshman Garrett Ferguson placed sixth overall to lead his squad to a third-place team finish.
Senior Kent Bee led first-place Class A Ritchie County with his 10th-place performance, as Ritchie totaled 136th points. In overall Class AA-A standings, Ritchie placed fourth.
Philip Barbour senior Noah Ward also joined the All-State team with a ninth-place finish.
East Fairmont junior Erykah Christopher knocked off the dethroned reigning state champion Ella Hesson, of Williamstown, to claim victory in 18:53.37.
Hesson improved upon her 2018 state wining time of 19:25.50, but it wasn't enough to defeat Christopher, who crossed seven seconds ahead of Hesson. PikeView junior Erin O'Sullivan placed third.
Fairmont Senior runners Lydia Falkenstein (fourth), Carlina Jacquez (fifth) and Mackenzie Stanley (ninth) each posted All-State performances to lead the Polar Bears to the team title, with a total of 78 points.
Hesson's effort led the Yellowjackets to repeat as the Class A champions, as Williamstown placed only behind Class AA winner Fairmont Senior, with 87 points.
Winfield freshman Rachel Withrow paced the defending champion Generals to second among Class AA teams, with her sixth-place individual finish. Bridgeport sophomore Emerson Grafton claimed eighth in leading the Indians to third among Class AA schools.
Charleston Catholic junior Aubrie Custer (seventh) and Williamstown sophomore Chloe Lightfritz (10th) also turned in All-State efforts.
University sophomore Josh Edwards broke the tape in 15:49.88 to claim the state title after finishing runner-up last season.
In addition to Edwards, University runners Rocco DeVincent and Jordan Thomas attained All-State honors with respective eighth- and 10th-place finishes, to lift the Hawks to the team victory. University finished with 66 points, as rival Morgantown finished second with 85 points. Preston totaled 94 points, with host Cabell Midland fourth at 95 points.
Edwards posted the lone sub-16-minute performance of the meet, as he improved upon his freshman debut time of 16:07.78. Hurricane senior Wyatt Hanshaw, who captured the MSAC and Region IV championships, finished second with a time of 16:04.21.
Morgantown's Jackson Core placed third with a time of 16:09.83.
Cole Friend (fourth, Preston), Chris Lucas (fifth, Hampshire County), Trevor Carson (sixth, Riverside), Cooper Gibson (seventh, Cabell Midland), Franklin Angelos (ninth, Parkersburg) also joined the AAA boys All-State team.
Morgantown's top trio blistered the field, with sophomore Lea Hatcher leading the way to unseat defending state champion University.
Hatcher captured the individual title with the state course's second-fastest ever time in 17:24.78 to lead the Mohigans to the team championship. Fellow Morgantown runners Athena Young and Irene Riggs followed Hatcher in second and third place respectively.
Behind the trio's outstanding performance, Morgantown won the team championship with 39 points, as University placed second with 64 points. Preston County finished third with 85 points, while host Cabell Midland totaled 128 points for fourth.
Parkersburg senior Madison Trippett, the defending state champion, finished fourth individually.
Trippett won the 2018 meet with the fifth-best ever girls course time of 18:00.41, winning the individual championship after Ripley standout Tori Starcher did not finish the race. For the second year in a row, the state meet results did not feature Starcher, the reigning West Virginia Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Unfortunately, for Starcher, she wrapped her prep cross country career with the diagnosis of a stress reaction in her left tibia on Sept. 27. Trippett sat idle at the MSAC championship, also with a stress reaction, but returned to win the Region IV meet in 19:50.82.
University runners Caroline Kirby (fifth), Zoe Shetty (ninth) and Emma Williams (10th) each captured All-State honors to lead the runner-up Hawks.
Preston sophomore Allie Martin paced her team with a sixth-place finish.
MSAC champion Emma Jenkins, a sophomore, led Midland with her seventh-place showing.
Hurricane freshman Audrey Hall finished eighth to also join the AAA girls All-State squad.