Jefferson Boys Upset Cabell-Midland; Morgantown Girls Outsprint University

Jacob Burcham and Victoria Cooke Take Individual Titles

Morgantown Girls Set New Team Average Record of 19:36.0

Jefferson Boys 2011 West Virginia State XC State Champions

Jacob Burcham 2011 West Virginia State AAA XC Champion

The Jefferson boys pulled off the upset of the year by defeating favored Cabell-Midland in a race that came down to the wire.   Jacob Burcham of Cabell-Midland again took home the individual crown in 15:47.59 on a slow and sloppy course but it was Jefferson’s depth that proved to provide the margin of victory.  Jefferson placed three runners in the top ten including second place Eric Graf (15:58.08), sixth place Ryan Graf (16:27.67) and tenth place Andrew Milliron (16:38.62) with Jefferson #4 runner Sam Munnis just behind in 11th at 16:45.24.  Cabell-Midland responded with Tyler Salmons seizing 4th place (16:12.56) followed by Jeremy Waugh in 14th (17:05.85) and Eric Wooten in 17th (15th in team scoring; 17:20.99).  In the end it came down to each team’s #5 runner as Jefferson held a slight 29 to 34 point lead before the #5 finishes.  Cabell-Midland’s Brian Lawhon (17:53.63) beat Jefferson’s Jackson Jacobs (17:56.41) to the line by two finishing spots. But Jacobs had passed three in the final 600 meters to position Jefferson for the victory. That finish plus Ryan Graf’s sprint to the line to nip Preston’s seventh place Brody Born (16:28.11) proved to be more than the talented Cabell-Midland squad could overcome on this day.  Preston High School, led by Peter Schwarzenberg’s third place finish (16:08.42) took home third place team honors with 92 points followed by University with 102 points and Winfield with 133 points.


Early in the boys AAA race with Jacob Burcham leading


Eric Graf 2011 West Virginia State AAA XC Runner-up with 4th place Tyler Sammons of Cabell Midland and 3rd place finisher Peter Schwarzenberg

Runners earning All-State individual honors included Jacobs Burcham, Eric Graf, Preston’s Peter Schwarzenberg, Tyler Salmons, Fairmont Senior’s Nicolas Trefz (16:24.91), Ryan Graf, Brody Born, George Washington’s Matthew Brafford (16:31.31), University’s Jordan Brown-Stobbe (16:37.57) and Andrew Milliron.

2011 All-State Individual Honors

AAA Girls Recap

Start of the girls AAA race - Victoria Cooke in white singlet and blue shorts (photo by Lance McDaniel)

Morgantown girls 2011 West Virginia State AAA XC Champions


Victoria Cooke 2011 West Virginia State AAA XC Champion

In the girl’s AAA race, Morgantown, led by freshman sensation Victoria Cooke’s sizzling 19:02.07, powered their way to victory over season-long rival University by a score of 38 to 55.  Morgantown set a new team average record on the course with an average time of 19:36.0 eclipsing the old record of 19:59.06 set last year by University. All season, Morgantown and University had dueled for  the number one ranking in the state but on this day, it was Morgantown who held the upper hand as Cooke jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.  Joining Cooke in turning in a sterling performance was Sydney Pineault (19:09.7) who passed favored University runner Amelia Paladino (19:15.7) in the last 800 meters to take second. Morgantown placed two additional girls in the top ten with outstanding performances from seventh place Brynn Harshbarger (19:33.5) and Allison Lynch (19:45.7)  to earn the larger than expected margin of victory.  University’s Abbey Harrison ran a superb 19:22.0 to secure fourth place but it wasn’t enough to catch a hot Morgantown team.  Joining in the Morgantown scoring was Andrea Pettit who finished in 20:28.5 while Katelyn Wheeler (20:21.6), Emily Lynch (20:23.0) and Deborah Martinelli rounded out the scoring for University.  Kaitlyn Workman’s personal best 19:24.4 was good for fifth place as she led Preston High School to a third place team finish with 91 points.  Joining Preston in the top five team finishes was Hurricane with 108 points and host Cabell-Midland with 154 points.


Sydney Pineault 2011 West Virginia State AAA XC Runner-up

Morgantown girls after the race enjoying the moment

Girls earning All-State honors included Victoria Cooke, Sydney Pineault, Amelia Palladino, Abbey Harrison, Kaitlyn Workman, Hurricane’s Tori Dent (19:31.7), Brynn Harshbarger, Parkersburg’s Kaylee Williams (19:35.1), Hampshire’s Rachel Lipps (19:37.4)  and Allison Lynch.

2011 All-State Individual Honors

More to follow in subsequent postings but overall a great day of racing.   Eighteen National Elite Times, including eleven from the girl’s race, in spite of extremely slick course conditions.  Congratulations to the Jefferson boys and Morgantown girls and all the All-State runners!


Editor's note: All photos by author Rollie Jacobs unless otherwise noted.