Jefferson’s Graf and Colbert Earn Individual Honors
On a crisp and beautiful late summer’s morning in Elkins, WV, the Hampshire girls and Jefferson boys conquered the demanding Davis & Elkins College 5k cross country course to seize first place in their respective divisions. Jefferson’s Ryan Graf set a new course record in winning the boys’ title and freshman teammate Abby Colbert raced to win the girls’ individual title.
First Place Hampshire Girls- Rollie Jacobs Photo
Hampshire used outstanding depth, placing four runners in the top sixteen, as their route to victory. Led by Rachel Lipps (21:02.01) and Ashleigh Martin (21:03.24), Hampshire also received significant contributions from freshman Morgan Roach (10th; 22:25.85) and Mary Feaster (16th; 23:04.84) as they outpaced second place Phillip Barbour 56 to 88. The Colts placed four runners in the top twelve including Brianna Waybright (4th; 21:37.36), Marissa Long (7th; 22:14.94), Allison Villers (8th; 22:19.09) and Katie Mahoney (12th; 22:37.35) but it wasn’t enough to overtake Hampshire.
On her way to victory, Jefferson's Abby Colbert Leads the Field Early - Rollie Jacobs Photo
Jefferson girls continued to demonstrate that they are once again a team to be reckoned with in the state XC scene as they finished third. Led by Abby Colbert’s first place time of 20:50.35, Jefferson was also boosted by Anya Wallace’s 11th place (22:33.66) result. Other runners in the girl’s top fifteen included:
5. Peyton Panger Capital 21:43.42
6. Morganne Phillips Bridgeport 21:55.21
9. Ashley Cassidy Tucker County 22:20.30
13. Fallon Stone Hedgesville 22:43.66
14. Heather Jenkins Musselman 22:54.41
15. Abbie Barnett Trinity 23:04.26
Girls Top 15 finishers - Rollie Jacobs Photo
First Place Jefferson Boys - Rollie Jacobs Photo
In the boys’s race, Jefferson submitted a dominating performance placing five runners in the top ten to easily outpace second place Hampshire 24 to 107. Led by Ryan Graf’s record time, Jefferson also received an outstanding performance from junior Andrew Milliron who finished second in 17:32.76 outpacing Scott’s Will Shafer (3rd; 17:40.09). Jefferson also had noteworthy finishes from Jackson Jacobs (7th; 18:23.92), Rhett Zillinger (9th; 18:28.86) and Zach Wiberg (18:41.90).
Jefferson's Ryan Graf Races to Victory - Rollie Jacobs Photo
While Hampshire’s top finisher did not crack the top fifteen, their balanced lineup led them to a strong second place finish over third place Musselman (127 points). Hampshire was led by Eli Lipps (17th; 19:13.92) and Casey Feezle (18th; 19:14,19) while Musselman rode a strong fourth place finish by Shane Rigsby (18:12.46) to garner their third place honors. Other runners in the boys’ top fifteen included:
5. Abe Merinar Bridgeport 18:18.35
6. Brettley Harris Webster County 18.23.63
8. Jacob Weitzel PikeView 18.27.97
11. Matt Taylor Hedgesville 18:44.04
12. Marshall Sharp Capital 18:44.91
13. Scott Neslund Phillip Barbour 18:45.90
14. Austin Hamrick Elkins 18:52.69
15. Matt Dearth Bridgeport 19:05.46
Boys' Top Fifteen Finishers - Rollie Jacobs Photo
In the JV race, Washington’s Kevin Grega (20:18.43) took first place in the boys’ division followed by Jefferson’s Arlo Parker (21:06.49). Scott’s Megan Blankenship (27:12.62) took the girls’ JV title followed by Tucker County’s Kaylee Nedrow (27:23.15).
Congratulations to Elkins High School and Davis & Elkins College for hosting a well-managed and hospitable meet. Of note, the Davis & Elkins course will be site of the Region II AAA regionals later this year. It will be interesting to see how these results translate into regional championship performances.