Cabell Midland boys and Hurricane girls high school cross country teams continue to be in a league of their own, capturing Class AAA, Region IV Championships at Teays Valley Park Thursday to lock a spot in the the state tournament. The Knights scored 29 first place points in the boys division, followed by Winfield at 54 and Parkersburg South at 119.
Hurricane's girls sped past the field with a winning total of 30 points. Cabell Midland girls had another solid performance with a second place total of 56 and Parkersburg South finished third with 84. The top three teams and the top 10 individuals in the girls and boys divisions qualify for the Nov. 1 cross country state championship at Cabell Midland.
Matt Burton led Winfield boys to the second place finish by capturing the individual regional title with a time of 17:35.68. Coming to the finish he was bunched up with a pair of Cabell Midland runners, but he out-sprinted them to the finish line.
"It was a tough race all the way through and the front group of runners stuck together through the entire race," Burton said. "I wasn't wasn't expecting to win and this is really a big surprise."
Trey Beckett was also rock solid for Cabell Midland, coming in right behind his teammate for an encouraging third place finish with a time of 17:41.78. He was elated to have Queen back, which set up the two-three finish for the Knights.
"To have Nolan back is huge at this point," Beckett said. "I felt like everyone ran their best out there, but next week is when it really counts the most."
Dustin Stewart finished just behind Queen and Beckett in fifth place. Corey Miller and and Ryan Smith also cracked the top 10 for the Knights with ninth and 10th place showings, respectively.
Hurricane had a one-two finish in the girls race en route to the title. Alex Dent continued her dominance with a winning time of 19:41.20. In just her first season of cross country, Josie Crouch has been a huge addition, placing second with a time of 19:50.02.
"Our team has really been working hard for this and we couldn't have done it without our coach Bill Posey," Dent said. "I'm shooting for a top 10 finish at states this year."
Winfield's Megan Truelove took third by crossing in 19:54.13. Rachel Williams led the way for Cabell Midland with a fourth place finish in a time of 20:36.77.
Kristin Hayslett finished in sixth for Hurricane, while Cabell Midland's Brittany Taft followed in seventh place. The Knights' Jessica Hutchison finished in ninth place and the Redskins' Kaley Gregory rounded out the top 10.
Source: The Herald Dispatch