Run to win. That's been the motto of Cabell Midland's cross-country success since the consolidated school began competing. And they haven't slowed up yet. Now the motto of head coach Chris Parsons is "Quest to be the best in 2008". Cabell Midland's boys and girls teams are the defending MSAC champions as well as the Region IV defending champions. This season should be no different.
"Our ultimate goal is to have the boys and the girls teams to win states this year," Parsons said. "We are ranked No. 2 in the pre-season polls, so we know we will have to work hard to get it done."
Cabell Midland's boys were the state runners-up last season in Class AAA behind Wheeling Park. This season Wheeling Park is the pre-season No. 1 and the Knights are No. 2.
On the girl's side, the Lady Knights are No. 2 behind pre-season favorite University High School. Rival Hurricane is ranked No. 4. Both the boys and girls teams are separated from first place by just two points in the polls. The Lady Knights finished fourth at the state cross-country meet last season.
"Wheeling and University both have great programs," Parsons said.
Cabell Midland's girls have never lost a regional championship, and the boys have lost only once in the school's history. Both teams have won the Mountain State Athletic Conference championship every year since they have been members.
"Everybody in our conference and our region gear to want to beat us," Parsons said. "Hurricane's girls will have a great team and St. Albans boys team is always tough in the MSAC."
Having returning players will be a bonus for the Knights. All stater Trey Beckett returns for his senior season. Corey Miller, a multi-sport athlete, returns alongside junior Nolan Queen. Beckett finished in eighth place at the state meet with a time of 17:03.13. Queen finished with a time of 17:28.75 and Miller crossed the line with a time of 17:43.58. At the regionals, Queen finished in second place, Beckett third, and Miller came in fifth.
"The boys have a very good chance this season and the girls do, too," Parsons said. "They have all been working hard in the off-season and have been very dedicated at practice. They're really hungry right now."
On the girl's side, the Lady Knights return seniors Rachel Williams and Dee Dee Winningham and junior Brittney Taft. Williams finished fourth in the conference and 13th in the state meet last season. Winningham and Taft were both named all conference and all regional, along with Williams last season. As a team, the Lady Knights placed fourth in the state in Class AAA and won Region
IV. Winningham is coming off of an injury from track season and is just now getting back into shape for cross-country.
"We want to win more than anything," Miller said. "With us being seniors, this is our last year and we want to win."
Cabell Midland has not won a boys cross-country title since 2004 and the girls have yet to win in Class AAA. If both the Knights and the Lady knights complete their quest, then they will be the best in 2008.
Source: The Cabell Standard