PARKERSBURG - Head coach Larry Games' Big Reds from Parkersburg advanced both the boys and girls cross country programs to next Saturday's state meet at Cabell Midland.
During the Class AAA, Region I, meet on Thursday at Wheeling Park, the PHS boys and girls both checked in at third place in the final team standings. Only the top three schools advanced to state from the Wheeling Park regional.
"The girls race was a real war. It really was," said Games, who watched Morgantown post 28 points with University (59) following as PHS nipped Preston, 77-85.
"We didn't know how it turned out until the computer printout came out. We ran well and we're pleased. Anytime you can qualify both teams for the state meet that's a good thing."
Parkersburg's boys finished with 67 points and trailed champion University (50) and Morgantown (53).
Nick Musgrave had the best finish for the Big Reds as his clocking of 17 minutes and 28 seconds placed him fourth. Sean Snider (12th, 18:11), Nic Cheuvront (13th, 18:12), John Bolton (18th, 18:28) and Andrew Lyons (20th, 18:40) also counted in the team scoring for the red and white.
Parkersburg's Kaylee Williams took 10th to lead the girls and she was followed by fellow scorers Nicole Dent (13th, 21:30), Rachel Morris (15th, 21:42), Swathi Mukkamala (18th, 22:22) and Jordan Waters (21st, 22:43).
Parkersburg South's best effort came from April Kirk, who finished the course in 22 minutes and 11 seconds. Kirk was 16th and needed to be in the top 10 to advance.
The top four teams advanced from this region to state and the Fairmont Senior (51) boys were followed by runner-up Doddridge County (93), St. Marys (117) and Williamstown, which posted the same 133 total as Webster County. Just like the LKC meet which the Yellowjackets won via tiebreaker, the sixth man's finish allowed Williamstown to advance its entire team to the state meet.
As expected, Maggie Drazba was the class of the girls field and finished as the champion with a time of 19 minutes and 34 seconds, which was 73 seconds faster than runner-up Kristen Mastrantoni's time from Weir.
The only other LKC girl to make the top 10, aside from Braxton County's Kirsten Gateless (8th, 22:10), was Williamstown's Cami Mossor, who took sixth with a clocking of 21:56. Mossor was followed by teammates Andrea Chidester (15th, 23:08), Shealee Mossor (19th, 23:19), Allie Robinson (23rd, 23:28) and Emma Ehle (28th, 23:53).
Drazba's teammates closed the gap on Williamstown from the LKC meet, but the second best finish from the Blue Devils came by Alex Gorrell, who was 17th after finishing in 23 minutes and 14 seconds. The remainder of St. Marys' scoring came from Emily Strickler (20th, 23:22), Katie Billeter (26th, 23:50) and Olivia Taylor (29th, 24:01).
Both the North Marion (107) and East Fairmont (132) girls also advanced.
The LKC boys had a good overall showing. Although Ritchie County failed to advance as a team, Rebel Johnny Hogue will head to Ona after his runner-up finish to Fairmont Senior's Nick Trefz (16:45 to 17:01). Doddridge County's Caleb Moore was third with a time of 17:07 and was followed by Jordan Whitehair of St. Marys, who took fourth with an effort of 17 minutes and 32 seconds.
Moore's teammates Matt Zorn (6th, 18:01) and Keith Britton (8th, 18:28) also cracked the top 10. Magnolia's James Haught was seventh (18:05), Tyler Consolidated's Dylan Reynolds took ninth (18:32) while Chandler Antil was 10th after finishing in 18:35 to pace Williamstown.
"Fairmont (Senior) is the toast of the town," said Doddridge County head coach Craig Kellar. "Our big three have been pretty strong on the front end and finished 3-6-8 and that got us off to a good start.
"Our 4-and-5 kind of closed the gap a little bit with Ian Spencer 38th (19:56) and Caleb Ferguson 48th (20:13). That was enough to get us the second spot."
Finishing behind Whitehair for the Blue Devils were Newt Cottrill (23rd, 19:18), Trevor Cottrill (24th, 19:29), Derek Carpenter (33rd, 19:45) and Michael Houser (46th, 20:11). Also factoring into Williamstown's scoring aside from Antil were Blake Williams (19th, 19:03), Jayson Lockhart (28th, 19:37), Jacob Hively (42nd, 20:04) and Austin Hall (50th, 20:15).