PARKERSBURG - Although neither Ripley nor Parkersburg are expected to bring back hardware from Saturday's state cross country championship meet in Ona, both programs have had a successful season.
The Ripley boys and girls each qualified for the state meet and the Big Red boys also made it out of their regional.
"This is the fourth year in a row for the boys making it to state," said PHS head coach Larry Games. "It's the 11th time in the last 15 years that the boys have qualified."
Junior Nic Cheuvront, ranked 15th in the state by runwv.com, led the PHS boys with a fifth place finish at the Region I meet. Cheuvront took 48th last year at state to pace the Big Reds. Senior John Bolton, who finished behind all-region teammate Logan Wooten last week, had the Big Reds' second best state finish last fall, taking 52nd.
"Logan ran his all-time best time and I thought he ran a great race," Games said of his regional performance. "I think Nic and John have gotten a lot better from this year to last year and they will be looking to do a lot better at the state meet this year."
Bolton and fellow senior Anthony Kist are the lone 12th graders expected to compete for PHS. Each team is allowed to bring 10 runners, but only seven participate with the top five times counting toward the team score.
"They will be there ready to go if needed," Games said of his three alternates - senior Elliott Clark, junior Tyler Morris and 10th grader Trenton Allman.
Junior Brandon McIntire will join freshmen Evan Wooten and Scotty Barker on the expected seven-man active roster.
"At the regional we had four runners that were fairly close," Games added. "We didn't really have a nice pack of five. If we can get a tight pack and they can run a good race I think we can do fairly well.
"Our goal, we think we have a realistic goal to be in the top five teams. It's going to be a little muddy so I don't know if anyone will run their best times."
The Ripley boys finished fifth last year at the state meet, one spot ahead of PHS.
Viking junior Jake Casto (44th) and sophomore Levi Phillips (56th) had the top finishes at state. However, 11th grader Antonio Jones paced the Vikings to the Region III championship by placing fourth. Freshman Remington Boyce was sixth, Phillips was ninth, Casto was 11th and ninth grader Dalton Fisher was 14th.
The Ripley girls finished third in the region and are led by senior Haley Ford, who earned all-region honors by placing fifth. The only other all-region honoree was junior Molli Cunningham, who was 10th. Ripley's other scoring runners from the Region III meet consisted of junior Kyndrah Hill (14th), sophomore Sapphire Parsons (19th) and senior Amy Ferrell (24th).
Saturday's state meet will get underway at 10 a.m. with the triple-A girls and the boys will follow at 10:45 a.m.