Williamstown looks for LKC cross country repeat

PARKERSBURG – Starting at 4:30 p.m. today at Abicht’s Landing in Belmont the Little Kanawha Conference girls cross country championship will get underway.

Defending LKC champion Williamstown, ranked third in the latest runwv.com power rankings, is expected to win again as No. 7 Doddridge County and No. 10 Ravenswood are the Yellowjackets’ stiffest team competition.

At approximately 5:15 p.m., the LKC boys championship race will begin as Ritchie County senior Johnny Hogue looks for a repeat crown. Hogue is top-ranked in the runwv.com Class AA/A individual rankings, but the No. 3 Rebels won’t have an easy time going after the team title. That’s because defending champion Williamstown, which is ranked fourth, as well as No. 9 Webster County should factor into the mix. This is the first time the Highlanders from Upper Glade will be competing in the LKC cross country championships.

Last year, it was the first time in school history the Yellowjackets captured both the boys and girls LKC team titles.

“In our last race we beat Williamstown (boys), but we had the home course advantage at the Ritchie County Invitational,” said Rebel head coach Holli Haddox Vaughan. “We would love to have that honor and be known as the LKC champs.

“The boys are all excited and they’ve put a lot of hard work in this season. We’ve seen major improvements and everyone is improving every race. They definitely deserve it.”

Overall, six all-LKC boys runners on the first team from last year are back. Aside from Hogue, Williamstown teammates Chandler Antill and Blake Williams return as do the Roane County duo of Caleb Pell and Caleb Shirey. Wirt County’s Glenn McMillan, who is rated one spot behind the eighth-ranked Raider Pell, took fifth last fall and is the highest returning placer behind Hogue.

Ravenswood junior Hailey Miller, twice the bridesmaid to now graduated ex-St. Marys and current West Virginia University runner Maggie Drazba, is ranked third in the state and is favored to win. Fellow Red Devil teammate Taylor Treadway is ranked ninth and Williamstown’s Cami Mosser is ranked No. 11. Williamstown also has three other runners who made first team last year who are back in Andrea Chidester, Allie Robinson and Shealee Mosser.

Emily Strickler of St. Marys, Tyler Consolidated’s Amber Watson and Braxton County’s Kate Golinsky also finished in the top 12 for all-LKC honors last fall. However, neither Strickler nor Golinsky are currently ranked in the top 50 of Class AA/A.