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WHS girls take top spot at Autumn Classic

Ripley’s Starcher finished in first

Photo by Josh Hughes Members of the Williamstown Yellowjackets girls’ cross county after winning the 2019 Autumn Classic Saturday morning at St. Marys High School.

ST. MARYS — It was a great Saturday morning for a run, as the 2019 cross country season started for many local teams in St. Marys. The annual Autumn Classic took place from St. Marys High School, as plenty of local placers already looked to be in midseason form.

While there were fun run races and middle school races later in the morning, the two high school 5k races took center stage. No time was wasted when the starting gun fired at exactly 9 a.m. to signify the start of the girls’ race. Starting with a straight stretch and then an incline up a hill, it was Ripley’s Tori Starcher who got off to the best start. She jumped out in front of the rest of the field and never looked back. When she entered the football stadium to finish on the track, the next closest runner (Williamstown’s Ella Hesson) was behind by about ten seconds. She couldn’t make up that deficit, and Starcher (19:41.95) cruised to her first win of the season. Hesson strolled across the finish line comfortably in second at 19:51.39.

Following the race, the defending state champion and McCoy Female Track Athlete of the Year talked about her experience collecting this win at the Autumn Classic.

“The hills were good. The previous year doing cross country, I was injured and had to take some time off,” Starcher said. “I didn’t get to run this course for the first meet last year, so I was just trying to stay healthy and get my fitness back from not being able to run for the first few weeks (in 2018). I hadn’t run a solid cross country season in the past year, so it was a bit tough, but I feel like I ran a good bit faster than I did in my sophomore year.”

For Hesson, her efforts earned her a second place finish that sets her up with plenty to prove for the season ahead.

“I’ve definitely got some work to do,” Hesson admitted. “I’ve got to keep running harder in practice to get where I need to be. I’m hoping we can do well this season. All of (my teammates) did pretty well today, so I’m hoping we’ll be pretty good this season.”

Speaking of those teammates, they all pitched in to give Williamstown the combined girls’ team victory over Ripley and Fairmont Senior.

Chloe Lightfritz rounded out the top five for the ‘Jackets in 20:41.93, while the Vikings had another top finisher via a fourth place finish from Jayden Casto. Host school St. Mary’s finished fifth behind Erica Davis’s 16th place finish in 22:01.75.

Fairmont Senior’s Ethan Kincell (16:07.75) won the boys’ 5k ahead of Doddridge County’s Carter Lipscomb (16:23.77) by 16 seconds. Just over the 17-minute mark, teammate Gage Smith (17:01.13) crossed the finish line in third. That duo helped the Doddridge County boys’ reach a second place finish in the overall team results, as Fairmont Senior used Kincell’s victory to take home first.

For Lipscomb, he felt like he was in the zone, as a good race could be a sign of things to come later in 2019.

“Honestly, the work we put into the summer really came into play, today,” Lipscomb said. “We sweat and we bled a lot, but it all came to fruition, today. We had some great races from some great guys, and I’m excited for the rest of the season.”

Ritchie County’s Kent Bee racked up a fifth place finish in 17:15.48, as that helped the Rebels take bronze in the boys’ team scores. The Williamstown boys came in fifth with Alex Cockerham’s 26th place finish leading the way for them.

In order to make it to the state championship meet on November 2 at Cabell Midland, teams have to consistently perform, and a strong showing at this year’s Autumn Classic could go a long way to deciding who stays and who goes.

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com

Autumn Classic 5K run

at St. Marys High School

Saturday

BOYS

TEAM SCORES: 1. Fairmont Senior 42; 2. Doddridge County 69; 3. Ritchie County 76; 4. Oak Glen (146); 5. Williamstown 167; 6. Elkins 188; 7. Ripley 223; 8. Brooke 241; 9. John Marshall 255; 10. Tucker County 258; 11. St. Marys 272; 12. Notre Dame 311; 13.Clay County 319; 14. Wirt County 369; 15. Cameron 380; 16. Roane County 395; 17. Calhoun County 552

Local placers:

Doddridge County: 2. Carter Lipscomb 16.23.77; 3. Gage Smith 17:01.1; 10. Trent Gola, 17:33.47; 23. Brennan Gum, 18:42.28; 34. William Atkinson, 19:17.94; 62. Jackson Holden 20:39.31; 113. Jimmy Burke, 22:09.19; 175. Brandon Ripley, 28:42.38; 118. Logan Currey, 30:53.92

Ritchie County: 5. Kent Bee 17:15.48; Brady Layman, 17:59.54; Isaac Slater, 18:19.48; 19. Zyan Hardbarger, 18:29.69; 24. Heath Knight, 18:43.29; 27. Adam Davis, 18:57.81; 37. Tatem Elliott, 19:23.58; 41. Dalton Hayes, 19:36.32; Jeremiah Dalton, 19:56.8; 50. Gabriel Morrison, 20:06.31; 59. Colin Murphy, 20:33.67; 63. Logan Hostuttler, 20:40.33; 70. Mark Baker, 21:04.06; 97. Rory Bynner, 21:44.87; 103. JD Henderson, 21:57.65; 154. Ryan Lynch, 24:23.13; 167. Rowan Mallery, 25:43.14; 168. Anden Keen, 25:50.05; 170. Gabe Murphy, 26:42.71

Ripley: 8. Chase Pepper 17:28.29; 36. Levi Jones, 19:21.09; 57. Hunter Harper, 20:28.87; 72. Andrew Putnam, 21:05.15; 88. Garrison Phillips, 21:23.72; 109. Cole Neal, 22:05.20

St. Marys: 16. Jacob Elder, 18:13.12; 53. Blake Stanton, 20:11.08; 79. Brian Rhodes, 21:17.07; 82. Waylon Moore, 21:18.7; 98. Carson Miller, 21:44.87; 112. Peyton Oliver, 22:08.06; 128. Trey Cummings, 22:47.09; 153. Landon Kimball, 21:24.48;

Williamstown: 26: Alex Cockerham, 18:54.16; 28. Zach Cannon, 18:58.50; 38. Ryan Wager, 19:26.93; 40. Colin Hunkele, 19:35.76; 43. Harbor Haught, 19:49.34; 66. Malachi Stewart, 20:54.70; 71. Dawson Winsett, 21:04.44; 76. Dax Chancellor, 21:11.86; 94. Dawson Reynolds, 21:40.17; 101. John Nicely, 21:52.58; 118. Michael Hendrickson, 22:21.39; 147. Mark Tucker, 23:42.88; 163: Jacob Lunduski, 25:20.80

Wirt County: 55. Alexander Petrovsky, 20:18.40; 56. Gabe Adams, 20:27.02; 89. Logan Freed, 21:24.37; 132. Daniel Prim, 22:59.17; 136. Brayden Littlejohn, 23:13.41; 138. Eavett Cochrane, 23:17.50; 146. Wyatt Nulton, 23:41.86; 157. Clayton Wooten, 24:32.68; 158. Philip Baylis, 24:33.17; 172. Ryan Monroe, 27:05.94; 177. Carter Lowe, 29:08.52; 178. Shay Moore, 29:32.12

Calhoun County: 139: Nick Bush, 23:24.73; 159. Levi Morris, 24:36.34; 166. Joel Basnett, 25:40.29; 176. Logan Basnett, 28:55.75; 182. Joshua Hixon, 38:27.00

GIRLS

Team scores: 1. Williamstown 56; 2. 2. Ripley 61; 3. Fairmont Senior 85; 4. John Marshall 1:52:39 120; 5. St. Marys 162; 6. Elkins 165; 7. Doddridge County 197; 8. Tucker County 210; 9. Notre Dame 238; 10. Oak Glen 248; 11. Ritchie County 250; 12. Clay County 270; 13. Robert C. Byrd 299

Local placers:

Ripley: 1. Tori Starcher, 19:41.95; 4. Jayden Casto, 20:38.04; 7. Tori Fisher, 20:44.58; 11. Haleigh McCune, 21:50.11; 42. Audrey Stephens, 24:07.46;

Williamstown: 2. Ella Hesson, 19:51.39; 5. Chloe Lightfritz, 20:41.93; 10. Natalie Sawin, 21:39.73; 18. Torie Combs, 22:05.24; 23. Brianna Winsett, 22:25.63; 24. Emilee Ellison, 22:29.88; 37. Brookelyn Reynolds 23:33.38; 43. Isabel Kaiden, 24:13.43; 61. Stella Flanagin, 25:50.32

Doddridge County: 12. Emma Gola, 21:50.35; 32. Hailey Keith, 22:59.04; 44. Nora Siras, 24:15.81; 63. Sydney Keith, 26:02.33; 71. Natasha Cox, 26:36.24; 72. Lacey Shepherd, 26:44.82

Ritchie County: 14. Olivia Cress, 21:58.42; 54. Zoe Butcher, 25.13.93; 65. Addison Jones, 26:03.7; 77. Alyvia Pittman, 27:01.06; 82. Marissa Scott 27:56.56; 95. Ivy Hogue, 30:04.58; 123. Macy Hilvers, 37:29.81

St. Marys: 16. Erica Davis, 22:01.75; 22. Jessy Higgins, 22:24.5; 39. Josey Moore, 23:57.94; 45. Bralynn Davis, 24:22.17; 56. Kamryn Armstrong, 25:16.03; 60. Erika Becker, 25:49.42; 67. Alexis Hashman, 26:06.66; 75. Caleigh Campbell, 26:58.45; 86. Lara Fetty, 28:33.10; 90. Zoe Davis, 29:14.23; 94. Mary Taylor, 29:48.62; 102. Emilie Asher, 30:23.55

Wood County Christian: Lacey Dimit, 23:17.78; 122. Summer Burkhammer, 36:42.40

Calhoun County: 50. Savannah Cunningham, 24:47.84; 91. Cassie Fowler, 29:39.07; 99. Lacey Hicks, 30:09.91; 113. Samantha Tanner, 33:21.56

Wirt County: 104. Brooklyn Rood, 31:25.30; 114. Elizabeth Purder, 33:44.41

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