Yellowjacket girls claim Chick-Fil-A Invitational
Ripley’s Hosaflook, Doddridge’s Lipscomb first across finish line
MINERAL WELLS — Doddridge County senior Carter Lipscomb and Ripley freshman Ellie Hosaflook won individual titles here Saturday at the 22nd annual Chick-fil-A Invitational while the Williamstown girls and the Wheeling Park boys topped the field for the team hardware.
Head coach Larry Cassady’s Yellowjackets, who are hoping to four-peat as Class A state champions, continued their pack mentality of running.
Ella Hesson led the way for WHS with a third place finish (20:50), but the ‘Jackets also had three other runners crack the top 10. Chloe Lightfritz finished in seventh (21:14), Natalie Sawin was ninth (21:29) and Brianna Winsett’s time of 21:41 was good for 10th. Rounding out the scoring for WHS was 17th place finisher Reagan Ortiz (22:25), but teammates Torie Combs (22nd, 22:37) and Brookelyn Reynolds (35th, 23:43) weren’t far behind.
Hosaflook, who helped the Vikings to a runner-up finish with 71 points compared to Williamstown’s 46, won her second straight varsity race and easily topped the field with a time of 18 minutes and 40 seconds.
John Marshall’s Zara Zervos (20:41) was runner-up.
Doddridge County, which finished in fourth place with 124 points well behind third place Woodrow Wilson’s 84, was led by Lexie Lamb and Maria Bee. Lamb claimed fourth place with a time of 20:57 while Bee was just 10 seconds behind. Ripley’s Jadyn Casto was sixth with a clocking of 21 minutes and 14 seconds. Beckley’s only top 10 showing came from Collette Lindley, who was eighth with a time of 21:20.
“I think our team is doing pretty good,” admitted Hosaflook, who added when asked if she had any particular goal for the day “not really. I just want to see our team perform well at the meet. I’ve ran it (the course) three times. It’s really flat and fast. I was happy with my time.”
Lipscomb claimed his first Chick-fil-A championship with a 15:32 effort, which bested Parkersburg’s Franklin Angelos by 34 seconds. Big Red teammate Keegan Barnette was only four ticks behind and got third with a time of 16:10. Barnette was able to nip Fairmont Senior’s Logan Zuchelli by one second. Wheeling Central’s Aidan Scott was fifth (16:35). Rounding out the top 10 were Fairmont Senior’s Tyler Hayes (16:45), John Marshall’s Mack Allen (16:53), Bulldog Trent Gola (16:56) along with Wheeling Park teammates Jonah Nizami (16:58) and Brady Miller (17:01).
“We’re just about to complete the base phase of training and then we’re really going to start amping it up,” admitted Lipscomb, who watched teammates Brennan Miller (23rd, 18:03), William Atkinson (30th, 18:45) and Josh Berke (39th, 19:19) also factor in the scoring.
“I feel really solid right now. I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. I’d say, probably, I’m faster now than I was last October. I’m really excited to get to October. I’m excited to get back to Cabell Midland on Halloween day and just hopefully go out there and win myself a state title and help win the team a state title.”
As happy as Lipscomb was with his effort, he was even more pleased with the continued success of the Bulldogs.
“Always, winning is goal number one and helping the team get back on that podium and helping myself get back on that podium,” Lipscomb added. “That’s always goal number one. Time-wise, for this season, I’d like to finish around 15:19, but if we don’t have any national caliber meets come postseason I might not get to that time.
“But, 15:32, that’s an 18-second PR from last year. I beat the winning time from last year in my race. I feel like I’m in pretty good shape. I feel like I could roll with anybody in West Virginia right now. Cross country, it’s an individual sport first, but it always comes down to can your team perform when it counts the most.”
Parkersburg’s total of 150 was good for fifth place. Ritchie County (157) and Williamstown (189) followed in sixth and seventh, respectively.
Aside from Angelos and Barnette, the red and white also had scoring efforts from Gabe Ray (42nd, 19:26), Ethan Rutherford (48th, 19:52) and Hunter Boice (55th, 20:54).
The Rebels were led by Brady Layman’s 20th place showing with a time of 17:57. Ritchie County’s four other placers were Isaac Slater (26th, 18:12), Heath Knight (33rd, 18:54), Tatem Elliott (34th, 19:01) and Dalton Hayes (44th, 19:37).
WHS got a top-20 showing from Zach Cannon (17th, 17:50) and he was followed by Alex Cockerham (29th, 18:38), Ryan Wager (43rd, 19:29), Malachi Stewart (49th, 19:54) and Dawson Winsett (51st, 20:11).
Chase Pepper led Ripley with a time of 17 minutes and 11 seconds, which was good for 11th place. Viking Max Meadows was 34 ticks slower and placed 14th. Cole Neal (62nd, 21:26), Conner Casto (78th, 24:09) and Trey Greer (83rd, 25:52) also scored for the Jackson County program.
Wirt County’s AJ Petrovsky led the Tigers with a time of 18:12 and placed 27th. Also scoring for the orange and black were Wyatt Nulton (50th, 20:08), Philip Balis (54th, 20:53), Logan Freed (60th, 21:13) and Joseph Liveo (63rd, 21:27).
Brody Cochran had Parkersburg South’s best effort after finishing in 18:28 and placing one spot behind Petrovsky. Aiden Blake (47th, 19:51), Anthony Ott (61st, 21:17), Nathan Plotner (69th, 22:37) and Blake Snyder (76th, 23:49) concluded the Patriots’ top five.
Also leading their respective schools on the day were Wood County Christian’s Michael Cline (20th, 17:56), Tyler Consolidated’s Haygen Baker (30th, 18:21), Ravenswood’s Cade Curfman (33rd, 18:43), Parkersburg Catholic’s Zarik Westrick (60th, 20:44), Paden City’s Brandon Hizer (88th, 23:02) and Magnolia’s Lucas Zombotti (89th, 23:06).
Factoring in the scoring for Ripley aside from Hosaflook and Casto was the trio of Haleigh McCune (20th, 22:34), Tori Fisher (21st, 22:37) and Opal Huffman (23rd, 22:44).
Emily Gola (16th, 22:18), Hailey Keith (31st, 23:13) and Jocelyn Atkinson (68th, 27:17) followed Bulldog teammates Lamb and Bee.
The Ravenswood girls, who had 195 points to finish eighth ahead of Parkersburg (229), Parkersburg South (246) and Ritchie County (284), were paced by Maci Mosser’s 22:14 clocking, which was good for 15th. The Red Devils’ other four counting runners were Hadleigh McGoskey (24th, 22:47), Emily Wratchford (25th, 22:48), Brooke Meadows (62nd, 25:53) and Madisyn Whited (75th, 29:35).
Marimo Akita led the Patriots with a 13th-place effort of 22:02 and was followed by teammates Sydney Jeffrey (41st, 24:08), Jenna Harr (62nd, 26:53), Hayleigh Brick (64th, 27:02) and Desirae Caplinger (66th, 27:10).
Ritchie County had finishing scoring efforts of 49th by Andrea Davis (24:52), 55th by Lillie Law (25:32), 59th by Chaslyn Jones (26:16), 60th by Kaity Sullivan (26:17) and 61st by Zoe Butcher (26:18).
Tyler Consolidated’s top showing was Emily Ebert’s 23:58 (41st) while Wirt County was paced by the 69th place effort of Meredith Cottrell (26:23).
Paden City with Jocelyn Sawinski (70th, 26:25) and Wood County Christian with Skylar Wilkinson (91st, 29:43) had just one thinclad apiece.
Overall, 170 boys and 213 girls finished the varsity races, which were broken into four groups per gender.
“It was a long day, but all things considered it went well,” stated race director Sam Vincent. “Everyone seemed happy to have a meet so I’m glad we were able to make it happen even if it was a different format, longer day. Also, the top runners at the high school level had some impressive times.”
Contact Jay Bennett at email@example.com