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Williamstown girls take Chick-Fil-A Invite

Photo by Joe Albright Parkersburg South’s Aiden Blake and Tyler Consolidated’s Haygen Baker compete during the high school boys varsity race in the 22nd annual Chick-Fil-A Invitational Saturday at the Wood County 4-H Campgrounds.

PARKERSBURG — The 22nd annual Chick-Fil-A Invitational provided all kinds of entertainment Saturday morning at Wood County’s 4-H Campgrounds in Mineral Wells.

Fifty-two teams from across the Mountain State converged on the Mid-Ohio Valley to give the challenging course the best they had. When it was all said and down, the Winfield boys and Williamstown girls walked out with the overall team leads. Among the competition came a little history, too.

“It was very busy and it was an awesome morning for both varsity races,” said Williamstown coach Mike Taylor.

The Yellowjackets’ Alyssa Sauro, for the fourth week in a row, picked up the win. Sauro outpaced the entire girls’ field, filled with Class AAA-A competitors, by nearly one minute, 17:39.0 compared to Hurricane Audrey Hall’s 18:36.3.

“Every course is hard but you just have to get through it,” Sauro said on the challenge of the day. “It was a fun course I really liked it. There was a challenging part by the hill in the first maybe half mile. I was really trying to keep pace.”

And she did.

Once the hill went by the wayside, Sauro took control of the race. She commanded a dominant lead by the time the runners hit the first timing pad. One that would only grow as the everyone made one final lap around the course before heading to the finish line. She finished the course before anyone else made it on to the straight stretch marking the end of the race.

Sauro said her drive to do her best comes from a number of different factors. “My team and my family motivate me a lot,” she said.

Her teammates and her claimed a tight girls’ field. Runner-up Hurricane finished just six points behind the Yellowjackets. Brianna Winsett joined her teammate in the top 10. Lexi Wynn and Reagan Ortiz crossed the finish line 15 and 17, respectively, to round out Williamstown’s top 20 placers.

“Those girls stepped up big time. They stepped up really, really good. And not just the top girls but all seven girls,” Taylor said. “Homecoming was coming and we were a little leery how things would turnout with all the plans and things. But we let them do their thing and I don’t know if that had something to do with it, but they all performed super today. I think all of them recorded a personal best. That was very impressive out of the girls.”

Things were just getting started after the girls’ race, though.

A wild boy’s race ensued. And a certain clump of competitors kept things exciting in the lead pack all day. Winfield’s Matt Scheneberg, Brayden Marshall, and Parkersburg High’s Franklin Angelos formed a tight finishing top three in the boys race. All three of their times finished in the Top 5-7 of the history of the race.

Angelos also beat the former Parkersburg High record by 39 seconds.

Local names being competitive was par for the course in the morning races.

Doddridge County’s girls and Williamstown’s boys were the next highest local teams. The Bulldogs finished third overall behind Hurricane, while the Yellowjackets were fourth overall behind Woodrow Wilson.

The top five for the boys consisted of Winfield’s Matt Scheneberg, Brayden Marshall, Angelos, Hurricane’s Ty Steorts, and his teammate Aaron Kidd. The top five for the girls consisted of Sauro, Hurricane’s Audrey Hall, Lamb, Winfield’s Rachel Withrow, and Hurricane’s Asha Bora.

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