A total of 38 high school teams competed in the Preston County Knights’ Night Relay on Saturday, Aug. 27.
This event is arranged differently than all other cross country meets, composed of only four runners per team.
Also, the races are held at night, starting with fireworks, fire flame dancers, para gliders, tiki torches along the course, and each runner handing off large glow stick to the relay team partner. The course is 1.5 miles for both high school and middle school competitors.
The school team scores were combined after the final participant crossed the finish line. The top three teams received awards.
“Our runners all raced awesome! They had quick times and showed lots of improvement from last until this week,” said Coach Holli Vaughan.
Overall, the Rebels finished eighth, timed at 35:45.33, as the first Class A school to complete the race.
The first-place squad of University was clocked at 30:11.70, while Ritchie County’s A time was 35:45.33. Rebels included Heath Knight, Cayden Moore, Dalton Settle and Alex Owens.
The B group – Rowan Mallery, Owen Chesser and Sawyer Henderson – finished the relay in 32nd.
The Lady Rebel A team was 11th overall, trailing the winner by seven minutes; with the B team in 33rd.
For the Ritchie County A’s were Chesnee Williams, Andrea Davis, Kaity Sullivan and Whitley Patterson; while the B’s featured Bentlee Williams and Tracy Abner.
Coach Vaughan said standout performances were given by Jeremiah Sellers and Cassey Hardbarger, middle school; and Whitley Patterson and Rowan Mallery, high school.
“Out of all our teams, these four showed strong performances. Mallery ran faster that night than he has in his seven years of being a part of the Ritchie County cross country teams,” commented Vaughan.
This meet had very strong competition against many Class AAA schools from Morgantown and Fairmont areas.
“It was great for us to run with some of the top AAA schools in the State of West Virginia,” said the coach.
Ritchie County will compete next on Saturday, Sept. 3, at Tyler Consolidated.
Rebel results: A team – 35:45.33; Heath Knight, 8:20.09; Cayden Moore, 8:54.73; Dalton Settle, 9:15.49; Alex Owens, 9:15.01; B team – 31:36.79; Rowan Mallery, 9:56.28; Owen Chesser, 10:45.25; Sawyer Henderson, 10:55.25
Lady Rebel results: A team – 43:05.04; Chesnee Williams, 9:49.07; Andrea Davis, 10:29.17; Kaity Sullivan, 11:18.70; Whitley Patterson, 11:28.08; B team – 25:28.65; Bentlee Williams, 10:12.96; Tracy Abner, 15:15.69
The Trailblazers entered three teams in the Preston Knight Relay on Saturday, Aug. 27, where a total of 68 teams competed.
Ritchie County’s A group finished with a total of 39:48.72 – less than 20 seconds behind the winner.
Jenner Stewart, Seth Cronin, Ruger Jackson and Linhang Chen comprised that squad.
B team participants were Jeremiah Sellers, Jacob Burke and Austyn Byrd; and the C members were Gavin Jones, Jaron Barrett and Justin Chen.
For the Lady Blazers, the A team completed the course in 14th overall, timed at 48:41.03.
On the B team were Nevaeh Bolin, Zoey Bunner, Saydi Oldaker and Sofia Sarine.
The Blazers will travel to Tyler Consolidated for their next meet on Saturday, Sept. 3.
Blazer results: A team – 39:48.72; Jenner Stewart, 9:08.67; Seth Cronin, 9:15.21; Ruger Jackson 10:36.97; Linhang Chen, 10:47.86; B team – 45:43.50, Jeremiah Sellers, 10:03.91; Jacob Burke, 23:09.17; Austyn Byrd, 12:30.41; C team – 26:08.10, Gavin Jones, 12:32.46; Jaron Barrett, 9:05.91; Justin Chen, 04:29.72
Lady Blazer results: A team – 48:41.03; Cassey Hardbarger, 11:21.49; Payton Bartlett, 12:03.52; Colleen Freed, 12:28.32; Keisha Moore, 12:47.69; B team – 56:56.88 – Nevaeh Bolin, 12:52.71; Zoey Bunner, 13:31.90; Saydi Oldaker, 15:29.48; Sofia Sarine, 15:02.79