Lady Bucs XC earn team bid to States

Photo by Kenna Leonard

WELLSBURG — Coach Taylor Stacy’s Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buccaneers Cross Country team have officially qualified for the state meet for the second consecutive season, after claiming a third-place overall team finish in the Region 1 championship meet in Wellsburg back on Thursday, October 21. The meet’s top three overall teams, alongside the top 10 individual competitors advanced to the state meet. The Lady Buccaneers safely secured their team bid, finishing third after accumulating 79 team points, placing behind only runner-up Morgantown with 65 team points. The Lady Buccaneers fended off a tough challenge from Big 10 Conference champions Preston County who finished with 87 team points, who had just narrowly upset Coach Stacy’s girls’ team by just two points for the conference crown.

Morgantown High School’s Irene Riggs took the meet’s top individual honors, coasting to the win with a time of 16:56.96, while teammate Madeline Gump finished runner-up with a time of 18:46.26. The duo of senior Lydia Falkenstein and sophomore Samantha Shreve again led the way for the Lady Buccaneers, with both finishing inside the top 10. Falkenstein was the fastest Lady Buccaneer on the day, taking 4th place overall with a time of 18:52.24, with Shreve not too far behind finishing 8th with a time of 19:19.97. Mia Sappey finished 20th with a time of 21:03.57, Miah Reger finished 23rd with a time of 21:33.61 and Jessica Williams finished 24th with a time of 21:37.81 to round out the scoring Lady Buccaneer runners on the day. A pair of non-scoring Lady Buccaneers also competed, as Brianna Dalton finished 28th with a time of 22:29.7 and Pressley Bowers took a 35th place finish with a time of 23:38.13.

The Lady Buccaneers cross country team is set to enter the state meet ranked as the 4th best team in AAA competition. Coach Stacy’s team also will boast two runners that are ranked individually, with Falkenstein ranking third among the Class-AAA field’s fastest competitors, with Shreve being ranked 13th. 

Coach Stacy was elated with the way his girl’s responded at the Region 1 championship meet following a tough outing in the Big 10 Conference meet, saying, “Wow, what a day for Buckhannon-Upshur Cross Country. Without a doubt these are some of the fastest teams we’ve ever had at B-U! I told the girls last week that our loss didn’t define us, however, our approach and response to it would. And wow did they ever truly define what this team is all about. Lydia and Sam lead us with 4th and 8th. The other girls all rounded out the low 20s and got the job done. As happy as I am for them, it is never easy knocking off one of the best in Preston County. Those girls are coached by one of the best, Coach Martin and they all have my greatest respect. It’s a shame that once again one of the top teams will be left out of the state meet because of the competition in our region. Next week we return to Cabell-Midland for the state meet on the 29th. States feels much like a trip home to me and I’m excited to once again bring some of my athletes along with me. I love this team; I love these kids and I love being their coach. One team; One family.”

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