Three earn top 10 finishes, Bucs Cross Country wins Big 10 Conference

PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNA LEONARD

KINGWOOD — Head Coach Taylor Stacy hopes were high as his Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers cross country team entered the 12-team Big 10 Conference championship meet back on Thursday, October 15 in Kingwood. It is safe to say that his Buccaneers fully lived up to even Stacy’s wildest expectations in Kingwood, walking away from the meet as the 2022 Big 10 Conference cross country champions. 

The Buccaneers collected 51 team points to win the conference crown. Fairmont Senior finished the meet as a distant runner-up, with 61 team points. East Fairmont took third-place honors with 87 team points, while Lewis County took fourth with 116 team points and Elkins rounded out the top five with 163 team pounds. 

Coach Stacy’s Buccaneers showed out last Thursday, as all five of his team’s scoring runners finished inside the top twenty of a packed field. Junior standout Jack Waggy wrapped up the meet as the highest-finishing Buccaneer runner, taking second-place overall individually with a time of 17:10.7. Senior Jordan Gillum ran alongside Waggy in the race’s lead group all afternoon, culminating in a fourth-place finish overall with a time of 17:24.3. Fellow senior Reis Leonard finished just a few spots behind Gillum, taking sixth place overall with a time of 17:44.6. The final two scoring Buccaneer runners were freshman Joey Nolte and junior Owen Cutright. 

In his first conference championship meet appearance, Nolte turned in an electric performance for an underclassman, earning a nineteenth place finish and Performer of the Meet honors with a time of 18:45.9. Cutright finished right behind Nolte in twentieth with a time of 18:57.2, rounding out the list of Buccaneer scoring runners. All five scoring members of the Buccaneers cross country team earned spots on either the First or Second All-Conference teams, as competitors ranking eleventh to twentieth earned a spot on the Second Team, while the top ten competitors were named to First-Team All-Conference.

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