WHEELING – First-year Buckhannon-Upshur cross-country head coach Taylor Stacy was hopeful that the three-week lay-off his teams endured from active competition from the county being orange on the COVID-19 map wouldn’t affect his squads in Thursday’s Region I Championships held at Wheeling Park High School.
Consider that and the fact that the neither team was able to run the Wheeling Park course during the regular season as that meet was called off during the teams hiatus, the Bucs and Lady Bucs didn’t have their best performances in the regional meet.
Squaring off in the toughest regional in the state, the Lady Bucs finished seventh out of eight teams while the Bucs were sixth out of eight teams.
Neither squad had an individual qualify for the state championships either.
“It was a tough course and unfortunately we didn’t have the advantage to see the course earlier in the season as we had planned,” noted Stacy. “The heat and the practice time we lost due to COVID-19 definitely had some effect on the teams.”
Lady Luck wasn’t on the side of the girls team as well.
The Lady Bucs top runner, Cadence Vincent, was running in the top 10 and eyeing a return trip to states but an unfortunate slip cost her a spot to the state meet this year.
She was running eighth but tripped coming out of a ditch onto a paved road crossing. The trip, which scraped up her knee pretty good, dropped her into 15th place, which is where she wound up finishing with a time of 22:32.49.
The top five individual finishes count to the team score and Miah Reger ran 36th for the Lady Bucs with a time of 25:07.79, Alexis Noel was 38th with a time of 25:24.29, Malia Bowers was 44th with a clocking of 28:08.56 and rounding out the scoring was Brianna Dalton in 50th with a time of 32:34.37.
Madelyn Frye ran 53rd with a time of 35:27.94 while Leah Crihfield was 54th with a time of 37:28.94 for B-U.
The Lady Bucs ended the event with 182 points.
Morgantown won the team title with 29 points while University was second with 52 and Preston was third with 76. The top three teams advance to states along with the top 11 individuals if they aren’t affiliated with a top-three team.
Morgantown’s Irene Riggs won the race with a time of 18:46.37 while University’s Caroline Kirby was second with a time of 19:44.32 and University’s Mia Murray was third with a time of 20:01.87.
For the Bucs, Jordan Gillum was their top runner placing 18th with a time of 18:35.86.
The rest of the team scoring were Harrison Walker in 32nd with a time of 19:56.99, Julius Hobbs placing 32nd with a time of 19:58.65, Spencer Vaught claiming 40th with a time of 20:44.08 and Brycen Allen running 44th with a time of 21:18.26.
The other two Bucs competing were Reis Leonard running 46th with a time of 21:45.37 and Dylan Cornett placing 49th with a time of 22:14.32.
The Bucs wound up with 167 points.
University won the boys title with 32 points while Morgantown was second with 47 and Wheeling Park was third with 83.
University took the top two spots as Larry Josh Edwards won the event with a time of 16:27.77 while Rocco DeVincent was second with a time of 16:51.42.
Quinn Jacquez of Morgantown was third with a clocking of 17:03.04.
“Overall, I am extremely proud of our athletes for rising up to the challenge and giving it their all despite the difficulties they have faced,” remarked Stacy. “I don’t think anyone had any regrets once they reached the finish line and that’s all I can ask for it. It’s not the ending we wanted but we are prepared and determined to come back even better next year.”
GIRLS TEAM STANDINGS
1. Morgantown 29; 2. University 52; 3. Preston 76; 4. Bridgeport 122; 5. John Marshall 131; 6. Wheeling Park 143; 7. Buckhannon-Upshur 182; 8. Brooke 236.
INDIVIDUAL TOP 5
1. Irene Riggs (Morgantown) – 18:46.37
2. Caroline Kirby (University) – 19:44.32
3. Mia Murray (University) – 20:01.87
4. Allie Martin (Preston) – 20:52.32
5. Amelia Summers (Morgantown) – 21:06.21
LADY BUC RESULTS
Cadence Vincent (15th) – 22:32.49
Miah Reger (36th) – 25:07.79
Alexis Noel (38th) – 25:24.29
Malia Bowers (44th) – 28:08.56
Brianna Dalton (50th) – 32:34.37
Madelyn Frye (53rd) – 35:27.94
Leah Crihfield (54th) – 37:28.94
BOYS TEAM STANDINGS
1. University 32; 2. Morgantown 47; 3. Wheeling Park 83; 4. Bridgeport 112; 5. Preston 128; 6. Buckhannon-Upshur 167; 7 Brooke 194; 8. John Marshall 205.
INDIVIDUAL TOP 5
1. Larry Josh Edwards (University) – 16:27.77
2. Rocco DeVincent (University) – 16:51.42
3. Quinn Jacquez (Morgantown) – 17:03.04
4. Jonah Nizami (Wheeling Park) – 17:13.81
5. Mack Allen (John Marshall) – 17:22.60
Jordan Gillum (18th) – 18:35.86
Harrison Walker (32nd) – 19:56.99
Julius Hobbs (33rd) – 19:58.65
Spencer Vaught (40th) – 20:44.08
Brycen Allen (44th) – 21:18.26
Reis Leonard (46th) – 21:45.37
Dylan Cornett (49th) – 22:14.32