WELLSBURG — Jordan Gillum’s time representing the Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers cross country team isn’t quite over, as the senior punched his ticket to the state meet after capturing a 9th place overall finish in Wellsburg back on Thursday, October 20 with a time of 16:46.54.
However, it still remains unclear as if he will Gillum the only Buccaneer runner to be competing with controversy surrounding Jack Waggy’s bid. Waggy secured an 11th place finish with a time of 16:53.13. The issue with Waggy’s status comes down to the fact that only the top 20% of the field’s competitors were set advance to the state tournament. The magic number of bids to the state meet was set to be given out to the top 11 overall individual competitors in Region 1 championship meet, according to the size of the field. Only prior to the race, three Brooke runners failed to start or compete in the race lowering the number going to states from 11 to 10. Following the race, once made aware; the Buccaneers staff appealed the ruling that found Waggy would not be advancing to the state meet due to this last-minute change that was not communicated to him.
Despite the appeal and a local petition circulating, it does not seem as if anyone with the WVSSAC is listening. A lack of communication on the behalf of WVSSAC officials caused a problem that Waggy is being punished for. This fact has led to a nightmare scenario, turning what was on all account supposed to be a joyous occasion for Waggy, his family and teammates into a situation mired with controversy and anxiety over the status of his ongoing appeal, through no fault of his own.
Reis Leonard finished 19th with a time of 17:28.70, Brycen Allen finished 27th with a time of 18:08.64 and Joey Nolte finished 29th with a time of 18:13.73 to round of the group of scoring runners for Coach Stacy’s Buccaneer cross country team. The Buccaneers also had two non-scoring runners compete in the Region 1 championship meet, with Owen Cutright finishing 29th with a time of 18:37.59 and Alex Sappey finishing 30th with a time of 19:04.36.
As a team, the Buccaneers finished just outside the top three in fourth place with 94 team points, barely missing an automatic team bid to the state meet. University swept the entire top 5 individually to coast to the Region 1 team championship with 15 team points. Wheeling Park finished as the day’s distant runner-up, with 53 team points, while Morgantown finished third with 90 team points.
Coach Stacy was pleased with the fight his boys have shown all season long, 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! Unfortunately, this marks the end of the season for our boys’ team as they finished just 4 points shy of qualifying for states. They were predicted to miss out by 22 points. The results speak to the resilience and competitiveness these boys have shown all season. My man Jordan leads us in 9th and earned an individual bid to states! Jack finished 11th and as of now (story for another time) is being marked as missing states by one spot. All of the boys ran PR’s and I couldn’t be prouder of their efforts. I’m thankful for our senior leadership in Reis, Brycen and Ryan. They’ve been crucial to the foundation of our program and I am honored to have coached them as long as I have.”