Knights XC runners take to the course in two recent races

PRUNTYTOWN—The Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) Knights Cross Country (XC) program welcomed runners from area schools to their home course at West Taylor Elementary School on Wednesday.

During the annual Taylor County Middle School Invitational, runners from both teams showcased great athleticism.

On the boys’ side of the action, the TCMS team finished in fifth place, out of a total 17 teams competing, with strong finishes from top runners Briar Larew, Caleb Edwards, Cameron Gray, Mason Nestor and John Gouzd.

Larew was the first Knight to cross the finish line, 2:10 seconds behind the top finisher. With his time of 13:12.00, he found himself not only leading the team but finishing in 29th place out of 121 runners.

Finishing in 36th place was Edwards, who took to the course with a time of 13:23, with Gray matching his pace and following closely behind at a time of 13:29.01, earning 39th place overall.

Nestor (13:49.00) and Gouzd (13:50.00) finished back-to-back, coming in 43rd and 44th overall, respectively.

The TCMS Boys were also represented by Marverick Bartsch, who finished in 47th with a time of 13:52 and Chase Maier, finishing in 63rd overall with a time of 14:40.00, nearly 10 minutes better than the final runner.

When the Lady Knights hit the course, they were led by Addison Sole. With a time of 14:45.00, she finished the day in 21st place, in a field of 107 racers. 

The next Lady Knight to cross the finish line was Ainsley Alexander, who outran 58 other competitors, claiming 49th place at the even with a time of 16:31.00. And although she finished just three seconds after her teammate, Peyton Stevens finished in 54th place for the day.

With a time of 18:19.00, Addie Annon finished in 74th place, while Lydia Conrad managed to sneak in under 100, claiming 98th place with a time of 20:51.00.

Jordan Cox (21:24.00) and Arabella Jones (21:35.00) rounded out the runners for the Lady Knights, finishing in 101 and 102, respectively.

Once the scores were tabulated, the Lady Knights found themselves in 10th place, out of a total 13 teams present.

The Knights Cross Country program then made the trip this past Saturday to Mineral Wells to take part in the 2022 Chick-fil-A Invitational. With over 20 teams competing in both categories, the TCMS runners faced some tough competition.

The boys found their stride and out of 24 teams, they finished in the top third, claiming 8th place at the event. The ladies however encountered some struggles in their contest with 23 other teams, finding themselves finishing 21st.

With a steady pace, Gray was able to lead his team with a completion time of 11:00.56, earning a 27th place finish at the event, an impressive feat, with nearly 200 runners competing in the contest.

Carter Gillespie was hot on Gray’s heels, crossing the finish line nearly 8 seconds behind him. But with a packed field, Gillespie found himself qualifying in 37th place, with a time of 11:08.46.

Edwards (11:26.66, 53rd) and Larew (11:44.53, 70th) would be the next set of runners to complete the course, followed by Gouzd (12:38.71, 122nd), Bartsch (13:12.68, 144th) and Nestor (13.25.90, 150th).

TCMS Lady Knight standout Sole once again lead her team in scoring, running the course in 12:21.43. Out of 180 runners, her time earned her a 38th place finish.

Alexander (13:59.90, 98th), Stevens (14:16.41, 111th), Annon (15:59.79, 153rd), Suri Stemple (16:16.33, 134th), Conrad (16:50.82, 158th) and Jordan Cox (17:18.63, 140th) rounded out the Lady Knight Runners for the day.

The Knights XC program was back in action yesterday at Doddridge County Park. The results from that contest will be featured in an upcoming edition of the Mountain Statesman.


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