Taylor County runners take on the competition at the Chick-fil-A Invitational in Mineral Wells


PRUNTYTOWN—Runners throughout the county made their way to the Chick-fil-A Invitational last week and showed strong standings across the board.

“The race had perfect conditions for running,” said Grafton High School (GHS) Cross Country Coach PD Louzy. “Several of our runners had personal bests today.”

The Grafton boys finished 16th out of 24 complete teams, while the GHS girls earned a 14th place finish out of 22 teams.

JT Veltri led the boys’ team again with a very impressive time of 17:13 for a 25th place finish out of 200 runners, and Emily Viani was the top performing girl with a time of 21:10, finishing 29th out of 174 runners.  

River Sipes also had a solid run on the day, finishing 52 with a time of 22:03.

“Our times are improving every week,” Louzy disclosed. “On the boys side, we got senior Cayden Boylen back.  He’s feeling good again, but just needs to get back into running shape.  For the girls, we are still running without one of my top seven, but the other girls are stepping up.”

And with a month to go before the regional competition, Louzy will continue to work with his crew to ensure they perform at their peak.  

“Our next race is our home meet in two weeks,” he noted. “So, we should be rested and ready to go!”

The Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) Knights XC teams also showed strong standings among the racers at the event.

According to Head Coach Karey Maier, the varsity boys team finished 5th out of 29 teams, while the ladies came in 11th out of 26 teams.

Colson Annon led the TCMS boys’ varsity runners coming in at 15th with a time of 10:28, while Carter Gillespie (23rd) and Isaac Young (40th) proved they had what it took, also coming in in the top 40 at the event, earning medals for their team.

On the JV side, Mason Gray, Chace Maier and Maverick Bartsch came in 10th, 11th and 12th respectively.

Sophia Austin was the only Lady Knight that brought home a medal, placing 22nd with a time of 11:56.

“Overall, I’m very happy with all of their times and excited to see what they can do at Doddridge on Thursday,” voiced Maier.

The results from that meet will be featured in an upcoming edition of the Mountain Statesman.

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