WHITEHALL— Hitting the course early Saturday morning, the Knights Cross Country team once again saw personal improvements among their members, as they competed in the Fairmont Senior Invitational.
For this meet, and for the first time this season, the middle school varsity and junior varsity ran separately, with the JV girls and boys taking off at the same time.
This event saw more than ten schools participating, pinning the Knights up against some stiff competition at Apple Valley Golf Course.
Like most of their recent courses, this one also featured those dreaded steep inclines. However, the Knights had no problem topping the hills and coming home with solid finishes.
Overall, the Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) Varsity boys claimed a third-place finish, while the varsity girls took fifth.
Representing the varsity boys were Knights Owen Nestor, Brayden Weaver, Greyson Ramezan, Colson Annon, Cameron Gray, Isaac Young and Carter Gillespie.
TCMS’s Annon has been a solid competitor all season, continuously claiming top finishes and leading the way for his team, and Saturday was no different.
Annon would be the first Knight to cross the finish line, with a time of 12:42. This finish placed him in third-overall out of the 75 runners.
Crossing the line shortly after was another standout for the Knights, Gillespie.
Gillespie completed the course in just 12:57, coming in sixth place overall.
Also landing in the top 25 for the TCMS Knights and contributing to their top overall finish at the meet was Weaver (15th), Gray (21st) and Young (22nd).
Nestor turned in a solid performance of his own and landed in 34th.
Although the Lady Knights did not fare quite as well, the group of Ainsley Alexander, Natalee Cartwright, Peyton Stevens, Kenna Keener, Natalie Beltner, Sophia Austin and Addison Sole still proved to be tough opponents, landing in a strong fifth place for the day.
With a finishing time of 15:20, Austin was the first Lady Knight to complete the course and found herself taking a 14th place finish.
Meanwhile, Keener (22nd) and Beltner (23rd) rounded out the top finishes for the ladies, both landing within the top 25.
On the JV side of the meet, these runners did not complete for team placement, but still put in notable performances on their journey in the sport.
For the JV Lady Knights, sixth grader Ciarra Spring finished strong in 21st place, out of the 56 runners.
Arabella Jones would be the next to cross the finish line for the JV squad, landing in 40th, with teammate Jordan Cox following closely to finish at 41st, while Ali Wilfong rounded out the JV lady’s race for the Knights finishing in 44th.
The JV boys also had an outstanding showing. Among the group of 89 runners, and representing TCMS were John Gouzd, Briar Larew, Mason Gray, Chase Maier, Zane Reneman and Maverick Bartsch.
Finishing just a little more than a minute slower than the first-place finisher, M. Gray landed in 11th place, with a time of 14:50.
Soon after, sixth grader Maier crossed the finish line, taking 13th place with his time of 14:58.
Larew (20th), Bartsch (22nd) and Goudz (23rd) also earned finishing spots in the top 25 during the JV action.
With the team’s season winding down, coaches Autumn Young and Karey Maier continue to push their athletes to be the best they possibly can, while being their biggest encouragers along each course.
The TCMS team will travel to Doddridge County on Tuesday, October 11 to compete in their final meet of the season.
Individual Varsity Boys Stats:
Colson Annon (12:42), Carter Gillespie (12:57), Brayden Weaver (13:42), Cameron Gray (13:52), Isaac Young (13:55), Greyson Ramezan (14:09), Owen Nestor (14:28)
Individual Varsity Girls Stats:
Sophia Austin (15:20), Kenna Keener (15:45), Natalie Beltner (15:47), Addison Sole (15:57), Natalee Cartwright (16:24), Peyton Stevens (17:39), Ainsley Alexander (20:32)
Individual JV Boys Stats:
Mason Gray (14:50), Chase Maier (14:58), Briar Larew (15:23), Maverick Bartsch (15:26), John Gouzd (15:37), Zane Reneman (22:00)
Individual JV Girls Stats:
Ciarra Spring (17:50), Arabella Jones (21:54), Jordan Cox (22:00), Ali Wilfong (22:44)