FLEMINGTON—The Bearcat Cross Country program hosted their home meet, the Bearcat Invitational, over the weekend, where members Emily Viani and JT Veltri continued to lead their fellow Bearcats turning in solid performances.
Viani is currently ranked 22nd in the state and led the Lady Cats at home coming in 9th overall out of a group of nearly 100 runners, recording a time of 21:11.
Also making an impact for the Grafton ladies was River Sipes, completing the challenging and hilly course with a time of 21:53, quick enough to claim a spot in the top 20.
With a combined time of 2:00:48 and an average of 24:09, the Lady Bearcats earned 7th place on the day, beating out Tucker County High School, Tyler Consolidated High School, Berkeley Springs and Lincoln High.
Meanwhile, for the boys, Veltri is ranked 21st in the state, as he continues to turn in stellar performances.
He landed himself a 10th place overall finish against some of the top competitors in the area, racing against more than 100 runners.
With a finishing time of 17:35, Veltri was just 1:12 behind the first-place finisher, a gap his coach is sure can be improved upon before heading into regional competition.
The Bearcat boys finished the day combining for a team total of 1:43:52, for an average of 20:46 and took 8th place, just ahead of Tucker County High School and Robert C. Byrd.
According to Head Coach PD Louzy, as the team prepares to host regionals next month, this meet provided him and the team with insight on where they are and what they will need to be working on moving forward, as nine out of ten region teams they’ll be competing against were in participation on Saturday.
“The process for qualifying for regionals as an individual is that they take 20 percent of the number of runners that start the race,” Louzy explained. “It looks like we should get 12 girls out.”
“So, if you compare how they did versus just regional runners, they were 4th and 9th. Three teams will get out, and we finished 4th compared to the regional teams competing. We are right on the edge of where we need to be,” he further elaborated.
Louzy also shared that after being out with injury, Bearcat Cayden Boylen is getting healthy again and is working to push himself back to the top.
Boylen earned 37th on Saturday, with a time of 19:52, as he works his way back to his preinjury times Louzy believes he will be able to deliver a solid performance at regionals.
“Two years ago, Cayden turned in a great race at regionals on our course, so by the time it rolls around this year, he should be good to go,” he voiced.
The Bearcat team will hit the ground running again on Saturday, October 2, as they compete in the Fairmont Senior Invitational at Apple Valley Golf Course.
Individual Results: Lady Bearcats: Emily Viani (21:11), River Sipes (21:53), Kayla Greathouse (24:36), Destiny Weaver (26:06), Cheyenne Duncan-Beverly (27:02), Carrie Ellen Richards (30:10), Caity Boylen (32:57), Chloe Saltis (34:56)
Individual Results, Bearcats: JT Veltri (17:35), Cayden Boylen (19:52), Matthew Helmondollar (21:32), Dominic Beverly (21:45), James Helmondollar (23:08)