Hayes, Stamper, Young, Whitehair and Stead lead Cougars to Regional crown
About the only thing prettier in Elkins than the Class AAA, Region II cross country championship toasted by the Jefferson boys team was the mural of fall foliage painted in reds, oranges, yellows and other pastels by Mother Nature.
The Cougars, with all five of their runners that counted toward the team score finishing in the top 15, left no doubt as to their superiority over the region by finishing with a team score 45 as compared with runner-up Musselman’s team score of 78. Washington was seventh with a team total of 163.
Daniel Beavers of Hedgesville was the race’s individual winner, timed in 19:03.69, but then Jefferson had Colin Hayes in third place (19:36.79), Dylan Stamper in fifth place (19:53.78), Mason Young in ninth place (20:13.48), Nick Whitehair in 13th place (20:26.42) and Ethan Stead in 15th place (20:41.55). Even though his placing did not count toward Jefferson’s team total, Nico Feigo was 17th overall in 20:47.00.
Washington’s Ethan Eister was 14th overall to lead the Patriots.
The other three regional champions were University (Region I), Woodrow Wilson (Region III) and Cabell Midland (Region IV).
Cabell Midland ran on its home course and will run on its home course in Ona again in this week’s state cross country meet.
The Knights will be a prohibitive favorite to win the state championship on their home grounds because they placed the first six finishers in the Region IV meet for a perfect team score of 15.
In the girls division of the Region II meet also held in Elkins, it was Hampshire taking the team championship with Jefferson finishing second. The Trojans had a team score of 36 as compared with Jefferson’s team total of 69. Washington had an incomplete team.
Jefferson senior Abby Colbert won her fourth straight Region II individual championship with her time of 20:10.00.
The other four runners counting toward the Jefferson team total were Morgan May (seventh in 23:45.00), Jordan Phillips (13th), Grace Valentine (19th) and Madison Adams (29th).
University won the Region I girls title. Woodrow Wilson was the Region III champion, and Cabell Midland was the Region IV champion. Cabell Midland’s winning point total was only four less than runner-up Hurricane.
A second-place team finish earned Jefferson’s girls a place in this week’s state meet in Ona in far western Cabell County.