Colbert masters course and competition
The cross country course in Ona at Cabell Midland High School seems to be waiting for just the right time to jump up and make runners slip, trip, lose their balance on its always-wet surface or fall prey to its cold-water stream. So frequent are the pitfalls of the many hills and muddy turns that those giving their all in the state meet can be compromised in an instant.
In last weekend’s Class AAA state meet, Jefferson senior Abby Colbert not only mastered the often frustrating course but did the same to the girls’ field as she cruised through her state championship run by dispatching runner-up TaShala Turner of University by about 47 seconds.
Even with Colbert’s state-best performance, Jefferson’s girls could finish no better than sixth as a team. University was the Class AAA champion with its low score of 47 with county rival Morgantown finishing second with a team score of 66. Hurricane was third and the only other team having less than 100 when its score was 88. Jefferson had a team score of 177.
Colbert had a championship time of 18:04.66 and Turner finished in 18:51.39.
Morgan May (34th in 20:40.78), Grace Valentine (53rd), Jordan Phillips (54th) and Madison Adams (79th) were Jefferson’s other four runners counting toward the team score.
Cabell Midland made the most of its local knowledge when it won the Class AAA boys division with a scant 10-point win over runner-up University. University runners finished first (Seth Edwards in 15:35.82), third and fourth in the individual standings but its fifth runner could do no better than 29th and Cabell Midland took full advantage of that problem to win with its team score of 37.
Morgantown was third with a score of 78, while Jefferson finished seventh with 176.
Jefferson junior Dylan Stamper was the Cougars’ best on a surprisingly decent-weather day for the competitors. Stamper finished 25th overall and was able to register a personal-best time of 16:58.99.
Nick Whitehair was 38th in 17:24.85, Asher Personett was 44th in 17:37.83, Ethan Stead was 54th in 17:46.15 and Colin Hayes was 64th in 17:59.20. Hayes had topped Jefferson’s list of finishers when the Cougars won the Region II meet the week before.
Berkeley Springs pulled off a double of sorts when it won both the Class AA-A boys and girls state championships on the same undulating course in Ona.