Boys’ race to feature top teams

The Big 10 Conference Championships will feature a highly-competitive boys’ race on Saturday.

The meet starts at 10 a.m. with the girls’ race, followed by the boys at 10:45 a.m.

The boys’ field features four teams ranked in the top 10 in their respective class.

Bridgeport is No. 1 in Class AA-A, while Fairmont Senior is second and Philip Barbour fifth.

Elkins, meanwhile, is rated eighth in Class AAA. The Tigers have captured their last three meets and own wins over every team in the field except Bridgeport, which defeated them by a just five points earlier this season.

Senior Austin Hamrick lead Elkins into the postseason. He is currently the fourth-rated individual runner in the state, according to

Hamrick and teammate Matt Wallace are expected to challenge Bridgeport’s Abe Merinar and Matt Dearth for the individual title.

Other Elkins boys competing Saturday will be senior Remington Knight, and a pack of talented freshmen in Dalton Hamrick, Ben Huffman, Brendan Wallace Will Gongola, Dylan Dilly and Jacob Earle.

Three-time Class AA-A state champion Philip Barbour is one of the favorites in the girls’ event, along with Preston and Grafton.

The Colts are led by Marissa Long and Allison Villers.

Elkins will look to juniors Hannah Gongola, Monica Rossi and Kathlyn Simmons to lead the way.

Other teams competing in the championships include Buckhannon-Upshur, East Fairmont, Lewis County, Liberty, Lincoln, North Marion and Robert C. Byrd.

The top runner in each race will receive the distinction of “Runner of the Year” while places second through 11th will be considered all-conference first team, and places 12th-20th will be second-team selections.

Regional competition will be held Oct. 24, followed by the state meet on Nov. 2 at Cabell Midland High School.