Lady Tigers win Braxton meet

SUTTON –The Elkins High girls captured the Braxton County Invitational held Saturday at Holly Gray State Park.

Lexie Morici would claim the individual title for the Lady Tigers tearing up the course in 23:22. Addie Berdine would follow in fourth (24:18), Natalie Sutton sixth (25:31), Kaia Miller 10th (26:14) and Kaeli Ricottilli 14th (26:21) to all make the awards podium.

Kaleigh Edwards followed the EHS finishers in 16th (27:13), Holly Harper 18th (27:40) and Hannah Phillips 21st (28:25).

“It was an extremely soggy course for our girls to run on, but they flat out conquered it,” EHS coach Matt Lewis said. “We truly had a great team effort under ideal conditions and I couldn’t be more pleased with our performance,”

Elkins tallied 31 points, followed by Nicholas County 40, Buckhannon- Upshur 80 and Notre Dame 86, while Braxton County, Calhoun County, Gilmer County, Herbert Hoover, Richwood, Scott and Webster County fielded incomplete teams.

“Those girls ran so strong today and as a pack,” added coach Dalton Hamrick, who filled in for Melissa Carr on Saturday. “The girls have a lot of intensity in their running, which is what you want moving into championship season.”

Read Schumacher paced the Tigers’ attack in the second and sloppier race of the day, earning a podium spot with a ninth-place showing in 20:28. Freshman Luke Anger would also find himself on the podium finishing 13th in 20:35.

The brother duo of James Smoak and Charlie Smoak led the next pack for Elkins, finishing 17th (20:45) and 18th (20:48), respectfully. Senior Matt Gainer rounded out the Tigers scoring finishing 29th in (21:51), followed by fellow senior Brennon Weese 29th (21:59), Chris Fry 30th (22:04), Braxton Kenney 32nd (22:22), Tyler McKisick 36th (22:31), Austin Whetsell 38th (22:51), Nathan Cooper 41st (22:58), Hunter Shreve 42nd (23:04), Brandon Rossi 45th (23:35), Antony Dong 49th (24:01), Tyler Chewning 57th (25:14), Jasper Clark 67th (27:29), and Travis Jones 68th (27:56) to round out the Tigers finishers.

“This course presented maybe the sloppiest conditions I’ve seen in a long time, but our guys didn’t back down and truly raced the course,” said Lewis. “I saw a lot of fight in ours team, they pushed themselves in harsh conditions, and took down the host team who is a regional rival, Lewis added.

Nicholas County would take the team title with 27 points, followed by Buckhannon Upshur 52, Elkins 73, Braxton County 80, Richwood 153, Notre Dame 180, Scott 194, with Calhoun County, Gilmer County, Herbert Hoover, and Webster County all incomplete.

“I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to race in those conditions, but I applaud the guys strong effort today,” said Hamrick. “The guys just attacked the course and acted like it was just another race, and were rewarded for their effort,” Hamrick added.

The Tigers will be idle next week for the Forest Festival and will return to action Thursday, October 11th as they will play host to the 2018 Big Ten Conference Championships. Racing will get underway at 10am when the boys step off, followed by the girls at 11am, at the D&E Athletic Complex. Teams set to compete are Bridgeport, Buckhannon Upshur, East Fairmont, Elkins, Fairmont Senior, Grafton, Lewis County, Liberty, Lincoln, North Marion, Philip Barbour Preston, and RCB. Anyone wishing to volunteer contact Coach Lewis or Coach Carr.