Elkins cross country teams have high expectations

Ranked squads open season today at Frankfort

Submitted photo Members of the 2020 Elkins High School cross teams include front row, from left right right, Eva Summerfield, Kaleigh Edwards, Natalie Sutton, Addie Berdine, Samantha Sproul, Kiley Edwards and Holly Harper; second row coach Matt Lewis, Hunter Shreve, Tyler Burda, Tyler McKisic, Charlie Smoak, Jasper Clark, Austin Whetsell, Luke Anger, Brandon Rossi, Chris Fry, Kevin Zhu and coach Amanda Carter.

ELKINS — The Elkins High School cross country teams have begun preparation for an exciting season.

The Lady Tigers are third in the preseason in Class AA/A ratings (second in AA), while the boys team has entered the season rated 10th (seventh in AA).

This year will be looking a lot different sports wise for the Tigers as meets will run in waves at events instead of all at once.

“I honestly think we will probably split AA and A this year and run three separate state meets, which is a smart decision,” EHS Coach Matt Lewis said.

The teams will not host the annual Forest Festival Invitational per the request of Davis & Elkins College, but have produced an exemplary competitive schedule to compete against every one of the state’s best from all classes.

“It was difficult making deals to get into meets, but the one thing about Elkins cross country, we’ll run against anyone, anywhere,” Lewis said. “We don’t back down from other teams, you bring your best, and we are going to bring ours, because we want to run against the states best, to be our best.

Currently the both teams will open up in the best pod waves at Frankfort today.

The Tigers current schedule has them traveling to run with multiple competitive teams at Frankfort, Doddridge, Grafton, Buckhannon, Ritchie County and Tucker County. All of these will occur before the Tigers traverse the course at Grafton again for the Big 10 Championships and at Doddridge for their regional qualifier, before heading to the state championships at Cabell Midland on Oct. 31.

“We’ve been really excited to get back up and having a sort of normal practice among all of the craziness,” said Lewis.

Our young men and young women look incredibly strong and they’re ready to go, they want to bring some hardware back home to Elkins, and put many trophies, including a state trophy in the case at Elkins High School.”

Elkins returns everyone from last year’s championship runs by both teams, and have multiple ranked runners who could make the top 10 podium this season.

“It’s definitely a new normal with the way races and even practices are occurring currently, but we are making the adjustment as necessary, and we are ready to go.” Lewis said. “I’ve been quite happy to welcome some new staff in Amanda Carter and Skylee Watson, they’re incredibly energetic, and they share the same thoughts of the kids, let’s do this and live up to the expectations that have been put on us with our preseason rankings.”

The boys team will be led by junior Charlie Smoak. Smoak will get plenty of help from fellow seniors Austin Whetsell, Henry Fry and Jasper Clark, along with juniors Luke Anger, Hunter Shreve, Brandon Rossi, Tyler McKisic, Keven Zhu and freshman Tyler Burda.

The girls have a duo of sophomore Sammi Sproul and senior Addie Berdine leading the charge. They will be aided by juniors Holly Harper, Kaleigh Edwards, Natalie Sutton and Kaia Edwards, sophomore Kiley Edwards and freshman Eva Summerfield.

“We’re ready,” said Lewis. “It’s going to be an exciting season, so stay tuned, as we look to be one of the states best yet again.”


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