EHS girls, boys qualify for states
Lady Tigers capture regional crown, boys place second
PARSONS — The Elkins High School cross country teams earned spots in the state meet at the Class AA, Region II championships held Thursday at Camp Kidd.
The Lady Tigers captured the regional title with 33 points. They were followed by Liberty (40), Robert C. Byrd (70) and Lincoln (74). Braxton County, Lincoln and Lewis County had incomplete teams.
Liberty also advanced to states.
Senior captain Addie Berdine captured the individual title in a time of 21:59 to lead the EHS girls. Samantha Sproul was third (23:27) and Kiley Edwards ninth (24:36) as the trio made the All-Region team.
Holly Harper was the next Elkins finisher coming in 14th (26:11), and rounding out the scoring was Natalie Sutton in 16th (27:15).
“I won’t lie, we were a little nervous about where we positioned ourselves through the first mile of the race, but the girls closed the second half of the race with some determination,” EHS head coach Matt Lewis said. “I think they realized they needed to find an extra gear and they did just that.”
The boys fell just short of making it a complete sweep for Elkins as Lewis County took the team banner with 30 points, compared to the Tigers’ 31.
Junior Charlie Smoak was in cruise control from start to finish, taking the individual title in a time of 17:18 to lead Elkins.
It was a 1-2 punch for the Tigers as fellow junior Luke Anger placed second in a time of 17:54. Chris Fry was seventh (19:35) and Tyler McKisic 10th (19:55) to give EHS four members of the All Region team. Tyler Burda finished 13th (20:05), Brandon Rossi 14th (20:35) and Hunter Shreve 23rd (22:39) to round out the Tiger scoring.
“I think Charlie and Luke ran a great tactical race and were really able to get away from the rest of the field today,” Lewis said. “We’ve got to close some gaps with the rest of the guys and get them come out of their comfort level — running and racing a little harder.”
Braxton County placed third with 96 points, followed by Robert C. Byrd (103) and Roane County (105). Liberty and Lincoln had incomplete squads.
The Elkins boys advanced to the state meet for the eighth consecutive year and 16th in the last 19 seasons. The girls are advancing for the third consecutive season and fifth time in the last six seasons.
The teams will depart Friday for the state championships.
The Elkins girls will run at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, with the Elkins boys to follow at 1:15 p.m. at Cabell Midland High School in Ona.