Both the Lord Botetourt and James River cross country teams will be participating in the 18th Annual Knights Crossing Invitational at Green Hill Park in west Roanoke County this Saturday.
The event, which is ranked as the third best in the state by the popular runners’ website “MileStat,” will include runners from around 80 high schools and 60 middle schools. The race annually attracts schools from Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia.
The meet is scheduled for Green Hill Park, noted to be one of the faster courses in the state. Once again Green Hill Park will host the state Class 1, 2 and 3 state championships in November.
This Saturday races run from 7:30 a.m. until early afternoon with many different classes. The event is hosted by Cave Spring High and concessions will be available and T-shirts will be on sale for runners or spectators.
Both James River and Lord Botetourt kicked off the season last week by participating in big meets. The Knights ran in the 9th Annual Bengal Clash at the River at the Smith River Sports Complex in Martinsville. The Abingdon boys and girls swept the team championships.
The James River boys finished ninth among 17 schools with a team score of 246. River’s top runner was Michael Jorgensen who ran the 5,000-meter course in 18:43. The winning time was 17:03 by Alexander Gomez-Hernandez of Galileo. Also scoring for the Knights were John Laughridge in 20th place, Silas Miller in 54th, Cayden Shorter in 58th and Silas Whitson in 99th. There were 112 runners in the race.
River did not have a full team in the girls race, but freshman Georgia Miller was 36th among 94 runners with a time of 25:47. Victoria Race-Waller was 71st and Anna Davidson was 75th. Makaleigh Jessee of Abingdon won the race in 20:28.
Lord Botetourt opened the season last Saturday at the Viking Invitational at Northside High School. The Pacers Home School team won both the girls and boys titles and Christiansburg finished second in both. Lord Botetourt was fourth in the girls race and sixth in the boys race with 10 total teams competing.
Hatlyn Haggerty had the best time for the LB girls at 26:28. Kristen Werner of the Pacers won the race in 23:01 as the Home Schoolers took the top four spots. Alexa Carillo was 33rd overall for LB, followed by Falan Peters in 36th, Emily Murray in 45th and Riley Woodford in 48th.
For the boys, Cole Stelter placed 10th in the varsity race with a time of 20:55.
“He is a very strong runner and is going to continue to improve this season,” said coach Elizabeth Wilson.
Carter Hudson was next for Botetourt in 31st and also scoring were Jonah Clark in 47th, Landon Hayes in 50th and Jacob Malue in 52nd. Walker Peterson of Salem won the race in 20:07.
“We were happy with our season opener, and we are even more excited for the races ahead,” said Wilson. “We are working towards the end of the season. The goal is to peak at Region and State.”