The Lord Botetourt boys were second and the girls were eighth in the annual Blue Ridge Invitational cross country meet at the Greenfield Recreation Complex on Saturday. James River also had selected runners in the field on a beautiful Botetourt County day.
“The meet turned out to be very successful even though we had to delay the start due to a traffic backup on Interstate 81,” said LB coach Robert Sullivan. “To make up time we combined the middle school race so the other races started pretty much on time. Overall, I think it was a very good cross country meet with some talented teams running the challenging Greenfield course.”
Pulaski County won the boys varsity race, followed by LB. Rounding out the top five were Battlefield, Patrick Henry and Radford.
Jake Winesett of Pulaski won the race in 17:32, and the Cougars took four of the top five spots. Botetourt came in sixth and seventh with Connor Hayes at 18:16 and freshman Bryson Cook at 18:17. Also scoring for LB among the 90 runners competing were Maxwell Klimczak in ninth place, Benny Ford in 10th and Cameron Turney in 36th. Jack Buchanan of LB was just a second behind Turney in 37th place.
“The varsity boys really stepped up for a second place team finish,” said Sullivan. “I was very happy for the seniors who ran in the varsity race, Connor Hayes, Max Klimczak, Benny Ford, Jack Buchanan and Owen Turner. They were all running their last race on the Greenfield course.”
James River officially finished 10th among the 11 teams but the top five boys on the River team did not run. Cole Miller was the top Knight with a time of 20:02 for 35th place.
Rockbridge County won the girls varsity race, followed by Pulaski, Radford, Battlefield and Skyline. LB was eighth and James River was ninth.
A Pulaski runner also won the girls race, as Grace Boone finished with a time of 21:24. Sofia Hernandez led LB with a seventh place finish in 23:01. Also scoring for the Cavaliers were Claire Seibel in 30th, Brielle Jackson in 40th, Brooklyn Hornback in 42nd and Balor Harold in 46th place.
River’s top runner was Grace Montgomery, who was 22nd in 24:21. Tessa Jones was 44th and Alyson McCullough was 54th among 73 total varsity runners.
“I was very proud of our runners, they ran hard on a warm day before the Homecoming dance Saturday evening,” said LB coach Sullivan. “I was very excited to see Sofia push to have a top ten finish in the girls varsity race and Katie Cross to finish third overall in the girls middle school race.”
Both LB and River are back in action this weekend. The Cavaliers will run in the “Runnin’ With the Wolves” race at Jefferson Forest on Saturday, while James River will run in the Milestat Invitational at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville.
The annual Metro Cross Country Meet is scheduled for Blacksburg next Wednesday, Oct. 18.