Green Hill Park in west Roanoke County was the site of Virginia High School League state cross country championships last Saturday. Both girls and boys in Classes 1, 2 and 3 competed on a beautiful Virginia day at the spacious park just west of Salem.
The course at Green Hill was fast and dry despite heavy rains the day prior. The James River boys team was in the field for the Class 2 race and Lord Botetourt had two boys and a girl in the Class 3 races.
The Class 3 girls race opened the day at 10:30 a.m. and LB senior Erna Dietrich was included after qualifying in the Region 3D meet the week prior. Erna finished 39th among 103 runners in the race with a time of 20:59. Abingdon’s Makaleigh Jessee won the individual title in 18:21 and Abingdon also won the girls team title, followed by Maggie Walker and Spotswood.
In the boys Class 3 race, seniors Carter Hudson and Cole Stelter represented LB after qualifying in the region. Hudson was 17th overall with a time of 16:54 and Stelter was 31st in 17:15. The individual champion was Bazil Mathes of Monticello in 15:25 and Abingdon also won the boys Class 3 team title, followed by Tabb and Monticello.
The Class 2 races followed. James River was not represented in the girls race but the River boys ran as a team after qualifying with a third place finish in the regional, which was also held at Green Hill Park the previous week. The River boys finished 11th in the state as Wise Central won the team title, followed by Union and Three Rivers District member Glenvar.
Sophomore Mason Erchull of Floyd County, also a Three Rivers District runner, was the individual champion with a time of 16:33. River senior Michael Jorgensen was the first Knight across the line with a time of 17:45 for 15th place overall. Also scoring for James River were senior John Laughridge in 50th place, senior Ryan Steger in 76th, freshman Silas Whitson in 80th and junior Silas Miller in 82nd. Cayden Shorter was 91st and Tristan Capo-Lopez finished 94th among 101 runners who qualified for the state race.
Alleghany won the girls Class 2 title, paced by freshman Kiera Lowman who won the race in 18:59. Clarke County was second as a team and Floyd County of the Three Rivers District was third.
The Class 1 races concluded the day with the George Wythe girls and Lebanon boys winning team championships.