Edwards, Riggs dominate field at AAA Region I cross country meet in Kingwood


KINGWOOD, W.Va. – Josh Edwards and Irene Riggs are both ranked as the top runners in the state in class Triple-a.

It’s no surprise to see the Monongalia County natives atop the class state-wide, much like it wasn’t a surprise to see them both out in front of the field at the Class AAA Region I cross country meet at Preston High School Thursday evening.

Riggs was in front from the sound of the starting pistol during the girls race, and crossed the finish line nearly forty seconds ahead of the next-closest runner.

Edwards, the Oregon commit, didn’t build up quite that big of a lead, but he and his UHS teammates dominated the competition.

“We view it as the road to states. We’re not out here trying to absolutely kill anything, I think we all just kind of took it a bit easier than what we would have which, I mean, it’s nice that we have that luxury,” Edwards said. “We’re all really fit right now, and we can go out and do that, and save our legs a bit for the next week.”

Josh Edwards shows the camera what place he’s going to finish in on Thursday. (Photo by Ryan Decker / WBOY)

Edwards, Rocco DeVincent, Ryan Blohm and Drew Zundell ran as a group of four for most of the race. Edwards and DeVincent were able to get some separation as the race went on, though Blohm and Zundell stayed together throughout.

Edwards finished with a time of 16:24.56. DeVincent was roughly 12 seconds behind him, with Blohm and Zundell crossing the finish line at nearly the same time.

On the girls side, Riggs was in a class all her own.

Her final time of 18:40.28 was nearly forty seconds better than Preston’s Allie Martin’s time of 19:17.12. Martin earned Big Ten Runner of the Year honors last week.

Morgantown girls runners finished first, third, fourth fifth, seventh and eighth. Leading the way, of course, was Riggs.

“I went out and I thought I was going to feel good, and it was just not my day. So I just focused on staying strong the whole time, and racing smooth,” said Riggs, a junior. “I just tried to really focus on what my coaches try to instill in me, which is just stay strong, and really focus on your form and your turnover, and try to finish it hard.”

Girls teams from Morgantown, University and Buckhannon-Upshur high schools advance to the state meet from this region. The Top 10 individual finishers from the girls race also are headed to the state meet.

Meanwhile, boys teams from University, Wheeling Park and Morgantown advance to compete in Ona. The Top 11 individual finishers from the boys race are headed to the state meet, too.

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