ONA, W.Va. – Both the University boys and Morgantown girls entered Saturday’s state cross country meet in Ona looking to win a third consecutive team state title.
The Hawks, led by standouts Josh Edwards and Rocco DeVincint, were the top ranked team in Triple-A entering the state meet. The lady Mohigans, led by standouts Irene Riggs and Lea Hatcher, had the same distinction on the girls side.
Both teams lived up to the hype. Both teams captured another state title. And both teams’ top runners finished the year on top of the class.
Josh Edwards won a third-straight individual state cross country title, and helped lead the Hawks to their latest team title. Including Edwards, each of the Hawks’ top four runners finished Top 10 in the state to help give Ed Frohnapfel his latest state title.
Edwards said he went out with a bang in his last high school cross country race and he’s happy to have done it with this group of guys.
“The past three years we’ve really came here and shown what we can do as a team. It’s a little bittersweet, winning a team title but this is the last time I’m going to race with these guys on this cross country course. But I mean, no better way to end it than on this,” Edwards said.
Riggs, like Edwards, also blew away the competition. Riggs and Hatcher finished first and third, respectively, and three more of their teammates finished inside the Top 5. For Riggs, it’s her second-straight crown, individually, and the third team title she’s been a part of.
Riggs finished the course in a time of 18:24.88, which was more than thirty seconds faster than Preston’s Allie Martin, who finished second.
Riggs talked about the rainy conditions and how it affected her race.
“Prior to today I wanted to come in and really run a fast time but I think everybody got here, we saw the conditions and we realized you know we just have to go and race for place so that’s what I did. I went out, took it out fast and just tried to even split and take control of the rest of the race,” Riggs said.
Edwards crossed the finish line in a time of 15:51.68, which was just under thirty seconds ahead of the next closest finisher.
Morgantown head coach, Michael Ryan, and Preston head coach, Paul Martin, were both honored as WVSSAC cross country coaches of the year.
The University girls placed second as a team.
Morgantown’s girls team winning the state title continues an impressive streak of 12 consecutive years that either the Lady Mohigans or Lady Hawks have captured the Triple-A team state title. The last time a non-Mon County school won was 2009.