CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Doddridge County’s Carter Lipscomb and University’s Josh Edwards have a lot in common.
Both they and their teams had to deal with effects of the COVID-19 pandemic causing pauses to their cross country seasons. Both entered last Saturday’s state cross country championship meets as the top-rated boys runner in their classifications. And both repeated as the best boys runners in their class, earning individual state championships.
For their efforts, and what they’ve had to endure this year, they are our Honda co-Athletes of the Week.
Lipscomb’s Bulldogs were nearly kept out of the Class A Regional they needed to compete in in order to make it back to the state meet.
“Two weeks ago, I couldn’t even describe the pain I was feeling you know. Having thought my season was over, my career was over,” Lipscomb said.
Meanwhile, Edwards’ Hawks waited almost a month longer than everyone else to even get their season going.
“You know, I kind of put it off. Just not thinking about it. Maybe something will turn out by the end of October, which it did thankfully. But it definitely was kind of rough there for a little bit,” Edwards said. “Especially getting no track season, our guys were pretty much going 6 months without racing and it definitely got to us when you know it looked like we weren’t gonna be able to race pretty much this calendar year.”
Lipscomb even shared the concern that he felt for Edwards, University, and the other Monongalia County squads that were sidelined due to the pandemic.
“I felt so bad when Morgantown schools were closed at the beginning of the year,” he said. “Cause I know just based on the effort (Edwards) puts into his training and the holistic devotion he has to the sport of cross country that it just wasn’t fair.”
When asked which felt better: repeating as an individual state champion, or repeating as a team, Edwards said the team title was more satisfying. He knows, as a current junior, he’s got one more chance to claim another individual state crown.
“I’m still happy with what I’ve accomplished even though a lot of what I could’ve accomplished got taken away. But you know, you can’t look back at the things that could’ve happened, you just gotta look forward to the things that could,” said the junior standout.
Meanwhile, Lipscomb did something that’s technically never been done before – winning a Single-A boys cross country individual championship. Single-A runners competed along side Double-A runners prior to this year.
“I’ve worked so long and so hard to win Single-A and Double-A, like you know my first 3 years, they were combined field,” Lipscomb said. “”That’s been my goal for 4 years now. It’s just proved that I am one of state’s best and that Single-A can produce the states best runner. For whatever reason that state title eluded me. So, for this year just be able to go out and compete at all, you know with the craziness going on in the world, I’ll take a win and I’ll certainly you know relish in the fact and accept the fact I am the first outright Single-A champion and I’m glad that I could etch my name in the history books that way.”
And both of our Athletes of the Week appreciate what the other brings to the sport.
“Carter is a fantastic athlete I mean I’ve raced him since I was in 6th grade. Him and I doing the middle school meets together. And it’s different cause I’d still love to race now but him and I are different classes and rarely get to see each other but he’s a phenomenal athlete and he definitely deserves the state championship he got,” said Edwards about the Bulldogs senior.
“You know, he’s got that natural ability and the hard work and the ethic to go with it,” said Lipscomb on the two-time Triple-A state champ. “In terms of what I see in him, I see the greatest runner in West Virginia history.”