MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Wednesday was a big day in the lives of Morgantown-based high school cross country athletes.
It was the first cross country meet of the season for both Morgantown and University high schools.
And despite not running competitively for their schools since last fall — having missed an entire track & field season, and more than half of this cross country season — University’s Josh Edwards and Morgantown’s Irene Riggs appeared in mid-season form.
Riggs blew away the competition in the girls’ meet, crossing the finish line more than one minute and 20 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
Meanwhile, Edwards not only ran away from the rest of the boys’ field, but he set the UHS cross country course record in the process.
“I had the course record in my mind,” Edwards said. “I wasn’t going to go out and kill the first school race we had just to get that time, but, to be able to get have the course record is something that I’ve always wanted, and happy to get. You know, it kind of sucks to see Seth’s record go, especially because he had such a legacy at UHS. But, you know, I wanted that regardless.”
Edwards crossed the finish line just 15 minutes and 16 seconds after the race began — erasing the former record, held by UHS standout Seth Edwards, by a whopping 14 seconds.
Edwards finished first, while teammate Rocco DeVincent finished in second place with a time of 16:04. Morgantown senior Quinn Jacquez placed third with a time of 16:35. University runners rounded out the top five, as Jordan Thomas finished fourth (16:50) and TaKaleb Turner placed fifth (17:07).
Riggs finished ahead of a pair of University runners, in senior Caroline Kirby (19:12) and freshman Mia Murray (19:33). Morgantown’s Amelia Summers placed fourth (19:45), with University’s Shelby Davis placing fifth (20:51).
“It was the first race, and I just wanted to get out here and have fun,” said Riggs. “And then, the closer I got, the more I realized I don’t know if this is going to be my only race. So, I definitely wanted to push it more than I thought I was going to. So, I ended up having a really good race, and I’m really happy.”
University, as a team, swept the event. The Hawks boys won by a score of 18-41, with the girls winning a closer match, 27-29.
University head coach Ed Frohnapfel says his team will compete in just one more meet prior to the postseason, competing in the OVAC meet and then the Triple-A regional meet.