MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – We are just a few days away from the state cross country meet in Cabell County, which will take place this weekend in Ona.
No where are the expectations higher than in Monongalia County, and on the boys side of the sport, expectations are the highest at the high school on Bakers Ridge.
The University girls finished as the state runners-up in Triple-A last season, while the boys won their second-straight state title.
The UHS boys are led by three-time Gatorade Athlete of the Year, Josh Edwards, and fellow standout Rocco DeVincent. The duo finished 1 and 2 at last year’s state meet, and did so once again at the Regional meet last week ahead of what they hope is another successful run at states.
“It’d be a three-peat for me, individually, and a three-peat for the team. Really cool,” said Edwards. “I mean, it’s nice. We have a culture here of expectations and winning. I think that’s what brought us to this point.”
Head coach Ed Frohnapfel has helped captain the Hawks boys to four state championships since 2013. He’s also helped lead the UHS girls to six state titles from 2010-2019.
Frohnapfel knows he has a special group.
“They work hard. That’s like the light at the end of the tunnel for them to get that state title,” said Frohnapfel. “Really they talk about they want to instill that mentality to the guys coming up so things can keep rolling after they’re gone.”
A state championship-worthy run on Saturday would be the fifth state title for the Hawks boys in the last nine years. It’d also be the third in a row for Edwards and UHS.
Edwards, meanwhile, echoed the sentiment that he, DeVincent and the other standout runners want to see their success continue after they graduate.
With that said, Edwards and company don’t feel any external pressure heading into the state’s premier cross country meet.
“Our ultimate goal is to run at our highest level. Some years that’s getting podium at state, some years that’s winning the state meet. We’re not too caught up with the specifics, just trying to be our best selves,” he said.
The state cross country meet will be held in Ona this Saturday.