Hampshire sweeps Mountain Ridge Invitational

Sep. 6—GRANTSVILLE — Hampshire swept the Mountain Ridge Invitational held at New Germany State Park on Tuesday.

The Miners hosted 10 other schools. The area schools included Bishop Walsh, Keyser, Hampshire, Northern and Southern.

"I thought the meet really ran well," Mountain Ridge head coach Doug Baker said. "I thought it was organized well, I thought the kids really participated with sportsmanship with the intention of winning."

West Virginia's Nicholas County, and Pennsylvania's Salisbury Elk-Lick, Meyersdale, North Star and Turkeyfoot Valley also competed.

It was a hot day in Garrett County with temperatures in the mid 90s.

"I think this early in the season, kids just aren't used to competing," Baker said. "They're used to being out in the sun, but they're not used to exerting as much energy. There's a safety concern I'm sure with every coach here today. Kids trying to push to win and kids not pushing too hard to where they could find themselves in health trouble. That's a real conundrum whenever you're in it."

The Trojans won the boys race in dominant fashion with a score of 36, 50 points better than second place.

"We wanted to come over and get in a meet with a lot of the local teams," Hampshire head coach Bill Lipps said. "A couple weren't here, but we still think we performed well. We opened up strong and it helps us grow confidence to finish strong."

In the boys race, Hampshire won with Nicholas County finishing second with a score of 86. Northern placed third with a 99, and Southern was fourth with a 114.

"We were pleased, both coaches were pleased," Lipps said. "I thought we saw some summer work in there. We had a good second half of the race and we think it's a good race to build upon. "

Keyser finished fifth with a 136, Bishop Walsh was sixth with a 138, Mountain Ridge placed seventh with a 152 and Meyersdale placed eighth with a 153.

North Star, Salisbury Elk-Lick and Turkeyfoot Valley did not have enough runners to qualify for a team score.

Nicholas County's Johnny Walkup won the boys race with a time of 18:28. His teammate Luke Barr finished third at 18:53.

"Bringing in talent from other areas is something we've been trying to do," Baker said. "Looks like we accomplished that today, so that was good."

Wyatt Thorne of Hampshire finished second with a time of 18:37. His teammate Richard Hudson placed fifth with a 19:27.

The Trojans' Ethan Richman (20:07) and Brady Stump (20:09) finished eighth and ninth.

"I tell them all the time, confidence is earned," Lipps said. "They have earned it today. It's confidence in the bag."

Rodion Horbasenko from Bishop Walsh was fourth timing in at 19:25.

Logan Hetrick of Keyser was sixth with a 19:34.

Michael Nazelrod from Southern placed seventh with a 19:51.

Bryan Donitzen of Meyersdale rounded out the top 10 with a 20:19 behind the Trojans' Richman and Stump.

Mountain Ridge's top performer was Cameron Breighner who finished 11th with a 20:30.

"Cam is a true basketball player," Baker said. "He's really been getting into shape for cross country. I like to see kids that have team sports in mind come out and do the individual sports. He's working hard every day, putting in extra miles. I couldn't be more proud of his performance so far."

Northern had three runners finish in the top 20 led by Chace Winebrenner who finished 14th with a 21:10.

In the girls race, Hampshire won with a score of 41 with three top 10 finishers. The Trojans top six were all inside the top 20.

"We're pleased with it, they've been working hard," Lipps said. "We had an idea of what they'd come out here and do. They exceeded those expectations so we can't be disappointed at all."

Northern finished second with a score of 59. Meyersdale was third with a 91 and Nicholas County placed fourth with a 94.

Mountain Ridge finished fifth with 105 and Keyser sixth with 114.

Bishop Walsh, North Star and Southern did not have enough runners to qualify for a team score.

Hampshire's Bailey Nichols won with a time of 22:36. Her teammates Giovanna Matthews (25:49) and Karleigh Nichols (25:59) finished seventh and eighth.

Keyser's Ava Barrick finished second with a 24:06.

The Huskies finished with three runners inside the top 10. Danika Krause finished third in exactly 25 minutes.

Marisa Perez was fifth with a 25:47 and Katelyn VanSickle was sixth with a 25:48.

Nicholas County's Haley Johnson finished fourth with a 25:10.

Emma Kretchman of Meyersdale placed ninth with a 26:02 and Brylee Gray of Mountain Ridge finished 10th with a 26:13.

"Brylee's our girl coming back that has the potential to do really well in the season," Baker said. "She was happy with her race. A very difficult course, a lot of hills and a lot of rocks. For a smaller person, I think that's much more of a task out there today. I think she'll find the course at Allegany to be a lot faster. "

Up next for the majority of the area teams is the Frankfort Invitational on Saturday at 10 a.m. The Falcons will host Allegany, Bishop Walsh, Fort Hill, Hampshire, Keyser, Mountain Ridge and Southern.

Berkeley Springs, Fairmont Senior, Hedgesville, Mercersburg, Meyersdale, Paw Paw and Pendleton County are also expected to compete.

"We go over to our friends at Frankfort," Baker said. "There's always a lot of good competition, they always run a good meet. It's a new course, it's rocky. It's a different climate at Frankfort. There's a different ecological system in Mineral County. We don't have to go too far to go somewhere completely different."

Jordan Kendall is a Sports Writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @JKendallCTN.