The entirety of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference descended upon Ripley Saturday morning for the 2015 SHAC Cross Country Championship.
Dan and Matt Seas of Peebles High School finished one-two in the boys’ varsity 5K event, with Dan Seas clocking a 15:58.6 to best Matt Seas by just over 30 seconds. Fairfield’s Matthew Mangus came in third, seconds ahead of Eastern Brown’s Blake Rigdon.
After Rigdon came majority of the Fairfield squad. The Lions placed runners in fifth place through 16th place, broken up only by Manchester’s Jamie Combs in 13th and Eastern’s Garyn Purdy in 15th.
Dakota Williams also had a strong finish for the Warriors, coming home in 17th place, two spots ahead of Ripley’s Josh Deaton. Deaton clocked a time of 18:18.9 to lead all Blue Jay runners, the next-closest of whom was Chris Reuss, who finished 39th.
Garret Miller led Fayetteville with a 20:19, good for 42nd place out of 78 runners.
The team title went to Fairfield, which isn’t too surprising given they placed seven runners in the top 10. Eastern finished second, 13 points ahead of Peebles. No other Peebles Indian finished inside the top 25 in the meet. Deaton led Ripley to a seventh-place finish in the team standings, ahead of West Union and Fayetteville.
In the girls’ 5K race, it was Jenny Seas of Peebles winning the individual title by nearly two full minutes over West Union’s Ashley Hackworth. Rebekah Ellis paced the Eastern Lady Warriors, clocking a strong 22:05.8 to take home an eighth-place finish. Teammate Allison Day was two spots behind Ellis in 10th place.
Fayetteville’s Cecilia Murphy finished in 15th place for the Lady Rockets, with teammate Samantha Murphy clocking a 23:49.5 to finish 20th. Kristen Abbott led the Lady Blue Jays with her 27th-place finish.
Manchester would win the team title by 16 points over West Union. Eastern Brown came in fifth place out of seven teams, ahead of Lynchburg and Fayetteville.
In the junior high event, Eastern’s Ian Wiles and Dustin Jimison both earned top-five finishes, but Fairfield placed all seven runners in the top 15 to win the team title by 21 points over the Warriors. Fayetteville’s Christopher Murphy finished with a time of 11:43.8, good for 10th place in the individual standings.
Ripley’s Nigel Royal finished 22nd to lead the Blue Jays to a fourth-place finish in the team standings. Clinton Bartley and Taylor McGuffey also finished in the top-30 for the Blue Jays. Fayetteville would finish in eighth place, seven points ahead of Lynchburg and 31 in front of Peebles.
The girls’ 3K race did not have team awards, as only three teams had enough participants to qualify. Ciera Colwell won the event for Fairfield, finishing just ahead of Eastern’s Camryn Pickerill. Fellow Lady Warrior Emily Fannin came in fourth. Caitlyn Wills and Emma Brown also had top-10 finishes for Eastern Brown.
Fayetteville’s Alison Whitley came in 25th place out of a total of 37 runners.
All three teams will be back in action this weekend as district races begin. Ripley and Fayetteville will race at West Chester’s Voice of America Park on Saturday, October 24. The boys’ race is expected to begin at 2:45 p.m. with the girls’ event beginning around at 3:15 p.m.
Eastern Brown will also be in action Saturday, however they will race at the Southeast District meet at the University of Rio Grande. The girls race will be first, beginning at 10 a.m. with the boys race to follow.