WELLSTON, Ohio — Off to the races.
River Valley, Southern and South Gallia each began their 2018 cross country campaign during the 2018 Golden Rocket Invitational held Saturday on the campus of Wellston High School.
A total of 19 teams and 247 varsity participants competed in the annual event, with Trimble coming away with the boys team title and Vinton County capturing top team honors in the girls event.
Both varsity races featured over 100 runners apiece, with 140 boys and 107 girls taking to the course in the separate competitions.
The Tomcats posted a winning score of 35 points in the boys race, finishing six points ahead of runner-up Athens (41). River Valley was the only local program to record a team score after finishing fifth with 151 points.
The top local finisher came from the Raiders as Rory Twyman placed 12th with a time of 18:57.04. Dylan Fulks (19:17.85) and Cody Wooten (19:59.37) also had respective efforts of 18th and 27th for the Silver and Black.
RVHS senior Caleb McKnight (21:35.40) provided a 59th place effort, while Ian Eblin (21:45.46) and Drew Dillon (21:53.13) followed with efforts of 61st and 65th, respectively. Rounding out the top-seven finishers for River Valley was Nathan Young (25:32.05) who placed 119th.
South Gallia had one runner earn a top-20 finish, as Garrett Frazee (19:24.42) was 19th. Griffin Davis closed out the Rebels finishers, with a 110th place effort of 25:10.90.
For the Tornadoes, David Dunfee was the lone male competitor, posting a 97th place finish with a time of 23:45.17.
Tony Tonkovich of Athens won the boys race with a time of 16:45.67, with Hunter Morgan of Whiteoak coming in second with a mark of 17:45.25.
Rylee Fee of VCHS won the girls race with a time of 20:05.93, while her teammate Lilly Chevalier was the runner-up with a time of 21:10.68.
The Lady Vikings came away with the girls team title after posting a winning total of 23. Athens was second with 52 points, while River Valley placed sixth with a tally of 171.
Sydney Roush had the top local finish and also led the Lady Tornadoes with a 13th place effort of 22:57.42, while Mallory Johnson (25:08.17) and Madison Lisle (27:47.54) were next for SHS with respective finishes of 33rd and 66th. Kathryn Matson (28:35.14) completed the top-finishers for Southern with a 77th place effort.
Jessica Luther led the Lady Rebels with a 52nd place time of 26:43.10, followed by Cara Frazee (27:44.16) in 64th and Leslee Clark (35:54.67) in 104th place.
Lauren Twyman led the Lady Raiders with a 37th place effort of 25:24.19, followed by Hannah Culpepper (25:30.93) and Kaylee Gillman (26:14.69) with respective finishes of 39th and 48th. Josie Jones (27:18.11) was also 59th overall, while Connie Stewart (27:36.37) followed with a 63rd place effort.
Julia Nutter (28:06.92) and Kate Nutter (30:19.72) rounded out the top-seven finishers for River Valley as they placed 69th and 84th, respectively.
Visit baumspage.com for complete results of the 2018 Golden Rocket Invitational.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext 2106.