From Staff Reports
SMITHSBURG — The Southern Garrett Rams, with five finishers among the top nine, ran away with the Class 1A West Region boys cross country championship Thursday afternoon.
Southern won with a score of just 31 points. North Carroll was a distant second with 72, followed by Northern Garrett with 79, Smithsburg with 88 and Manchester Valley with 116. Allegany was sixth in the eight-team field with 126. Fort Hill had an incomplete team score.
Local runners filled eight of the first nine spots, the only exception being first place, which went to North Carroll’s Grant Dell in 17:24.5. Northern’s Blake Meyers was runner-up in 17:53.3.
Devan Hamrick led the Southern runners by taking third place in 18:05.0 and was followed by teammates Greyson Messenger, fifth in 18:13.1, Aaron Rodeheaver, sixth in 18:18.0, Zak Thomas, eighth in 18:31.7, and Cody Teets, ninth in 18:36.1.
Southern’s Tyler Artice was 16th (19:06.7) and Austin Shaffer 32nd (20:21.6).
Northern had two top-10 finishers and four in the top 25. Meyers led the Huskies with his second place finish. Levi Cameron was fourth in 18:09.1, Keith Stahl was 13th in 18:57.2 and Elijah Friend was 24th in 19:58.1.
Walker Magrath (18:25.7) was seventh, Austin Zapf (19:57.7) 23rd, Ben Weaver (20:01.5) 27th and Brett McIntyre (20:02.9) 28th for Allegany. Jacob Moore (20:37.5) led Fort Hill with a 36th.
In the girls race, Smithsburg won the team championship with 37 points. Brunswick was second with 75 and Southern Garrett was third with 84. Fort Hill was sixth with 123 while Allegany and Northern Garrett had incomplete team scores.
Manchester Valley’s Katie Leisher won the girls race by nearly two minutes with a time of 19:38.2.
Top top local runner was Allegany freshman Kaylee Buckbee, who was runner-up with a time of 21:23.9. Fort Hill’s Michala Garrison was sixth in 22:27.7. Also earning top-10 finishes were Southern’s Ashley Lahay, ninth in 22:47.1, and Katie Keefer, 10th in 22:59.5.
Ashley Murphy led Northern by placing 14th in 23:24.2. Teammate Abigail Burdock was 18th in 23:49.0, while Southern’s Shay Tasker was 19th in 23:49.3.
Other area runners among the top 30 were Fort Hill’s Elizabeth Lowe (24th, 24:31.0) and Southern’s Kyra Griffith (28rd, 24:56.1).
The top four teams and the top 15 individuals in the 1A West meet advance to the state championship meet, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9, at McDaniel College.