TORNADO – There will be plenty of Ripley High Blue and White on the Chris Parsons Cross Country Course this Saturday when the State Meet unfolds in Ona on the Cabell Midland High School campus.
Last Thursday, the Ripley Viking boys team continued their outstanding season by winning the Class AAA Region 3 crown at Meadowood Park in Tornado. The Vikings finished with 45 points in earning the title. Oak Hill was second in the nine-team field with 61 points.
Ripley had four runners earn All-Regional accolades by placing in the Top 10. Chad Longanacre led the way with a fourth place finish in a time of 16:38.00. Ryan Gregory was next in line, placing eighth in a time of 16:59.80. The Casto brothers – Caleb and Jake – placed ninth and tenth, respectively, with times of 17:15.60 and 17:24.40.
The Viking running pack also included Levi Phillips, who was 14th (17:43.00), Sammy Shaver, who placed 22nd (18:28.00) and Dylan Whiting was 32nd (18:53.00).
"This was our first regional championship since 1993 when I was a freshman," said a proud Jimmy Groves, one of Ripley's coaches.
"They ran really well and they deserve it. We had to sit in our cars for an hour (because of lightning), but they didn't let that bother them. When you start winning like this it helps get kids out for the program."
Ripley senior Ali Cunningham will close out her running career with a trip to the State Meet. Cunningham was the lone Lady Viking to qualify with a second place All-Regional performance. Cunningham's time was 19:49.10. Capital's Peyton Panger won the race in a time of 19:12.60.
"I wish our girls team could have made it, but we're proud of Ali. She was very determined to get there (after finishing 13th at last year's regional meet). Our kids seem to be cool and confident. They don't seem to be nervous and that is good," added Groves.
Ripley placed fourth in the six-team field with 76 points. Capital won the meet with 50.
Lady Viking Maddi Randolph, a freshman, just missed qualifying for the State Meet. She placed 13th in a time of 22:45.10.
Melissa Hughart was 16th (22:50.20), Sapphire Parsons was 22nd (23:44.80), Molli Cunningham was 30th (25:11.00) and Audra Thomas placed 34th (26:11.20).