The 2018 season of cross country opened in Pleasants County on Saturday for Ripley High’s girls and boys programs.

The Lady Vikings, who were without star runner Tori Starcher, turned in a third place finish among a field of 13 full teams at the Autumn Classic Invitational, hosted by St. Marys High School. Ripley had a team total of 103 points in placing behind Williamstown (62) and Bridgeport (77). A total of 28 schools were represented in the girls division.

The Viking boys were 14th in a field of 23 full squads. There were 31 schools in all who had runners competing in the boys division. 

Freshman Haleigh McCune raced to a Top 5 finish with a time of 21:37.7 in her first varsity meet as a Lady Viking.

Sophomore Jadyn Casto just missed cracking the Top 10 by placing 12th (22:41.4).

Freshmen Tori Fisher (23:17.4) and senior Allison Knox (23:54.5) were in the Top 30 with finishes of 24th and 28th, respectively. Lauren Rush placed 54th (25:33.5).

The Lady Viking attack also included Grace Zuniga (28:38.4) and Kaylyn Parrish (31:59.9).

Senior Chase Pepper paced Ripley’s boys runners with a 37th place finish (19:21.7).

Fellow senior Bradley Yost (19:28.5) was just seven seconds back of Pepper for a 39th place finish (19:28.5). Freshmen Levi Jones was next in line for the Vikings with a placing of 61st (20:25.6).

Ripley’s band of runners also featured junior Chase Casto (128th-22:51.4), Garrison Phillips (142nd-23:05.5), Cole Neal (225th-29:18.1) and Trey Starcher (30:15.5).

In the middle school girls division, Ripley’s Ellie Hosaflook was the first runner to cross the finish line, doing so in a time of 12:12.5. Hosaflook helped lead Ripley to third overall in a field of 13 full teams. Ripley had 103 team points. Doddridge took the title with 31 while Williamstown followed with 74.

After Hosaflook’s impressive race, Opal Huffman was next in the Ripley pack of runners, placing 19th (14:07.6). Kaitlyn Swisher was 26th (14:26.0), Emma Shockey placed 29th (14:45.3), Haven Stephens came in 36th (15:12.5), Alyssa Hunt was 38th (15:27.0) and Gabby Miller raced to 39th (15:27.8).  Ripley’s Lacey Parsons competed and was clocked at 17:01.6.

There were 19 schools in all represented in the girls division.

Just like the girls, Ripley’s boys placed third with 115 team points. Ritchie was first with 56 and Tridelphia came in second with 100. There were 12 full boys teams in the field and 20 schools overall represented.

Ripley’s Max Meadows led the way with a third place finish (11:58.2).

Kaleb Swisher was just a couple of places away from a Top 10 finish, finishing 12th (12:26.7).

Ripley’s attack also featured Anthony Bertagnolli, who was 22nd (13:25.5), Conner Casto, who came in 31st (13:52.9) and Jeremiah Casto, who was 75th (16:27.1).