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Four Comets harriers earn all-district honors

Four members of the Halifax County High School cross country team, Lucy Morrison, Ethan Collie, Andrew Liegey and Vatsal Lal earned All-Western Valley District Team honors Thursday in the Western Valley District Championship Meet at Edmunds Park.  Morrison finished 12th overall in the girls race while Collie (ninth-place) Liegey (13th) and Lal (14th) qualified from the boys race.

The top 15 finishers in each race earned all-district honors.

With the top four girls teams and top four boys teams advancing to this week’s Northwest Region Championship Meet, both the Comets boys team (third place) and the Comets girls team (fourth place) will compete in the Northwest Region Championship Meet.

Patrick Henry High School won both the girls and boys meet, giving the Patriots boys team its third straight Western Valley District championship. It was the fourth consecutive district championship for the Patriots’ girls team.

The Patriots’ Harrison Toney won the boys race, clocking in with an Edmunds Park course record time of 16 minutes and 43 seconds. Franklin County High School’s Melissa Teeple won her third Western Valley District cross-country championship meet in a row, clocking in with a time of 19:35 over the 3.1-mile course.

Toney and Teeple quickly broke out to a big lead in their respective races and were never seriously challenged.

“That’s what I usually do in all of my races,” Toney said.

“I try to get out fast and try to stick with somebody, or try to lead for a certain amount of time.”

Toney said the Edmunds Park course is a good course.

“It’s a challenging, fast course,” he remarked.

“This is one of the more hilly courses. A lot of the courses we run are pretty moderate. I was really worried about not getting a good time. I definitely felt it a lot.”

Collie, who has had a good deal of success at Edmunds Park in the past, felt good about his ninth-place finish.

“I feel great because I ran my best time this season,” Collie said of his 18:30 clocking.

“It’s looking like my times of last year. All this season I’ve been slower than I was last year. This is similar to a time I would have run last year. “

The Comets runner said he was just looking to run his own race.

“I knew I had no chance at all of winning this thing, but I knew I had a good chance of placing in the top ten,” Collie said.

“I didn’t want to take my first mile too hard. I wanted to pace the first mile out, and get faster as I went along. I ran a 5:45 first mile, and that was faster than I expected. I wanted to have a fast finish over that last mile.”

Morrison said she was a little disappointed with her race.

“I was hoping I was going to get a near personal-best time and run a little faster,” she remarked.

“I just had a bad day. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I think I ran the first mile a little too fast, a lot faster than I usually do. I was just trying to get off to a good start.”

Halifax County High School Head Coach Brady Taylor noted the overall performances posted by his teams was pretty good. With only four teams competing, the Comets girls were locked into the Northwest Region meet without competition.

“We told the girls the pressure to qualify wasn’t there, but the pressure to do their best increases,” Taylor said.

“Our number three runner wasn’t able to run today. We told the girls they needed to step up and cover that and they tried their best to do that. Obviously, we would have liked to finish third or higher. We’re happy with where we finished.”

Taylor pointed out he was pleased with the third-place finish by the boys team, which finished within 12 points of runner-up Franklin County High School.

“A couple of spots here and there would have made a difference,” he said.

“We had to pull our number four runner (Ryan Throckmorton) due to an injury and put in an alternate (Andrew Hatcher). Andrew ran a heck of a race.”

Boys Meet Results

Team Scores: Patrick Henry 18, Franklin County 61, Halifax County 73, William Fleming 117, GW 129

Top Finishers

1. Harrison Toney (PH) 16:43 (Course Record)

2. Zach Paget (PH) 17:32

3. Deo Nalayisenger (WF) 17:37

4. Phillip Harmon (PH) 17:56

5. Alec Paget (PH) 18:07

6. Locher Grove (PH) 18:11

7. Tyler Burgess (FC) 18:20

8. Bazak (PH) 18:27

9. Ethan Collie (HC) 18:30

10.  Andrew Kepley (PH) 18:39

11. Ethan Oakley (FC) 19:00

12. Zhenya Anderson (FC) 19:00

13. Andrew Liegey (HC) 19:02

14. Vatsal Lal (HC) 19:05

15. Casey (FC) 19:39

18.  Larry Taylor (HC) 20:25

19. Parth Patel (HC) 20:33

20. Sergio Valesquez (HC) 20:37

22. Andrew Hatcher (HC) 20:51

Girls meet results

Team Scores: Patrick Henry 20, Franklin County 64, GW 71, Halifax County 81

Top Finishers

1. Melissa Teeple (FC) 19:35

2. Alina Woodford (PH) 19:57

3. Anna Carson (PH) 21:42

4. Anne Baldridge (PH) 22:07

5. Emily Whitaker (PH) 22:38

6. Samantha Anderson (WF) 23:17

7. Seema Tailor (PH) 23:43

8. Annie Agee (PH) 24:02

9. Allison Robertson (GW) 24:15

10.  Kayliyah Jones (GW) 24:37

11. Jordan Kantor (PH) 24:43

12. Lucy Morrison (HC) 24:59

13. Haneen Abel (WF) 25:13

14. Kimmy Chaconas (FC) 25:30

15.  Bucheria Haberry (WF) 25:45

16.  Laura Guthrie (HC) 25:45

19.  Lexie Barron (HC) 26:41

23. Emily Nester (HC) 27:56

24. Berkley Conner (HC) 28:10

27. Monica Puckett (HC) 28:54

28. Jessica Conner (HC) 29:59