MORRISTOWN - Belmont County has long been a very solid area for prep cross country.
Thus, winning the county title is an accomplishment.
The St. Clairsville boys and the host Union Local girls snagged the top prizes in what is the final mid-week meet of the season.
SHADYSIDE’S Tara Tollett runs toward a victory in the Belmont County Cross Country Championship held at Union Local High School Wednesday afternoon. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com.
The Red Devils, who finished second in the Buckeye 8 meet over the weekend when they didn't have some key pieces due to the ACT, posted an impressive total of 19 points to outdistance runner-up Barnesville, by 36.
Coach Tony Ciroli's team placed all five of its scorers in the top seven with senior standout Drake Walker leading the way.
Walker edged out a pack of three other competitors, including teammates Alex Timko and Joe Davies, for the individual title in a time of 19:42.0. Timko, who won the Buckeye 8 over the weekend, finished two tenths behind.
Davies was fourth in 19:42.7. The only non-Red Devil runner in that pack was Barnesville's senior standout Brandon Stephens, who posted a 19:42.5 to finish third.
Freshman Logan McCort was fifth overall and fourth for St. C, while James Davenport rounded out the scorers in seventh place.
The Shamrocks' second runner was sophomore Mason Moore, who was eighth overall in a time of 20:17.
Union Local had a pair of runners crack the top 10. Junior Caleb Hayes was ninth in 20:32, while freshman Justin Bolt was 10th in 20:35.
Bellaire was led by sophomore Luc Messenger, who turned in a solid sixth-place effort. He ran the 3.1 miles in 19:56.
ON THE GIRLS' SIDE, the Lady Jets, who finished second to St. C. at the Buckeye 8 last Saturday, finished with 31 points. That total was 22 points better than the runner-up Lady Devils.
The Lady Jets were led by freshman Hannah Nagy, who finished fifth in 23:56. Sophomore Aubrey Snider, junior Anna Frazier and senior Casey Glenn took the seventh through ninth spots. Snider posted a 24:27, while Frazier and Glenn checked in with 24:33 and 37, respectively.
Senior Danica Wharton closed the scoring for the Lady Jets. She was 12th overall in 24:53.
St. Clairsville was led by freshman Paige Garan, who was the only member of her team to finish inside the top 10. She was 10th in 24:46.
Shadyside had a solid showing. The top finishers in the race wore orange uniforms.
Senior standout Tara Tollett, who was a state qualifier in CC last season and state runnerup at 3200 meters on the track, posted an impressive 21:02, which was more than 2 minutes better than her nearest competitor and teammate freshman McKayla Kinemond, who ran 23:11.
Freshman Logan Johnson was also solid for the Lady Tigers. She ran a 24:07 to finish sixth.
Martins Ferry, which ran without its two usual top runners, was led by junior Lindsay Cunningham, who was third in 23:16.
East Richland Christian's Hannah Surface turned in a solid run. She was fourth in 23:32.