MARTINS FERRY - Chrissy Lewis couldn't have scripted it any better.
Martins Ferry's cross country coach was hoping her teams would have a good showing at the school's inaugural invitational and they didn't disappoint.
Jamie Truchan's first-place finish propelled the Purple Riders to the girls' championship Saturday morning on the hilltop, outdistancing runner-up John Marshall, 44-60.
MARTINS FERRY’S Jamie Truchan heads to the finish line for the victory in the Martin?Ferry Invitational held Saturday morning. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
The Monarchs' boys, however, were victorious in the boys' race, edging St. Clairsville, 57-63, behind Dylan McKeag's tape-breaking effort.
''We were happy with (Jamie) and the team as a whole running so well,'' Lewis said, noting it was a nice way to prepare for next week's Buckeye 8 Championships. ''It was very nice to have them both taste victory.
''It was a little unexpected for the girls, so it was nice to see them tough it out and win it.''
St. Clairsville was third in the girls' race with 62 points, followed by Union Local (66), Linsly (120) and Brooke (175).
After staging an OVCCL event during the week the past three years, Lewis decided it was time for Martins Ferry to upgrade to an invitational. And after watching the initial event take place under sunny skies, she thought everything went well.
''We just had to add a few things like T-shirts and awards,'' she said. ''We have a great group of parents that do a ton of work for us.''
Truchan, a junior, is certainly familiar with the hilltop layout. She tamed the course in 22:14, nearly half a minute faster than runner-up Megan Bateman of Union Local (22:45).
''I was in first by a good bit,'' Truchan said. ''The hills were kind of hard, but you just have to push through and try your best.''
It was Truchan's second straight week pacing the Riders. Last week, she placed eighth at the Claymont Early Bird.
St. Clairsville's Mikayla Westlake (23:14), Ferry's Lindsay Cunningham (23:21) and JM's Allison Duke (23:25) rounded out the top 5.
McKeag's victory was the third of his varsity career.
''Coming into the second mile a pack of St. Clairsville runners moved in and I let them pass me,'' he said. ''I made my move at the end when we came up that hill.''
A sophomore, McKeag didn't run in JM's opener last week at the Autumn Classic in St. Marys, where the Monarchs finished fourth.
''I knew we'd be better (Saturday) with Dylan and we showed it,'' JM head coach Jim Hudson said.
Clay Thorn (9th, 19:02) and Michael Connor (10th, 19:19) also posted top 10 finishes for JM.
St. Clairsville's Alex Timko (18:01) and Kevin Simpson (18:12) finished 2-3, while Brooke's Antonio Pizzuti was fourth (18:12) and Ferry freshman Jacob Bishop was fifth (18:34).
NEWCOMERSTOWN - St. John Central's Fallon Doyle (19:50) raced to the Small School Division crown as the Irish girls finished fifth.
Caldwell won the team title, followed by Sandy Valley and Fort Frye.
Kaitlyn Santinoceto was 17th overall (22:21) for St. John.
McKayla Kinemond paced Shadyside's girls, finishing 12th (21:57).
Garrett Holubeck paced the St. John boys, taking eighth in 17:56.
Shadyside freshman Josh Kahl was 36th (19:54).
In the Boys' Open Division, Harrison Central's Nurgeldi Nepesov was 37th (22:28), while on the girls' side St. John's Kyleigh Falcone (24:30) and Abby Schlanz (24:32) were second and third, respectively.
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