PROCTORVILLE, Ohio — The Gallia Academy Blue Angels and Blue Devils enjoyed strong showings on Saturday at the annual Fairland Invitational cross country meet, especially the Blue Angels — which were the team runner-up.
As part of the 2016 Dragons’ Run by the River, three Blue Angels amassed top-10 finishes, leading Gallia Academy to a second-place finish of 73 points — and trailing only host Fairland with 40 points for the team title.
For the Blue Devils, five runners placed between 10th and 45th out of 132 total, as GAHS finished fifth out of 11 teams with 119 points.
Both Gallia Academy clubs ran against primarily Ohio Valley Conference foes, and a few strong West Virginia schools.
On the girls side, four Mountain State squads — Hurricane (89), George Washington (98), Huntington (109) and Spring Valley (158) — all finished from third thru sixth-place.
Three OVC teams — Rock Hill (162), Ironton (209) and Coal Grove (259) — were next, followed by 10th-place East Carter (Ky.) with 264.
A pair of Blue Angels crossed the finish line in back-to-back third and fourth place out of 95 total runners, trailing only race winner Olivia Ward of George Washington (21:29) and race runner-up Deanna Hall of Fairland (21:42).
That pair was Mary Watts with a time of 21 minutes and 56 seconds, and Mesa Polcyn in 22 minutes and three seconds.
Brook Johnson of Gallia Academy placed 10th in 23 minutes and 40 ticks.
The Blue Angels’ other two counting scores were 23rd-place Abby Johnson in 25:47 and 38th-place Abby Cremeans in 28:25.
The other two individual scores were 41st-place Cassidy Starnes in 29:11 and 47th-place Sabrina Manygoats in 34 seconds after that (29:45).
Five Blue Angels finished from 52nd thru 93rd, and were not part of the top seven registered scores.
They included Caitlyn Caldwell in 52nd (30:26), Teresa Guillen in 60th (31:58), Eliza Davies in 78th (35:27), Carlin Short in 90th (41:08) and Alyssa Marxen in 93rd (43:25).
Gallia Academy’s men, in the middle of the team championship pack, trailed host Fairland for fourth place by 10 points.
Rock Hill easily won the team title with 32 points — with its top five runners all placing in the top nine.
Huntington (93) and Hurricane (102) took a close second and third, as fellow West Virginia schools St. Albans (142) and George Washington (192) were sixth and seventh.
Ironton (245), Coal Grove (246), Wheelersburg (249) and Spring Valley (254) ended up eighth thru 11th, as South Point placed 12th with 333 points.
Blue Devil twin brothers Kyle Greenlee and Caleb Greenlee led the way there, with Kyle Greenlee placing 10th in 19:05 and Caleb Greenlee crossing 19th in exactly 20 minutes.
Devon Barnes in 27th in 20:36 and Ezra Blain in 30th in 20:51 were next, as Kobe Cochran completed the Blue Devils’ top five individual scores in 21:39 for 40th.
Grant Smith and Cade Mason managed to cross back-to-back for the final two GAHS scores, as Smith was 45th in 21:48 and Mason 46th in 11 seconds (21:59) later.
Seven Blue Devils did not have their times count as part of the top seven.
They included Oliver Davies (64th in 23:07), Nicholas Sheets (78th in 23:59), Mitchell Bolin (80th in 24:07), Cody Rogers (84th in 24:50), Derek Henry (96th in 26:14), Chris Denison (108th in 28:17) and Rylan Armstrong (131st in 34:32).
Jacob Birurakis of George Washington was the race winner in 16 minutes and 56 seconds.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106