CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Solid runs by the Raiders.
That’s because both River Valley High School cross country squads placed among the top three teams in Saturday’s annual Zane Trace Invitational meet, including the Lady Raiders — which were the team runner-up.
River Valley’s girls, which won over third-place Westfall (67) by just two points, garnered 65 total points — and trailed only champion Vinton County which finished with 39.
Only nine girls teams posted team scores, as Vinton County collected three of the top-11 overall finishes out of 120 total runners.
For the boys, River Valley amassed 106 total points and placed third — ahead of host Zane Trace by exactly eight points (114).
There were 17 boys teams which scored points, as Waverly won the boys team title with 58 points, followed by runner-up Eastern Brown with 79.
Both Raider clubs utilized their depth on Saturday, as the Lady Raiders’ top five scores all placed from ninth thru 32nd.
Kenzie Baker led River Valley’s women with a ninth-place finish, crossing the finish line in 23 minutes and 28 seconds.
Right behind Baker was senior Leanne Hively, who was 13th overall in 24:13.
Sisters Kaylee Gillman (22nd in 24:59) and Beth Gillman (25th in 25:23) were the next Lady Raiders in, as 32nd-place Josie Jones was the fifth counting score in 26:14.
River Valley’s sixth and seventh-place scores crossed back-to-back and by one second apart, as Julia Nutter was 43rd (27:31) and Yolanda Andre was 44th (27:32).
Four Lady Raider runners rounded out the Silver and Black times — Sophie Branham in 48th (27:52), Natosha Rankin in 52nd (28:25), Jessica Sorbara in 87th (31:54) and Sharla Moody in 105th (35:15).
South Gallia was represented by one runner in the girls high school race — sophomore Jessica Luther in 20th overall in 24:45.
Maddy Garrison of Washington Court House captured the individual championship in an even 20 minutes.
On the boys side, Nathaniel Abbott amassed the fastest time for the Raiders, placing sixth out of 162 runners in 18-and-a-half minutes.
Just 22 seconds behind Abbott in 10th-place was senior Garrett Young (18:52), while George Rickett (23rd in 19:46), Caleb McKnight (31st in 20:07) and Kyle Coen (37th in 20:22) checked in next for the other counting scores.
The Raiders’ sixth and seventh-place times were Rory Twyman (44th in 20:36) and Cole Franklin (52nd in 21:06).
Seven other Raiders also ran but did not have their times count, including Austin Livingston (58th in 21:30), Devan McGhee (74th in 22:16), Ian Eblin (78th in 22:23), Chase Johnson (85th in 22:51), Andrew Tucker (96th in 23:29), Wyatt Bragg (104th in 23:43) and Ethan Browning (131st in 26:06).
South Gallia was represented by one runner in the boys high school race — sophomore Tristan Janey in 92nd overall in 23:18.
Hunter Hoover of Waverly was the individual race winner in 17 minutes and 27 seconds, finishing only nine seconds ahead of Pike Eastern’s Evan Leist (17:36).
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106