ONA, W.Va. — A fantastic finale.
Point Pleasant senior Luke Wilson competed in his third consecutive state cross country meet on Saturday, placing sixth overall at the 2018 WVSAAC AA-A Cross Country Championships held on the campus of Cabell-Midland High School in Cabell County.
Wilson — who finished with a mark of 16:57.27 — earned the highest finish at a state meet in school history.
Wilson — who has improved in each of his appearances at the state meet — finished 10th with a final mark of 16:54.87 in this same event last year, following a 40th place effort in the 2016 Class AA-A Cross Country Championships with a time of 17:54.9.
Wilson concludes a stellar cross country career for the Red and Black, which includes the PPHS school record of 16:39.2 set last fall at the Chick-Fil-A Invitational in Mineral Wells, W.Va.
Following the race, Wilson spoke about the experience.
“I am just happy to represent my school,” Wilson said. “Being able to compete here shows the character of our program and how hard we work in sports. I’ve had a lot of accomplishments with cross country, but my real goal is to continue to build for the upcoming track season and to keep working on my training.”
PPHS coach Jessica Porter was pleased with Wilson’s effort — particularly seeing all his hard work rewarded.
“Working with Luke has been a dream,” Porter said. “He gives his absolute best effort all of the time. He’s always improving. The beginning of this race, I was a little worried because he’s always concerned that he’ll get pulled back in the rush of everyone sprinting out. He actually got knocked down at the start and was stepped on. So for him to come back and finish sixth, I’m so very proud of him.”
Senior Aaron Withrow of Winfield cruised to the Class AA-A title with a winning time of 16:02.05. Ravenswood’s Bryce Jarrell was the runner-up in the 161-competitor field with a mark of 16:42.67.
Fairmont Senior (70) claimed the Class AA-A team by a single point, edging past runner up Winfield with 71 points.
Sophomore Ella Hesson of Williamstown won the Class AA-A girls race with a time of 19:25.50. Winfield claimed the AA-A girls team title with 62 points, finishing 32 points ahead of Bridgeport (94).
Senior Ronnie Saunders of Wheeling Park won the Class AAA boys race with a time of 15:55.22. Cabell-Midland posted 55 points to earn the AAA team championship.
Junior Madison Trippett of Parkersburg won the Class AAA girls race with a mark of 18:00.41. University won the AAA girls team title with 43 points, finishing 29 points ahead of runner up Cabell-Midland (72).
Visit runwv.com for complete results of the 2018 WVSSAC Cross Country Championships held at Cabell Midland High School.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext 2106.