By Gaylen Duskey

Competing against a Class AAA laden field Calhoun's cross country teams showed a competitiveness that has not been seen in the last few years.

Both the Red Devils boys and girls high school teams finished 15th in the 23-team Autumn Classic field Saturday while Sampson, a senior state competitor, was 10th among scored schools and 12th overall.

Sampson had a season best 23:02 to finish in a dead heat with Fairmont's Chelsea Clark. Courtney Yeager of Wheeling Park won the race. Sampson finished fourth among runners in her Class AA-A group.

Sampson had help from teammates as the Red Devils amassed 332 points to finish a mere 28 points behind Class AAA Robert C. Byrd High School. Calhoun finished seventh among Class AA-A schools in the meet, which was won by Parkersburg South.

Sampson was backed by Tracy King (64th) at 28:41, Rochelle Gerwig (80th) at 31:00, Maria Kisner (87th) at 33:32, Athena Wagoner (91st) at 36:06 and Kerry Graffius (94th) at 45:22. The times were season best for all the runners.

The same was true on the boys side as all runners posted a season best time led by junior Justin Gerwig who broke the 20:00-barrier with a time of 19:43. He finished in 37th place.

He was backed by Cai Clothier (55th) at 20:46, Zack Hanshaw (64th) at 21:07, Josh Parsons (92nd) at 23:18 and Anthony Richards (94th) at 23:37.

Wheeling Park won the meet with nine-time defending Class AA-A state champion Ravenswood second.

Calhoun had 342 points to narrowly lose out for 14th place to Oak Glen, which had 325.

There were 155 runners in the girls' race and 163 in the boys' race.

The Autumn Class was the first time in the last several years that Calhoun has fielded a complete boys team.

Coach Melinda Fitzwater expressed pride in the way the team has come together and how every Calhoun runner improved their time.

On the middle school side the Calhoun girls team had one competitor - Monica Heiney - and she finished in 61st place with a season-best time of 17:01.

On the boys side William Baker had a season best time of 15:15 to finish 63rd overall while Cody Parsons posted a time of 21:58 for 93rd.

Calhoun is idle until returning to action in the prestigious Chik-Fil-A run at Mineral Wells on Sept. 13.

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