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Comet girls get first cross country win of season / October 21, 2021

The Comet girls cross country team picked up its first win of the season Tuesday in a Piedmont District meet at the Smith River Sports Complex in Martinsville.

The boys team came in second in its competition.

The Comet girls defeated Tunstall 27-28. Kate Bishop ran a time of 23:08.01 to lead her team with a second place individual race. It was her best time of the season.

Lydia Wenzel at 25:19.12 placed seventh; Morgan Crenshaw with a time of 26:17.86 in 10th rounded out the top-10 runners.

Coach Michelle Palmore said she and boys coach David Riddle are very proud of both teams. It was just last week that the girls came up one-point shy of defeating Tunstall — so the win was very special.

“Coach Riddle and I are so extremely proud of our team,” Palmore said. “Every single person PR’d at this district meet.

“That’s what we want to see as coaches, our runners improving every single week, especially getting towards the end of the season. They have really been putting in the work at practice and it is showing at meets.”

Completing the scoring for the Comet girls, Ashley Irby placed 11th with a time of 26:50.81; Mallory Salley 12th, 26:57.78; Jenna Hall 15th, 29:01.43; Alayna Newby 16th 29:27.23 and Jaci Parham 22nd, 31:14.51.

“They were focused as a team and knew what they needed to do,” Palmore said. “They are setting goals for every race, and are reaching them.”

The Comet boys finished behind Tunstall with a score of 47. Tunstall was first at 24; Patrick County was third with 63 points.

Ethan Kirkhart placed fourth with a time of 18:39.43; Will van Opstal was eighth, 19:00.54 and Justin Pool placed 10th with a time of 19:17.90. Henry Midkiff 16th, 20:14.57; Erik Hudgins 20:59.81; Preston Simpson 21st, 21:33.62, rounded out the Comet team score.

Palmore and Riddle said with the Piedmont District meet coming up next week, the teams couldn’t have found a better time to start hitting their stride.

“We are excited for the district championship meet next week,” Palmore said. “It’s going to be very competitive, but we are up to the challenge.”

HCMS eighth grade runners competing at the Martinsville event were Brennan Hunt 21.26, Joel Layne 24.23 and Cole Johnson- 25.03.

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