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Cross country makes strides in Tuesday meet at GW / October 07, 2021
The Halifax County High School varsity boys and girls cross country teams had solid performances on Tuesday at GW-Danville with runners setting personal best times.

Ethan Kirkhart placed third with a personal best of 19:31.44. Lydia Wenzel had one of her strongest finishes this season in sixth place with a time of 25:58.44.

The Comet boys had a team score of 38 for second place. Tunstall with 30 and GW’s 62 were first and third. The Comet girls battled Tunstall and fell 23-35.

Coach Michelle Palmore said she and Coach David Riddle are proud of the commitment the team has to improve daily and these are the results.

“Ethan Kirkhart placed third in the boys race and also PR’d [set personal best records],” Palmore said. “He keeps improving at every race, so we are looking forward to seeing what he does with the rest of the season.

Will van Opstal fifth at 19:50.10 and Justin Pool at eighth, 20:16.45 completed the team’s top-10. Henry Midkiff 21:31.97 (14th), Erik Hudgins 22:55.78 (18th), and Preston Simpson’s 23:20.83 at 19th rounded out the boys’ times.

“Lydia Wenzel set a personal record at this race and really gave it her all in the finish,” Palmore said. We were very proud of all the girls. They pushed themselves and set goals for this week.”

Kate Bishop led the girls team, finishing second behind a very strong Tunstall runner. Bishop ran a time of 24:16.41.

Ashley Irby and Alayna Newby, along with Bishop and Wenzel placed in the top 15.”

Irby ran 12th at 29:07.39; Newby’s 30:00.73 was 15th. Jaci Parham had a time of 31:32.44 for 20th. Jenna Hall placed 21st running a time of 31:38.29.

The team’s eighth grade runners also saw success with Brennan Hunt winning his first race this season. Hunt has been consistently running better each meet. Cole Johnson placed ninth running 27:43.34.

“We had a strong showing at the district meet tonight,” Palmore said. “We were dealing with some injuries and illness, but both the girls and boys teams pulled through in the end with strong finishes.

“Coach Riddle and I were very happy with the team’s effort in this race. We are looking to see even more improvement during this second half of the season.”

The Comets’ next meet is Oct. 12 at Martinsville High School.

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