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Cross country working hard / September 07, 2009
The Halifax County high school cross country team competed against Tunstall, and GW Danville high schools on Wednesday at Ballou park in Danville.

The HCHS boys’ team won the overall meet led by Zack Evans, who placed fourth, and Evin Morrison, who was fifth.

In all, six Comet boys finished in the top ten. Tunstall took second place in the boys followed by GW. The girls team was led by first year runner Ashley Burton who finished sixth overall in the girls race. Tunstall won the girls race followed by GW and HCHS.

“Coach (David) Riddle and I are happy with the performance we got this time out. Nearly everybody ran a better time than when we were there two weeks ago, and almost everyone ran faster Wednesday than they did Monday.

“With a young team like we have this year, we expect the times to bounce around like a beach ball at a Nickleback concert early in the season, but they should even out some as we get closer to October. We are definitely headed in the right direction,” said Coach Brady Taylor.

“The team has been working hard to get better, and it’s starting to show. The boys team as a whole ran very well. Zack knocked six minutes off his time from two weeks ago, and the rest of them averaged 1-2 minutes faster as well. Russell Thurston, improved over three minutes from Monday’s race. Zack and Corey Rosche are doing what we expected them to do, but we are impressed with the progress the new guys are making. Evin, Blake Jones and Larry Taylor give us a very competitive top five, and Brandon Bollinger and Taylor Elliott are separating themselves to round out the top seven.

“We realized winning the girls’ race would be tough, since we were without two of our top three runners, but the rest of the girls’ team stepped up and were competitive. Ashley Burton is really improving, and ran a great race. She was four minutes faster than two weeks ago, and even took off almost two minutes from Monday. It won’t surprise Riddle and me if she is pushing Emily Conner for the top spot by October. Cianne Townsend and Caitlin Helinski, also stepped up and ran faster than they did Monday. And Brittany Cole, and Kimberly Farmer both were a minute faster than they were at Martinsville.

“We run again Wednesday at home at Edmonds Park against Martinsville and Randolph Henry. It will be interesting to see how some of the Martinsville boys do on our course, and we have no idea what Randolph Henry has, since this is our first time running against them,” said Taylor.

Comet boys’ times: Zack Evans, 20:52; Evin Morrison, 20:54; Larry Taylor, 21:59; Corey Rosche, 22:08; Brandon Bollinger, 22:12; Taylor Elliott, 23:23; Gannon Griffin, 24:21; Russell Thurston, 24:51 and Aaron Little, 24:56.

Comet girls’ times: Ashley Burton, 26:10; Cianne Townsend, 28:41; Caitlin Helinski, 30:01; Brittany Cole, 31:28; Jordan Murray, 33:10; Amanda Dennis, 33:57.

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