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Comets place six on Piedmont all-district cross country / April 12, 2021

The Comet boys and girls cross country teams competed in the Piedmont District Championship last week and had six runners selected to the all-district squad.

Comet coach David Riddle said the team was trying to place as many runners on the district team as possible with the regions approaching.

“We were looking at placing as many runners as possible in the top-15 to make All District,” Riddle said. “We had 11 runners finish and six made All District, so that was a success.

“Lydia (Wenzel) and Mallory (Salley) were able to make All District on the girls side, and Drew (Salley), Ethan (Kirkhart), Will (Opstal), and J.T. (Francis) were able to do the same on the guys side.”

The Comet boys placed second in the meet with a score of 50. Tunstall won with 37 points; Bassett was third with 64 and Patrick County fourth with 78 points.

Salley finished third with a 5K time of 18:15.40; Kirkhart was in eight place with 20:30.92; van Opstal was ninth at 20:43.11 and Francis placing 14th at 22:08.31. They were the top runners for Halifax.

Luke Redd (20th) 25:33.75 18; Trevor Riddle (21st) 25:33.92 19; Nathan Comer (23rd) 27:49.53 21 completed times for the Comets.

“For the guys we were looking to carry the momentum in the meet from last week over into this week and shooting for the top spot in the district,” Riddle stated. “Unfortunately we fell a little short. Still, we will look at the second place finish as a success to close out the season strong.”

The girls team has been work in progress this season, hampered by various reasons not the least being conditioning. Though they were unable to win a meet this season, Riddle said the girls improved each week and he felt they would have done better had COVID-19 not shortened the conditioning process and the season.

Wenzel’s 28:18.93 and Salley’s 30:45.41, good for 11th and 15th, respectively, were the only Comet times in the top-15. Ashley Irby’s 31:43.38 earned 16th and Morgan Crenshaw took 21st at 34:57.27.

“Our girls season has been hurt by injury all season, and today was the same,” Riddle said. “We were not able to finish with a team score with only four runners completing the meet, and had a couple that struggled a bit due to the conditions and temperature as well. We will get momentum back and look to finish strong there next week.” There, being the region tournament.

“Region 4 is a solid Region,” Riddle noted. “Last year the rise in competition brought out the best in many of our runners and hopefully we will see the same this year.”

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