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Tiger boys win New Castle XC Invitational

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Hagerstown boys cross country runners Logan Tuttle (left) and Elijah Halcomb run side-by-side early in Tuesday evening’s New Castle Cross Country Invitational on the course at Memorial Park. Halcomb won the boys race and Tuttle finished sixth as the Tigers placed first as a team to capture the trophy.
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New Castle freshman Lily Saunders runs the course during Tuesday evening’s New Castle Cross Country Invitational at Memorial Park. Saunders placed 23rd overall to be the top girls finisher for her team.
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New Castle’s Jaycee Wilburn (far left) and Britton Adkins (middle) are in a pack of runners just after the start of the boys race during Tuesday evening’s New Castle Cross Country Invitational on the Memorial Park course. Adkins finished 14th overall in the boys race and Wilburn was 21st.
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From the left, New Castle High School cross country seniors Jaycee Wilburn, Traye Owens, Grace Lewis, Cheyanne Lazzell, and Britton Adkins pose for a photo after the New Castle Invitational Tuesday, which also was Senior Night. Ben Brock, another Trojan senior, is not pictured.
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Shenandoah’s Borru Kishpaugh makes a final kick toward the finish line during Tuesday evening’s New Castle Cross Country Invitational on the Memorial Park course. Kishpaugh, who also is the placekicker on the Raiders’ football team, finished fourth overall in the boys race.
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The Hagerstown High School boys cross country team holds the trophy after winning the New Castle Invitational Tuesday evening on the Memorial Park course. The Tigers, a small-school cross country power, were a last-minute entry to the event.
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Hagerstown sophomore Ella Nicholson gets close to the finish line in the girls race during Tuesday evening’s New Castle cross country invitational on the course at Memorial Park. Nicholson placed 14th overall to be the top girls finisher for her Tiger team.
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Shenandoah’s Madi Jenkins approaches the finish line of the girls race during Tuesday evening’s New Castle Cross Country Invitational on the Memorial Park course. Jenkins placed seventh overall to become the top girls finisher among local teams competing in the event.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

A last-minute entry came away with the trophy.

The Hagerstown High School boys cross country team was searching for an event in which to compete after several meets got canceled because of rain and storms, made a late bid to be accepted into the field of Tuesday evening’s New Castle Invitational at Memorial Park, and won the whole thing.

“I want to thank New Castle for letting us run here today,” Hagerstown coach Kent Gray said. “We had been searching for a race since we had been washed out of three this season. It was a challenging course that should prepare us well for tough courses that are coming up.”

It also was Senior Night for the New Castle High School cross country teams, and 12th-graders Ben Brock, Britton Adkins, Cheyanne Lazzell, Grace Lewis, Traye Owens, and Jaycee Wilburn were honored after both races had been run.

In the boys race, which was run second, Hagerstown was first with 46 points, followed by Rushville 57, Delta 92, Anderson Prep Academy 126, New Castle 141, Connersville 143, Cowan 164, Shenandoah 169, and Union (Modoc) 278.

Hagerstown’s Elijah Halcomb won the boys race with a time of 18:07.4, which was eight seconds faster than second-place Andrew Miller of Rushville.

“I don’t have much to say other than I just ran hard,” stated Halcomb. “I’ve had better times, but this was a challenging course with the hills and mud.”

Other placings and times for the Tiger boys were Logan Tuttle sixth (19:05), Blake Creech 11th (19:33.2), Quentin Osborne 12th (19:36.6), Dylan Napier 16th (19:43.7), Holden Robinson 19th (19:47.7), Alexander McKee 23rd (20:13.2), and Adam Nadler 35th (21:07.6) for its top eight finishers.

New Castle placed fifth as a team. Leading the way for the Trojans were Britton Adkins, who was 14th with a time of 19:41.4. and Jaycee Wilburn, who placed 21st with a time of 20:05.

“I haven’t had a chance to run as much as I want because I was in Army basic training over the summer,” explained Adkins. “Given that, I think I did pretty well and hope to lower my time as the season goes on.”

Other placings and times for the host Trojans were Ben Brock 32nd (20:51.2), Ayden Humbles 38th (21:31.1), Traye Owens 47th (22:03.7), Quentin Hedges 50th (22:06), Benjamin Head 52nd (22:23.1), Dominic Reynolds 55th (22:38.4), Luke Carter 59th (22:52.5), and Skyler Dickey 61st (23:06.9) among its top 10.

“We’ve had some injuries but are beginning to overcome them,” New castle Coach Sean Kennedy said. “I think we’ll be in good shape to challenge for the sectional championship and be one of five teams to move on to the regional.”

Shenandoah placed eighth as a team and was led by the fourth-place finish of Borru Kishpaugh, who ran the course in 18:56.6.

“It was a tough course, but the weather was pretty good to run,” Kishpaugh said. “I played soccer but decided to kick for the football team since Shenandoah doesn’t have soccer. we have a good team and plan to go far this season.”

Other finishes and times for the Raiders were Jordan Myers 39th (21:31.5), Josh Soden 41st (21:35.4), Gavin Rickard 53rd (22:29.8), Nate Kimball 54th (22:37.1), Austin Baker 62nd (23:08.9), Sam Hawkins 64th (23:11.3), and Kelden Coccia 68th (23:31.5) among its top eight.

A total of 103 runners competed in the boys race.

On the girls side, Rushville won the team title with 39 points, followed by Delta 44, Connersville 83, Hagerstown 97, Shenandoah 121, and Cowan 133. New Castle was among the schools with an incomplete girls team.

Delta’s Makayla Robles won the girls race with a time of 22:10.6, which was almost 34 seconds faster than that of teammate Ashleigh Brelage, who placed second out of 58 runners in the girls race.

Leading Hagerstown’s fourth-place finish was Ella Nicholson, who placed 14th overall in a time of 25:01.9. Other finishes and times for the Tiger girls were Anna Shafer 16th (25:28), Teresa Rojas 20th (26:04.8), Jewels Warfel 26th (27:02.9), Taylor Pass 27th (27:08.2), Kyley Farmer 32nd (27;50.3), Maci Matanich 38th (28:54.4), and Kassidy Oliger 49th (31:40.2) among its top eight.

The top local girls finisher was Shenandoah’s Madi Jenkins, who placed seventh overall with a time of 23:57.5. Other finishes for the Raider girls were Hope Edwards 19th (25:40.6), Abby Buskirk 33rd (28:04.1), Emma Voth 39th (29:10.9), Zaria Van Gothem 41st (29:21.3), and Olivia Krintz 48th (31:26.5) among its top six.

“I didn’t have many problems on the course,” Jenkins said, “although the hills and mud in the woods kind of slowed me down. We’re just trying to get better as a team as the season progresses.”

Shenandoah Coach John Davis was pleased with his teams’ performances.

“We had some good times today,” Davis said, “but are also looking to lower them some. Stormie Fitch tried to run today, but got a foot sprain and had to fall out. I just try to bring the love of running to my team, and I’ve convinced a lot of students to run cross country.”

New Castle had only three girls runners, led by freshman Lily Saunders who placed 23rd overall with a time of 26:25.9. Other runners for the Trojans and their placings were Grace Lewis 30th (27:44.4 ) and Cheyanne Lazzell 42nd (29:57.3).

The top 20 runners for both the boys and girls received ribbons and the top five got medals.