PARKERSBURG - A wire-to-wire finish by Parkersburg junior Nic Cheuvront coincided by freshman Ally McCulley's first high school victory as a member of Parkersburg South drew the top headlines as the two rival schools met for the 21st annual PHS-South cross country dual Friday night at Erickson All-Sports Facility.
"I like to go out hard the first mile and get out front so I can run my pace," Cheuvront said after leading the Big Reds to the overall championship with 41 points compared to 83 points for the Patriots.
Cheuvront won in a time of 16:49, which was 10 seconds faster than teammate Logan Wooten's runner-up showing. The PHS boys occupied the top 12 times, while Alex Kirk's 13th place finish in 18:30 paced the South pack.
"The guy who got second was right behind me the whole way until the last half mile - he was pushing it," Cheuvront said. "Typically he is a better runner than me from the first mile until the second mile, but I tried to step it up and stay ahead of him."
In the girls race, McCulley turned in a winnikng time of 19:29, while PHS finished second and third with Rachel Morris (19:53) and Holly Ackerman (20:33).
"I tried to stay on the PHS girl, and she stuck with me the whole way until about the last half-mile," McCulley said. "Then I kicked it in. She ran a good race."
The team breakdown had the PHS girls holding off South by seven points, 26-33. In the boys competition, the Big Reds scored a perfect 15 points, while the Patriots topped out at 50.
This year marked a change in tradition. In years past, the meet was conducted before the start of the PHS-South football game. Since the date of the football contest has changed to the final week of the regular season, the cross country coaches decided to schedule the meet before the start of last night's John Marshall-South football game.
"We felt like it was better to do it at another game than to not do it at all," PHS coach Larry Games said. "This is actually a nice atmosphere. There were a lot of people out on the course."