Jefferson girls qualify for state behind Colbert

ELKINS — It was Jefferson freshman Abby Colbert winning the 5K Class AAA, Region II girls cross country meet Thursday  in Elkins. Colbert’s winning effort wasn’t enough to get the Lady Cougars the team title, but when Jefferson finished third as a team it did qualify for this weekend’s state meet in Ona at Cabell Midland High.

Colbert was clocked over the water-logged course that featured hills and a shallow stream in 20:53.79.

Her winning time was about 12 seconds better than runner-up Ashleigh Martin (Hampshire).

Hampshire was the team winner with 36 points. Musselman finished as the runner-up team with 61 points. Jefferson’s 68 points gave it plenty of cushion when fourth-place Buckhannon had 103 points.

Completing the eight-team field were Washington (115), Martinsburg (135), Elkins (167) and Lewis County (232).

Hampshire had the third- and fourth-place finishers in Morgan Roach and Rachel Lipps. Also qualifying for the state meet were individuals Heather Jenkins (Musselman), Antonia Dunnigan (Musselman), Jefferson’s Anya Wallace in 22:42.89, Gillian Ross (Buckhannon), Courtney Layhew (Hedgesville), and Laura Dean (Buckhannon).

Only the top 10 runners qualified for the state meet.

Jefferson’s Malika Briggs was 11th overall in 23:14.18, Emma Lindberg was 24th in 25:10.05, and Pandora Affemann was 32nd overall in 26:26.29.

Those five Jefferson individuals were used to tabulate Jefferson’s team point total.

The best finish by a Washington runner was the 19th place from Emily Franklin (24:15.24). Destiny Harrison (24:47.20) was 23rd overall.

The course at the state meet also has water to cross.

This will be Colbert’s first look at the course . . . and first look as the Class AAA, Region II individual champion.

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