McARTHUR, Ohio — Simply put, the Raiders had high hopes of a repeat championship.
Unfortunately for the River Valley boys, Athens — as is often the case — got in their way.
As a result, at Saturday’s Tri-Valley Conference cross country meet at Vinton County High School, the Raider men placed second behind Athens by 13 points for the Ohio Division championship — with its top three runners all finishing from fourth through ninth.
Athens, on the other hand, swept the top two spots — and added the fifth fastest time of the 63-man Ohio Division race.
The Bulldogs’ team score was a 34, followed by 47 from River Valley and 54 from Alexander.
The Raiders, in only their second season in the TVC-Ohio, won the team crown a year ago.
Meigs was fourth in the Ohio Division with 109, followed by host Vinton County (139) and Nelsonville-York (157).
The Raiders’ top three runners were junior Nathaniel Abbott in fourth (17:35), followed closely by senior Garrett Young in seventh (17:54) and senior Chance Gillman in ninth (18:04).
The top five runners in each race — for both boys and girls in both the Hocking and Ohio Division — earn all-TVC honors.
George Rickett in 13th (18:40) and Rory Twyman in 14th (18:50) were River Valley’s other two counting times — as Caleb McKnight was next in 18th (18:59), followed finally by Kyle Coen (22nd in 19:15).
Meigs’ top boys runner — also in the Ohio Division — was senior James Parsons in 12th (18:16), as Cole Betzing was 23rd (19:16), Landon Davis was 25th (19:35) and Dillon Mahr was 28th (19:42)
Rounding out the Marauder men were senior Nate Hoover (35th in 20:25), freshman Colton Heater (37th in 20:35) and sophomore Andrew Monroe (38th in 20:43).
Athens’ Peter Buckley (17:01) and Tony Tonkovich (17:16) were the Ohio Division boys individual champion and runner-up respectively.
For the girls, the Bulldogs easily took the team title, posting a score of 23 — as all seven runners placed among the top 11.
Vinton County with a 52, Meigs with a 90, River Valley with a 97 and Alexander with a 112 were the other four girls team scores.
Leading the way for the Lady Raiders was junior Kenzie Baker, who placed sixth in the Ohio — out of 60 total runners — in 21:20.
The other River Valley counting times were those of senior Leanne Hively (20th in 23:13), freshman Kaylee Gillman (23rd in 23:26), sophomore Beth Gillman (33rd in 24:52) and sophomore Josie Jones (38th in 25:34).
The Lady Raiders’ other two scores were junior Yolanda Andre (39th in 25:36) and junior Natosha Rankin (53rd in 27:50).
The Lady Marauders’ top four runners all placed between 13th thru 26th — and included Caitlyn Rest (13th in 22:10), Gracie Hoffman (17th in 22:43), Taylor Swartz (19th in 23:03) and Madison Cremeans (26th in 23:54).
Rounding out the Meigs girls scores were Marissa Noble (31st in 24:34), Ariann Sizemore (42nd in 26:09) and Carmen Doherty (47th in 27:11).
Rebekah Shoup of Athens, in 20 minutes and 20 seconds, was the Ohio Division girls individual race winner.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106