CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Running against some new faces on Saturday, you can’t complain too loudly about River Valley.
That’s because the Raiders and Lady Raiders — competing in the annual Zane Trace cross country invitational — placed fourth and fifth respectively among the many participating teams.
In addition, South Gallia — for both boys and girls — had two runners apiece.
The Raiders, even without their top runner in senior Nathaniel Abbott, amounted a fourth-place showing with a team score of 125.
There were a massive 18 boys teams which scored points, as only Eastern Brown (64), Piketon (91) and Miami Trace (98) placed ahead of River Valley.
On the girls side, the Lady Raiders took fifth with a team score of 135, as Vinton County — on the strength of three placers among the top five — captured the team championship with a 38.
Host Zane Trace was the girls team runner-up at 61, as Westfall (111) was third and Eastern Brown (131) fourth.
There were exactly a dozen girls squads which posted team scores.
Evan without Abbott, the Raiders did land four scorers inside the top 31 — and all five scorers inside the top 45.
George Rickett in 12th (18:02) and Rory Twyman in 13th (18:05) led the way, as Austin Livingston in 30th (19:04) and Kyle Coen in 31st (19:05) were the next two Raider placers.
The other three River Valley boys which scored were Cole Franklin (44th in 19:33), Ethan Cline (68th in 20:35) and Ian Eblin (95th in 21:43).
The Rebels’ two runners were freshmen Garrett Frazee (17th in 18:34) and Griffin Davis (137th in 24:05).
There were 173 runners in the boys high school race, as Belpre freshman Eli Fullerton finished first in 16 minutes and 56 seconds.
For the Lady Raiders, senior Kenzie Baker — in 21-and-a-half minutes — paced the club with a seventh-place effort.
Hannah Culpepper placed 14th in 22:21, as Akari Michimukai was 37th (24:30) and Josie Jones 38th (24:34).
The Lady Raiders’ other three counting times were those of Julia Nutter (69th in 28:03), Connie Stewart (73rd in 28:23) and Lexi Stout (86th in 30:07).
For South Gallia, junior Jessica Luther was 17th in 22:43, while sophomore Alex Lu was 79th in 29:09.
There were 110 runners in the girls high school race, as Washington Court House senior Maddy Garrison captured the championship in 19:19.
Fullerton for the boys and Garrison for the girls were the only individuals in under 17 minutes and 20 minutes respectively.
Visit www.baumspage.com for complete results of the 2017 Zane Trace Invitational.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106