Sharina Ratliff seting up for the last mile. Allen Hamrick photo.
Celina Humphrey jockeys for position on the muddy track. Allen Hamrick photo.
Madelyn Kilpatrick closing the gap. Allen Hamrick photo.

Force teamed up with will and determination on October 27, 2018, at Cabell Midland High School.  It was the state level final competition in the sport of Cross Country.

One hundred thirty five runners from all over competed for the title of the best in the state in the 5K run.  It was cold, wet and muddy, perfect conditions for a best of the best race.  In order to get to the finals, a runner had to post 15th or better at the regional level, a tough task in anybody’s book, and the team had to place in the top three.

Celina Humphrey, a junior at CCHS, and Madelyn Kilpatrick also a junior, did just that.  CCHS has begun a tradition in cross country and that is to make it to the state championships, not just individually but also as a team. There is an old saying that nothing turns up in this world until someone turns it up, and the Lady Panthers cranked up the dial.

Celina Humphrey sprinted across the finish line 47th out of 135 runners! She ran the 5K in just over 22 minutes. Madelyn Kilpatrick crossed the line in just over 23 minutes, followed by Sharina Ratliff also in at just over 23 minutes. Salyndria Gill, Virgina Haverty, Chloe Jones, and Brooklyn Taylor rounded out the field for Clay.

As a team, they placed 15th and are getting better each year. The team will say goodbye to two of the best as Sharina Ratliff and Brooklyn Taylor move on to college.  This Lady Panther team, as well as the boys’ team, gets stronger as each year passes, and next year both teams will no doubt be a force to reckon with.  Celina Humphrey now holds the title of being in the top 50 greatest runners among the thousands of runners in this state. Indeed, one of the greatest assets of any athlete is their spirit – it gives an athlete the will and courage to attain goals and to compete against all odds whether physical or mental.  The CCHS Cross Country teams is indeed guilty of this kind of spirit and has proven that the odds given by the system can be overcome by simply saying,” I will.” By living this, they have written their own fate in the history books and do not live by the status quo.  Congratulations to the Lady Panthers for getting to the state championship once again and for becoming another pillar that holds the true standards of the spirit of a runner to a transcendental level.

The CAMS Cross Country team also had their share of greatness at the CIVIC conference meet held on October 13.  It was wet, muddy and cold; a tough race to the end.  Many of the runners made it to the end of the grueling race by sheer guts and determination.  The CAMS boys team did a great job coming in fourth place.  Jack Havarti placed second and was runner up in the conference, and was placed on 1st team All Conference.

Other runners on the team were Jackson Quinn who took 33rd, Dakota Quinn placing 28th and Elijah Arms leading at 21st. Evelyn Young was top runner for the Lady Mustangs, placing at 14th and was also named to the 2nd team All Conference.  Other runners were Tara Lowe who placed 46th, Jayden Dorsey placing 42nd and Bind Cottrell coming in at 31st.  Congratulations to Jack and Evelyn and the rest of the cross country teams.