Lady Panthers Cross Country has done the impossible according to all the stats and the keepers of the books.
The Lady Panthers shocked the officials in the know that didn’t think they had a chance at a top three finish at the Regional competition to advance to state competition, but they did it! In true Lady Panther fashion, the gloves came off, and they rose to the challenge that was set before them. In order to make it to the state level, the girls would have to be perfect in their race and beat their individual best runs.
This was their season as the Lady Panthers edged out the Pikeville team for third place and clinched a State Tournament berth for the first time in school history. They beat Pikeville by just one point, 93-94, but one point or a hundred points, they’re going to the states. They also had a major upset and took down third seed Oak Hill.
Sharina Ratliff placed 11th overall as an individual, but it was her pure gut running at the finish line that vaulted them into third place. She was ranked 130th in the state and passed the 43rd ranked girl from Oak Hill at the finish line to secure her 11th place finish. That place gave the team the points they needed for the third place ranking. She broke the Clay High Cross Country girls’ school record by one minute running the race in 22:55.53. Congratulations to the Lady Panther Cross Country team.
The boys finished in sixth place and had a whale of a season. The State Championship run will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, at Cabell Midland High School. They will no doubt have to shovel some coal in the boiler to win a state championship, but it is obvious that the Lady Panthers are full of surprises. Who knows, they could be the first state champion team that has come out of CCHS. Go Lady Panthers!