By Sports editor Brian Hoffman
The William Byrd cross country team has been busy with two meets in the span of six days. Byrd competed in two four-team 5,000-meter races, one in Botetourt County last week and the other in Vinton on Monday.
Last week the Terriers joined Hidden Valley, Northside and host Lord Botetourt for a St. Patrick’s Day run at the Greenfield Recreation Park in Daleville. The Hidden Valley girls and LB boys were team winners.
The girls’ individual winner was Elle Anderson of Hidden Valley with a time of 20:25. Byrd had three girls in the top 11, led by Maci Glass with a seventh-place finish in 22:53. Claire Glover was 10th at 23:02 and Olivia Hurd was 11th in 23:20. Also scoring for Byrd were Emma Gordon in 19th place and Bethany Beecher in 30th.
Evan Gates of LB won the boys’ race in 17:40 while Ryan Krawczyk was Byrd’s first finisher in eighth with a time of 19:18. Next for Byrd were Dakota Bell and Kollin Slusher at 21 and 22, and also scoring were Reagan Lilley and Brayden McCulloch at 25 and 26. John Belcher was 30th.
“Kollin Slusher and John Belcher have returned this year to the team after being out the previous season with injuries,” said Byrd coach Eric Royal. “They have both enlisted into the Marines and are using cross country as additional conditioning besides PT several days a week with their recruiter.”
On Monday Byrd was the host team at the cross country course winding through the school campus and Stonebridge Park. Lord Botetourt, Northside and Franklin County joined the Terriers for this run and Botetourt swept the meet. The Byrd girls finished second.
“The girls performed well,” said Royal. “We are starting to get into cross country shape and looking forward to the next few weeks to prepare for the region meet at Bassett.”
Addie Shorter of Franklin County was the girls’ winner in this race with a time of 21:43. For Byrd, Glover was third in 23:59 while Glass was fifth in 24:24 and Hurd was sixth in 24:31. Also scoring were Gordon with a 14th place finish and Elizabeth Recktenwald in 25th among 49 competitors.
For the boys Franklin’s Nathan Atchue was the winner in 18:21. Krawczyk led Byrd again with a 10th place finish in 20:30 and also scoring were Bell in 24th, Lilley in 29th, Slusher in 31st and McCulloch in 36th.
“Ryan is working really hard to get in the best shape for post-season,” said Royal. “Dakota is turning into a solid runner for us.”
The Terriers are scheduled to return to action today with a meet at Staunton River that was postponed from March 15.