Wesminster girls win XC state title, boys finish inside top 5

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, November 13, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

OAKVILLE – Despite moving up a classification this year, it was no less stellar of a cross country season for the Westminster at Oak Mountain Knights, who brought home the 2018 3A girls state championship as well as an individual champion in the boys race.

The girls, who won the last two state championships at the 1A-2A level, have now won three consecutive state titles after bringing home the 3A title this year behind two top-three finishers and three top-10 finishers.

Westminster not only won the girls race, but totaled 36 points which beat T.R. Miller’s second-place point total of 127 by almost 100 points.

Hallie Porterfield, a sophomore for the knights, was the Knights’ highest finisher with her position of second thanks to a time of 19:37.44.

Just behind her was eighth-grade teammate Hannah Adams, who finished in third with a time of 19:58.60. Westminster’s final top 10 finisher was another young eighth grader thanks to Katie Wright’s finish of sixth with a time of 20:07.67.

You didn’t have to go but one position outside of the top 10 before finding the next Westminster finisher, as Arden McCullough, a junior, finished in 11th with a time of 21:01.21.

McKenzie Fulton and Courtney Callahan, both freshmen, added two more runners inside the top 20 thanks to finishes of 15th and 18th, respectively.

The Knights will not only bring back all of their top runners on the team next year that helped bring home a title, but McCullough is the only junior, meaning they’ll have several years of success ahead should they continue running at a consistently high level.

Westminster’s boys were also looking to defend their championship from a season ago, but the jump up a classification proved to be a challenge.

They ended up finishing fourth overall in the standings, but the separation between first and fourth wasn’t nearly as drastic as the girls race with Pleasant Valley scoring 90 points and the Knights ending with a total of 46 points.

While Westminster was unable to win the state championship as a team in the boys race, senior Cooper Reynolds was able to close out his cross country career with the Knights on top thanks to a state-championship performance.

Reynolds finished the race in 16:49.29 to claim the top spot in a race featuring 160-plus runners.

He ended up being the Knights only top 25 finisher, which was the sole reason for not winning the overall title, but they did end up with three more inside the top 50.

Senior John Porterfield finished in 26th, junior Arjun Varadhan finished in 45th and junior John Richardson finished in 47th.