The Halifax County High School boys cross country team placed fourth among six teams and the girls team placed third among three teams in Tuesday’s regular-season Piedmont District cross country meet at Martinsville High School.

Halifax County High School finished fourth in the boys meet with 121 points, trailing winner Franklin County High School (23 points), Bassett High School (81 points) and Tunstall High School (105) points. Patrick County High School (178 points) and GW (219 points) rounded out the field.

Franklin County High School won the girls meet with 15 points. Bassett High School followed with 55 points, and Halifax County High School was third with 110 points.

Drew Salley was the top finisher for the Comets boys team with his 10th-place finish in a time of 19 minutes and 13 seconds.

Lydia Wenzel was the top finisher for the Comets girls team with her 10th-place finish in a time of 24:57 and Mallory Salley finished 11th with a time of 25:15.

“Drew once again paced the guys with a Top 10 finish and spent a good part of the race around the fifth spot,” noted Comets head coach David Riddle.

“And for the ladies, Lydia and Mallory both had a solid day with a 10 and 11 finish.”

The positive thing for the Comets teams was that times continued to show improvement.

“Times went down for most of our runners in comparison to last week,” said Riddle.

“We had many of the guys going anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes faster, and many of the ladies were between two to five minutes faster, so coach Saunders (assistant coach Rebecca Saunders) and I were really pleased with that.”

Also on the positive side, the Comets are trimming the gap between themselves and the district’s top runners.

“The guys also are narrowing the gap between the top runners, which is something that we stressed after last week’s race,” Riddle pointed out.

“There is a lot of competition in the middle of the pack for our guys right now, and that will help us as a team.

“On the girls side,” he continued, “times were down, but we still need to narrow the gap between the top group a little. If we keep putting in the work, that should happen.”

Riddle said he and Saunders will be able to get a more clear picture of where the Comets are next week.

“We have had Franklin County there the last two weeks, and they are now in the River Ridge District, and East Surry was there two weeks ago as well. Starting next week we will just be seeing the district, so we will get a sense of what we need to aim for going toward the district championships.”

Comets Boys Times – (10th) Drew Salley 19:13, Will van Opstal 20:38, Chase Powell 21:05, J.T. Francis 21:13, Nick Harris 23:31, Kelly Featherston 23:33, Cale Newton 24:09, Nate Comer 24:19, Trevor Riddle 24:27, Luke Redd 24:48, Alex Driggs 25:13, Andrew Hansen 25:48

Comets Girls Times – (10th) Lydia Wenzel 24:57, (11th), Mallory Salley 25:15, Abby Casen 28:20, Hailey Howard 30:11, Maci Henderson 31:03, Morgan Crenshaw 31:18, Jaci Parham 31:35, Mia Lewis 34:21, Susanna Watts 34:31

Molly Conner 38:19, Cheyenne McElroy 38:53, Jamie Shelton 40:16

Middle School Division - Emma Shepherd 18:06

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at