The Halifax County High School boys and girls cross country teams showed some positives in Tuesday’s regular-season Piedmont District cross country meet at Patrick County High School in Stuart but there were also some down sides as the team continues to look for more speed.

Halifax County High School’s boys team placed fifth in the six-team field, and the girls team finished last among the six teams.

“We saw a mixed bag of results again,” said Comets head coach David Riddle.

“There were some positives as far as performance, but we are still looking for a little more speed out there. This was one of the more difficult courses that the team is going to see in the regular season. It was also a course where you repeat the look, which sometimes tends to lead to slower results for us.”

Drew Salley was the top finisher for the Comets boys team. Salley placed 10th overall with a time of 19 minutes and 50.27 seconds.

“Drew continued his solid season with a Top-10 run for us,” Riddle remarked.

“He was only a minute-and-a-half off the top runner and about 40 seconds from being a top-five finisher. Drew was with or around the top pack for the entire day. Had this just been Piedmont District runners alone in the meet, he would have had a top-five finish. The level of competition today will bode well for him in future meets.”

Lydia Wenzel led the Comets girls team with a 17th-place finish win in a time of 26:16.44.

“Among the district runners, she was Top-10, so right now she is ahead of where she was at this time last year,” Riddle pointed out.

Riddle said the boys team had a “decent” outing.

“Many of the veterans ran faster times than they did last year,” he said.

“Last year we ran Stuart a month later, so to be at this point already is a positive. We are still looking at gaining some speed and narrowing the gap between the top group of runners, but things are beginning to move in the right direction.

“The girls are still pushing,” continued Riddle, “but we have to become more competitive and like the guys need to narrow the gap between the top runners. 

“All things considered it was not a bad day,” he added.

“Everyone put in work on a tough course. We just have to gain more individual confidence in our abilities. We have some talent on this team and some great athletes. They just need to realize it is there and not be intimidated by the meets with the amount of runners like we had in this one.”


Patrick County High School Cross Country Course – 5,000 Meters

Team Scores: Franklin County 35, Bassett 54, East Surry 66, Tunstall 102, Halifax County 122, Patrick County 156

Field: 77 Runners

Top 10 Finishers

1. Nathan Atchue (FC) 18:21.46

2. Clayton Stanford (FC) 18:31.42

3. Shawn Foley (B) 18:36.86

4. Ashton Waever (T) 18:41.19

5. Cooper Motsinger (ES) 19:10.99

6. Aubrey Davis (B) 19:20.21

7. Nicholas Montgomery (ES) 19:34.47

8. Roy Garcia (B) 19:48.03

9. Parker Chapman (FC) 19:49.66

10. Andrew Salley (HC) 19:50.27

Other HCHS Runners

28. Will van Opstal 22:02.05

33. James Francis 22:19.25

39. Chase Powell 22:48.66

55. Cale Newton 24:33.25

56. Trevor Riddle 25:00.46

61. Alex Driggs 25:44.59 

63. Nicholas Harris 25:54.06

68. Kelly Featherston 26:55.48

71. Luke Redd 27:10.11

72. Andrew Hansen 27:12.65

77. Nathan Comer 27:53.97


Patrick County High School Cross Country Course – 5,000 Meters

Team Scores: Franklin County 20, Bassett 58, Patrick County 104, Tunstall 113, East Surry 124, Halifax County 125

Field: 67 Runners

Top 10 Finishers

1. Kylie Cooper (FC) 21:18.72

2. Sara Windsor (ES) 21:35.04

3. Addie Shorter (FC) 21:58.45

4. Harper Dillon (FC) 23:09.23

5. Caroline Horne (FC)23:47.91

6. Katie Brintle (PC) 24:00.99

7. Emily Burgess (FC) 24:14.00

8. Madeline Bishop (B) 24:33.62

9. Courtney Brown (ES) 24:34.95

10. Lacey Flanagan (B) 24:59.44

HCHS Runners

17. Lydia Wenzel 26:16.44

23. Mallory Salley 28:03.81

30. Abby Casen 30:12.04

40. Hailey Howard 32:56.80

41. Morgan Crenshaw 33:14.94

42. Jaci Parham 33:18.36

47. Jenna Hall 33:40.30

48. Maci Henderson 34:34.90

53. Ashley Irby 36:09.73

54. Mia Lewis 36:38.41

59. Mollie Conner 37:53.40

60. Cheyenne McElroy 37:56.98

63. Susanna Watts 39:21.37

66. Jamie Shelton 45:35.27

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