BY JOHN CONLEY
Westside's cross country team will keep on running.
The Renegades finished third in Thursday's regional meet at PikeView to qualify for the state event at Cabell Midland on Oct. 29.
Cameron Davis ran second among individuals at 17:35, just behind Richwood's Andrew Shaffer (17:02).
"Cam had a great race," said WHS coach Allen Stiltner. "He beat two kids who beat him a week ago in Coalfields."
Favored Oak Hill won the meet. Shady Spring was second, just three points ahead of Westside.
"We had to run in terrible weather," Stiltner commented. "It was 40 degrees and raining. Mike Hicks, our second best runner, has had problems with a bruised elbow and he's been out for a week. He was fifth best (on our team) that day, but if he had been able to run his normal time, I believe we would have beat Shady."
Austin Gibson had a top 20 finish for the Renegades at No. 18.
Wyoming East was fifth in the eight-team meet. Joseph Cornett was the highest finishing Warrior at No. 14.
Stiltner says Davis "is right on schedule and might pull an upset at the state tournament."
His team is going to aim for a top five finish at state.
"As young as we are, realistically, we know we're not a number one contender," Stiltner observed. "But we think we're in the top five.
"Next year," he continued, "we think we could possibly be a (championship) contender."
The coach said his team will follow its normal practice routine.
The Renegades took a day off Friday and were slated to run four miles on Saturday.
They practiced on their own on Sunday.
"Monday we'll come back and go probably four miles," said Stiltner. "Tuesday is an extremely hard day, a lot of sprints and working on endurance. Tuesday will be the day that will make us or break us.
"Wednesday we'll run what we call 25 easy and run Thursday 30 hard," he continued.
The team will head to Cabell Midland on Friday and jog the cross country track. "Then on Saturday we'll hope for the best," the coach stated.
Westside should be solid in the sport for several years to come.
"These freshmen are phenomenal," remarked Stiltner. "They're going to be runners, and one of those may become another Cam.
"This has been a great experience for us," he said. "The community has gotten behind us and the kids are getting some recognitin. They see us practice and see that it's not an easy sport.
"Cam is kind of a celebrity on campus," he noted. "Kids ask all the time how he did."