Buser and Roach victorious
by Horace Blankenship
Three-time defending Class AA state champion Rachel Buser and junior Lenny Roach opened the 2007 cross country season with winning runs at the Musselman Invitational held in Martinsburg on Saturday, August 25.
Buser led the girls team to a first place finish, while the boys team finished second behind Hampshire County.
Buser won in a time of 20:14, only 15 seconds off the course record, while Roach cruised to a 42 second victory in a time of 17:44. Both times were very impressive given the very hot and humid conditions coupled with the fact that neither competitor was pushed to the end. Buser's winning margin was 56 seconds.
"I think that both Rachel and Lenny would have set course records if the weather were normal," said Berkeley Springs coach John Rowland. "This is the worst combination of heat and humidity I can ever remember for a high school cross country meet. We walked the course prior to the race and everyone soaked with sweat. We tried to keep our runners as hydrated as possible. The conditions were pretty tough."
The girls scored 28 points, followed by Martinsburg with 41 and Musselman with 51. Hampshire County did not have enough competitors for a complete team score.
Hampshire County's boys defeated Berkeley Springs 28 to 42, followed by Musselman with 68 and Martinsburg with 106.
Kari Mundey placed fourth in the girls meet for Berkeley Springs, while teammates Katie Close, Chelsea Hessler and Sandy Crum placed fourth, eighth, 13th and 15th, respectively.
John Mundey and Jake Wise finished sixth and seventh, respectively, for the boys team, while Corey Yarrington finished 12th and Caleb Smalley 17th, to round out the scoring. Denny Golden, Stephen Smith and James Dimitroff also competed for Berkeley Springs.
"I was very pleased with both teams," Rowland said. "Most of our kids ran well, it was truly a team effort by both teams. Katie Close has really improved this year and should really help our girls team. I am really pleased with the progress she's made and with the effort all of the kids put in on Saturday."
Berkeley Springs' next meet will be the GEICO Invitational at Cabell-Midland High School on September 8. The Cabell-Midland course is where the state meet will be held, so getting familiar with the course makes it an important trip.