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Ellis 4th & Harrow 5th at state meet; both earn All-State honors

Middlesex High School cross-country stars Ridge Ellis and Leigh Harrow and co-coaches Jamie and Annie Somerville are given a rousing Charger sendoff by the MHS student body Friday. Ellis and Harrow competed in the State 1A Cross-Country Championships at Great Meadow Park near Warrenton on Saturday. Ellis finished fourth and Harrow finished fifth and both earned All-State honors. “The sendoff at MHS made their day and it is something they will always remember,” said J. Somerville.  (Photo by Larry Chowning)

by Larry Chowning

Ridge Ellis finished fourth in a field of 101 runners to become the first Middlesex High School male runner to make the All-State cross-country team at the Class 1A State Championship Meet last Saturday.

Ellis, a junior, cruised through the 5K with a personal best time of 16:34 at Great Meadows Park near Warrenton.

“Ridge started off like a rocket like he always does,” said MHS co-coach Jamie Somerville. “He ran about a five-minute first mile.

“It was one of the greatest races I’ve seen Ridge run. It was impressive to see him get out, gut it out, and hang tough,” said Somerville.

Cliff Conley of Galax won the race with a time of 16:05; Matthew Farmer of Rural Retreat, second, 16:16 and Sean Farney of Altavista, third, 16:23.

Justin Adams of Mathews finished ninth with a time of 17:01 to earn All-State honors.

Galax won the team championship with 77 points, Radford was second with 79 points, and Altavista was third with 97. Mathews just missed receiving a team medal by finishing fourth with 120 points.

Other area schools to place as a team include: Washington & Lee, sixth, 165 points; Rappahannock County, eighth, 181; and Lancaster, ninth, 216.

Senior Leigh Harrow made Middlesex High School history Saturday by placing fifth—the highest finish ever by a Lady Charger—at the Class 1A State Cross-Country Meet.

Harrow ran a personal best time of 20:33 and earned All-State honors.

Christy Creekmore is the only other MHS girl runner to place in the state meet. As a sophomore in 1993, Creekmore finished 6th running on a tough Virginia Tech course.

“Leigh ran a very smart race from start to finish,” said MHS co-coach Jamie Somerville. “She started a little fast and hung on for the best time of her career.

“Both Leigh and Ridge [Ellis] gave an incredible effort,” said Somerville. “They worked hard all season and it paid off when it counted most.”

Sophomore Julia Wood of Rappahannock County continued to dominate Class 1A cross-country at the state meet with a winning time of 18:47. Mary Elliott of Radford was second, 19:55; Cameron Schafer of Radford, third, 20:17; and Mary Frere of Lancaster, fourth, 20:17. Harrow had defeated Frere at the regional meet.

Other local girls to place at the state meet were Bea Trinity of Northumberland sixth, 20:47; Sarah Schindler of Northumberland, seventh, 20:48; Emily Allen of Rappahannock County, eighth, 20:52; Kathryn Beddo of Washington & Lee, ninth, 20:56; Sarah Sadner of West Point, 12th, 21:18; and Kate Van Emmerik of Mathews, 14th, 21:21. The top 15 runners earn All-State honors.

Radford High School won the team honors with 54 points; Rapphannock County, second, 91; Chilhowie, third, 96; Mathews, fourth, 97; and Northumberland, fifth, 150. 

posted 11.20.2013

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