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Erchull nabs state title

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The Floyd County High School girls Cross Country team came in third overall in the VSHL Class 2A Championship on Nov. 12 at Green Hill Park. The boys finished fourth overall.

This is the second consecutive year the Buffalo Cross Country teams made it to the state matchups, and members of the team received additional honors.

Both teams finished first overall in the regional matchups on Nov. 3.

Floyd sophomore Mason Erchull finished first in the boys’ 5,000-meter race with a time of 16:33, among 101 competitors. He also took first in the regional race.

Coach Hannah Belshan Altizer said in a meet wrap up on Nov. 15 that Erchull’s win is “the first time since 1995 (Ben Cooke) that Floyd County has won an individual cross country title.”

Garrett Weaver finished a minute later in ninth place with 17:30. Both he and Erchull received All-State honors, which coach Altizer said is the first time two boys from Floyd County have done so since 1999.

Hank Schroder finished with a time of 18:15, followed by Chase Keith (18:23), Jackson Ruble (19:34), Graham Weaver (21:11) and Noah Zantow (21:46).

Eleven schools were represented in the girls’ race, and Reagan Lynch was the first to finish among Floyd’s athletes. She placed 16th of 94 with a time of 21:29. Coach Altizer noted Lynch was one spot away from receiving All-State honors.

Abby Allen finished in 18th with 21:35, and Zoe Belshan took 24th, clocking 22:13.

Belshan was followed by Emma Willie (22:59), Leah Altizer (23:10), Grace Marrone (25:03) and Larah Blevins (26:25).

The girls finished third overall after losing a tiebreaker with Clarke County.

Coach Altizer took on the Cross Country program alongside head boys coach Zane Moran in the spring of 2021. She said that while the season came with its challenges, including losing five top runners to graduation in the spring, “it was still a very rewarding season.”

Athletes’ hard work, determination and winning mentality throughout the 2022 season resulted in “one of the most successful seasons in program history,” Altizer said. “This was the best season we have ever been a part of as coaches…”

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