A pair of Webster County High School Cross Country runners participated in the 2019 Foot Locker South Regional meet held at the McAlpine Greenway in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"Ryan Roland and Garrett West both were able to gain additional experience, capping off a terrific season," said WCHS head cross country coach Todd Whitsell.
Trojan junior Ryan Roland placed 9th out of 344 runners participating in the Junior Boys race with a time of 16:29. The event was one by Jackson Watts, a Madisonville North runner from Slaughters.
Roland recently ended his junior season, taking 6th place in the state cross country meet with a time of 16:47.79 to lead Webster to a third place overall finish.
"Ryan competed and really put himself in a great position from the beginning of the race to finish in the top ten," said Whitsell.
Freshman Garrett West represented the Trojans in the Freshmen Boys event, finishing 102nd out of 219 runners with a time of 18:43.
"Garrett got off to fast start and halfway through the race started feeling fatigued," said Whitsell. "He didn't have his typical race but still ran hard and learned from this new experience."
West was 18th at the state cross country meet in November, traversing the course in 17:16.57.
The Foot Locker Cross Country Championships are a series of annual cross country races held in all four regions of the United States to determine the premier cross country runners in various age groups. The South Regional event includes the top runners from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. citizens in Overseas Military Installations.
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"This race is totally different from any other race they have ran," Whitsell said. "This is some of the best runners from across the southeast in their age group competing. They seemed to both have really enjoyed the atmosphere and plan on participating again next year."
The Foot Locker Cross Country Championship Series began in 1979 as the Kinney Cross Country Championships, (for the Kinney Shoes division) at the Morley Field Sports Complex in Balboa Park, San Diego, California. In 1993 Woolworth re-branded the event under the Foot Locker name.
The event is the longest-running national cross country race for high school students.