The Knights Crossing Cross Country Invitational is one of the largest meets in Southwest Virginia, with 106 high schools, 66 middle schools, and 15 elementary schools entered to compete. On Saturday September 9th, students from near and far congregated at Roanoke’s Green Hill Park to face off with some of the most talented young runners in the country.
Cardinal Gibbons High School’s female runners soared past the competition to claim the top five spots in the 5000-meter Red division. Their times ranged between 17:45.90 and 18:58.10, delivering high speeds and higher spirits for the Raleigh-based team. Bazil Mathews from Monticello High School bolted to first place in the Boys Red division, beating his closest competitor by almost 20 seconds with a time of 15:04.30.
Two local boys led the pack, with Jake Stuart from Hidden Valley High School taking 34th place in Red, and Cave Spring High School’s Ryan Connely stealing 35th, an impressive feat in a race against over 450 talented runners. Private-school students represented Roanoke’s talents as well, with Alex Dickenson from North Cross and Kiran Yoder from Faith Christian securing the 13th and 15th places in Boys Black division. Roanoke Valley Christian showed some of the strongest performances, with boys placing third and seventh.
Kerrigan Chaney from North Cross raced across the finish line at the fourth place in Black division, leading Roanoke’s victorious girls. Mickey O’Herron and Aubrey Aaron at Roanoke Catholic School took 24th and 26th place in Black, these girls taking three of the top spots in the competition. Cave Spring’s Lauren Niday took 46th in Girls Red, with a time of 20:51.80.
Overall, Knights Crossing was, once again, a success. While the competition hosted many feats, the largest was beating the afternoon downpour. Congratulations to everyone who competed at the 2023 Invitational!
– Sophia Stringer / The Roanoke Star