B-U cross country teams short on numbers but not talent

TENNERTON – While depth may be an issue for the Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneer and Lady Buc cross-country teams this season, head coach Taylor Stacy will still have plenty of talent on hand for the upcoming season.

The roster shows just six runners for the boy’s team and seven runners on the girl’s team, but the low numbers haven’t dampened the enthusiasm Stacy has for this year’s teams.

For the girls, they have advanced to the state championship meet for two straight years, but the roster took a big hit due to graduation losing seniors Lydia Falkenstein who placed fifth at states along with Jessica Williams (31st at states) and Malia Bowers.

The Lady Bucs roster will still feature three runners that competed at states including junior Samantha Shreve who placed sixth along with senior Mia Sappey and junior Pressley Bowers.

“Shreve and Sappey both looked exceptional during this pre-season,” remarked Stacy. “Each of them brings a lot of experience and veteran leadership to the team. We expect some big performances to come out of these two as the season unfolds.”

Both runners had strong debuts as Shreve won their opening race at University on Tuesday while Sappey finished 10th.

For the boys, they lost state qualifier Jordan Gillum to graduation along with Ryan Tenney, Reis Leonard, and Brycen Allen, but till turn to junior Jack Waggy to lead charge.

“Waggy also looked exceptional this pre-season,” stated Stacy. “He brings a veteran presence to the team, and we expect are expecting some big things from him.”

Waggy ran fourth in the opener Tuesday for the Bucs at University.

While the expectation will always be qualifying for the state meet for his team, Stacy says those expectations have changed a little bit this season with a pair of younger teams.

“Expectations are a little different this year than our previous seasons,” noted Stacy. “We’re a young team who lost some key leaders. We still expect to be competitive and run with the best teams out there. Our main expectation is for our athletes to continually improve and compete hard throughout the season.”

Stacy said that both teams had good summers and came into the preseason ready to compete.

“Both teams arrived in great shape this summer,” remarked Stacy. “All of our athletes were present for summer practices and got in some really good mileage. Our returners are definitely in a better position fitness-wise starting out this season. Overall, the summer was great for us. We were able to get in a lot of mileage and keep all of our runners within 30-50 miles a week. We also had some great workouts which have helped lay the foundation for the challenging months ahead. Although it’s a smaller team we had more athletes making it to practice every day over the summer than ever before.”

Stacy said the strength of both teams this year will be their chemistry working together.

“The top strength for our boys’ and girls’ team is the bond they all share,” stated Stacy. “Our team looks much more like a family than just a normal athletic team. The athletes regularly hang out and bond outside of practice so that’s been key to helping us shape our identity. The boys have more experience returning to the roster than the girls, but the girls have strength in their youth and potential.”

Assisting Stacy once again this year will be Justin Bowers.

“This is Justin’s third consecutive year with me,” said Stacy. “ Justin’s mentorship and ability to bring out the best in our athletes in unmatched. He does a great job of relating to our athletes and helping them push past their self-doubt. He’s been a great addition to the team, and I know I wouldn’t be half the coach I am without his support.”

Both teams opened their season Tuesday at University.

They will both be back in action Saturday at the Preston Knight Night Relays.

2023 B-U CROSS COUNTRY ROSTERS

BOYS

Seniors

Jeremy Allman

Juniors

Isaac Snodgrass

Jack Waggy

Sophomores

Joey Nolte

Alex Sappey

Freshman

Bryce Mullens

GIRLS

Seniors

Mia Sappey

Juniors

Pressley Bowers

Matina Mota Lobato

Samantha Shreve

Sophomore

Mallory Moss

Freshmen

Anya Morehead

Angelina Winters

2023 B-U CROSS COUNTRY SCHEDULE

Aug. 22 – at University, 5 p.m.

Aug. 26 – at Preston Knight Night Relays. 8:30 p.m.

Sept. 2 – Home Meet, 9 a.m.

Sept. 16 – at Elkins Forest Festival Invitational, 9 a.m.

Sept. 23 – at Grafton Bearcat Invitational, 9 a.m.

Oct. 4 – at Lewis County Stonewall Jackson Invitational, 4 p.m.

Oct 12 – at Big 10 Championships at Robert C. Byrd, 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 – at Region I Championships at Oglebay Resort, TBA

Oct. 28 – at West Virginia State Championships at Cabell Midland High School, TBA

*All meets being with the girl’s race. The boy’s races should start 45 minutes after the girl’s start time.

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