XC Bucs win Buckhannon-Upshur Invitational; Gillum runs a rain-soaked second

The Buckhannon-Upshur cross country Buccaneers celebrate their rain-soaked victory Tuesday evening at the high school. Photo courtesy of Patty Wager

TENNERTON – Mother Nature decided to rain on the parade of the Buckhannon-Upshur cross-country Bucs during their home meet, the Buckhannon-Upshur Invitational, Tuesday evening at the high school, dumping buckets of rain on the course and runners.

But not even Mother Nature and her rain showers could slow down the Buccaneers of head coach Taylor Stacy as they won the seven-team event.

‘’If anything, we might actually run better in the rain,” remarked Stacy after the Buckhannon-Upshur victory. “It helps the team relax and enjoy the race more. I always preach the same message that my college coach Jesse Skiles at West Virginia Wesleyan said when the weather isn’t the best — ‘These are ideal conditions.'”

Buckhannon-Upshur’s top runner in the event, Jordan Gillum, who placed second with a time of 18:25.65, agreed with his head coach about the ‘ideal conditions.’

“I enjoy running in the rain,” stated Gillum. “You run in the heat and it’s easy to get dehydrated, so I actually prefer to run in conditions like we had today.”

Gillum ran a strong race earning his runner-up honors, finishing behind eventual winner Charlie Smoak of Elkins who finished with a time of 18:02.26.

“I thought I ran a pretty good race, but I felt I could have done better,” noted Gillum. “Our home course takes a toll on you. Smoak is a great runner, but it felt great to take second place overall and help the team win our own invitational. It’s an amazing feeling.”

The Bucs won the team title with 32 points while Elkins was second with 44 and Philip Barbour was third with 87.

The Bucs received top-five finishes from Jack Waggy and Reis Leonard to help them to the victory.

Waggy, just a freshman this season, took fourth with a time of 18:59.68 and Leonard placed fifth with a time of 19:13.91.

Logan Wyatt finished 11th with a time of 20:47.54 while Brycen Allen was 15th in 21:07.69 to round out the B-U scoring.

“I am really proud of how the team performed,” noted Stacy. “We ran some great times today. Gillum did an awesome job of leading the team as he has done all year, and I was really impressed with Wyatt who came up huge for us in securing the win.”

The Buckhannon-Upshur Invitational was the lone home event for Stacy and his Bucs this season.

“It was great to run at home and debut our new course in front of family and friends,” stated Stacy. “We’ve got a great community of parents and extended family that support our runners and it was nice to get out there and perform for them.”

Gillum added, “I think it makes us more excited to run when we have a home meet. We want to win it for our home fans.”

The Bucs will run again this Saturday at Braxton County.

The results:

TEAM STANDINGS

  1. Buckhannon-Upshur 32; 2. Elkins 44; 3. Philip Barbour 87; 4. Lewis County 89; 5. Tucker County 123; 6. Robert C. Byrd 155; 7. Braxton County 161 (South Harrison, Trinity Christian, Lincoln and Clay-Battelle did not field complete teams).

INDIVIDUAL TOP 5

  1. Charlie Smoak (Elkins) – 18:02.26
  2. Jordan Gillum (Buckhannon-Upshur) – 18:28.65
  3. Lucas Anger (Elkins) – 18:43.98
  4. Jack Waggy (Buckhannon-Upshur) – 18:59.68
  5. Reis Leonard (Buckhannon-Upshur) – 19:13.91

BUCCANEER RESULTS

Jordan Gillum (2nd) – 18:28.65

Jack Waggy (4th) – 18:59.68

Reis Leonard (5th) – 19:13.91

Logan Wyatt (11th) – 20:47.54

Brycen Allen (15th) – 21:07.69

Alex Casto (32nd) – 23:17.92

Rhett Ammons (38th) – 24:07.93

Brandon Landis (41st) – 24:36.41

Joseph Shipman (48th) – 25.18.64

Nicholas Winters (52nd) – 25:28.14

Lucas Bennett (54th) – 25:37.53

Ryan Dowell (58th) – 26:24.18

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