By Brian Hoffman
The Salem cross country team opened the 2022 season with a meet at Blacksburg last Saturday. The Salem varsity ran in an open 5K race that was not team oriented.
Three Salem girls ran the 5K race and were led by Ryan Long. Callie Conner followed and Elizabeth Bocock was our Salem’s third finisher. Ashley Toapanta ran in a middle school 3K.
The Spartans had 14 boys run in the open 5K race and their experience showed. Salem’s first four runners were upperclassmen led by Walker Peterson, who ran a personal best time of17:55. Next was Carson Tucker, followed by Alex Helems and Lance Toapanta. The fifth runner was an 8th grade student, Austin Prosser, and he was followed by a couple freshmen, Nathan Bowers and Rick Rawlins.
Next, in order, were Zane Easter, 8th grader Tyson Ayden, Yuvraj Singh, Luke Stovall, Conner Reburn, Hunter French and Grant Horner.
“Eight of the 14 runners had never run a high school 5K race and they all did well,” said Salem coach Tom Roth.
The Spartans will run in the Viking Invitational at Northside High this Saturday. It begins with a middle school girls’ 3K at 8:45 am followed by a boys’ middle school 3K at 9:30 am. The girls’ varsity race will be at 10:15 am, followed by the boys’ varsity at 10:45 am and a jayvee 5k at 11:30 am.
There will be 15 schools competing in the varsity races at Northside. Joining Salem and host Northside will be Bath County, Brookville, Christiansburg, Eastern Mennonite School, Faith Christian School, Hargrave Military Academy, Hidden Valley, Lord Botetourt, Norfolk Collegiate, Pacers Home School, Southwest Virginia Academy, Staunton River and William Byrd.
Glenvar was scheduled to open on Wednesday of this week with a 13 school meet at Radford University, but results were too late for publication. Both Salem and Glenvar are entered in the annual Knights Crossing event at Green Hill Park on September 10th. Hosted by Cave Spring, it’s one of the largest meets of the entire season.