Salem,Va. – The Knights Crossing invitational has grown into one of the most anticipated regular season events in all of SW Virginia, and an important meet in the southeast. 80 high school teams and 40 middle school teams converged on Green Hill Park in Salem to race on the course that also hosts the VHSL Class 1 through 3 state meets.
The girls varsity “red” race, for VHSL (public) schools and most out of state teams, produced a familiar result. The winner in dominating fashion was Glenvar high star Carly Wilkes. The Highlanders senior dismantled the field, waiting until the final mile to run away from her competitors for the win in 18:07. The Furman commit was a full 25 seconds clear of her nearest competition, Zoie Lamanna of Jefferson Forest.
The boys varsity “red” race was another matter entirely. This one was hotly contested at the front thoughout, with Franklin County’s Nathan Atchue holding the lead in the final 100 meters, losing it, then taking it back at the wire for the win in 15:13. He edges Conner Wingfield of Daniel Boone high in Tennessee by 3-tenths of a second for the Knights Crossing title.
“Everyone was saying he was with me in the stretch I kept looking for the shadow and I thought I was giving it all I had and then I saw the shadow and he passed me for a little and I just gave more that I didn’t know was there,” Atchue explained.
In the team competition, Jefferson Forest won the girls ‘red’ title followed by Blacksburg. In boys action, Daniel Boone took home top honors, with Blacksburg second.