Shaffer, Workman claim individual titles at Times Invitational >
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Will Shaffer                            Kaitlyn Workman                         Aaron Saymansky                        Hannah Griffith                
Shaffer, Workman claim individual titles at Times Invitational
By Nicole Lemal (run.nicole.wvu@gmail.com)
Tristaterunnur.com
October 10, 2011

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. -- Anyone who has run at the Times Invitational knows about the hill past the two mile mark.
This hill is a make or break kind of hill. But the winners of Saturday’s race showed the hill couldn’t deter them much from putting up monstrous leads over the rest of the field. Scott High School junior Will Shaffer and Preston High School sophomore Kaitlyn Workman snatched the individual wins.
Workman’s time of 20:20.81 was nearly 20 seconds ahead of Fairmont Senior High School senior Alyssa Scherich. As a newcomer to this course, she did what any top runner would do - take it and run with it.

On the other hand, Shaffer was very familiar with this course. Last year he placed seventh, running a 17:26. During that race he made mental notes, describing the course as above average in difficulty.

“There were a lot of hills,” he said. “There’s a hill just past the two mile mark and that kills everyone every year. Everyone’s always talking about it.”
Knowing that hill was there, he prepared himself for the worst. Even after breaking away from the field about a half mile into the race, he knew it wouldn’t be smooth sailing.

“It kind of wore me down. I wasn’t feeling as strong as I usually do at the end of the races.”
Although Shaffer may have slowed momentarily from the shocks of the hill, he found an inner strength to pull him through the rest of the race. There was no other option for him.

“I just kind of told myself I can’t slow down. I am pretty close to the end. I got to speed back up, and then I got back on my pace.”
Getting back on that pace quickly put him in position to extend his lead even more. His time of 17:16.25 was over half a minute faster than second place. East Fairmont High junior Tony Hayes hung on to take second, just mere seconds away from the other runners in the top five.

Clocking a 10 second improvement from the previous year, Shaffer is even more eager to run at the Regional Cross Country Championships and State Cross Country meet. And just like he did on Saturday, he is hoping for a win at both. At the state meet last year in the A-AA division he placed third.

“It’s not easy, but I like it. It’s one of my favorite courses. I don’t know. I always feel like I run sort of fast times on there and have big expectations.”

Finishing out the remaining spots in the top ten were Doddridge junior Matt Zorn (17:56.44), Doddridge junior Caleb Moore (17:56.97), Oak Hill sophomore Wes Stowers (17:58.99), Fairmont Senior High senior Jacob Richards (18:08.22), PikeView freshman Jason Weitzel (18:17.64), Fairmont Senior High senior David Collins (18:32.18), Oak Hill senior Lucas Gardner (18:41.40), and Webster freshman Brettley Harris (18:41.84).

Behind Workman and Scherich in the girls’ race were Buckhannon junior Reba Cutright (20:42.10), Preston senior Whitney Workman (21:19.67), Preston senior Racheal Hulett (21:21.79), North Marion junior Emma Harrison (21:34.74), Nicholas County senior Morgan Kesecker (21:43.32), Hedgesville junior Brittany Pollard (21:50.98), North Marion senior Devan Elliott (22:00.20) and Hedgesville junior Fallon Stone (22:02.83). 
          
On the boys’ side, Oak Hill High School scored 58 points to take the top team spot over second place Fairmont Senior High School (73). Preston High School easily claimed the team title with 39 points, while Hedgesville High School snatched second (78).
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