At the Clash With The Titans, VA #1 ranked Hidden Valley girls will open their season in their home invitational against teams in the Roanoke Valley area. Hidden Valley should win big if all five of their top 5 returnees are racing led by 2008 Group AA state runner-up Annie LeHardy. LeHardy won last year's inaugural Clash With The Titans with a one second victory over teammate Mary Catherine Sowder in 20:45.
LeHardy, Sowder, and their Lady Titan teammates could be challenged at least individually by one of West Virginia's top returning runners in Letitia Propst from Elkins High School. Propst was a state runner-up this past spring for 800 and 3200 meters including a 11:09 best for 3200 and has also ran a 18:28 5K.
After the Hidden Valley girls, two River Ridge district rivals will be competing for the next two teams spots in Christiansburg and Cave Spring as well as Group A #2 ranked Radford girls. Both Christiansburg and Cave Spring are looking make return trips back to the state meet this year as Christiansburg is currently ranked #10 in Group AA.
The male counterparts of the Radford boys could send a strong message in their season opener if they are able to score an invitational victory against Group AA and AAA schools this weekend at Hidden Valley High School. Radford, ranked #2 in Group A as well, are competing in the meet for the first time and appear to be the pre-meet favorites against top challengers Christiansburg and Cave Spring, ranked #4 and #5 in Group AA respectively in the pre-season rankings.
Each school features a strong #1 who will be battling for first individually on Saturday in Group AA #5 ranked Andy Eddleton of Christiansburg, Group A #3 ranked Jared Miller of Radford, and Group AA #14 ranked Cody Seymour of Cave Spring. Seymour was one of the state's top performing freshmen last year in cross country and track including breaking 10 minutes for 3200 meters at the Group AA State Outdoor Championships. Eddleton will insure that the Blacksburg boys do not have a top five rolling through the River Ridge District this year and is capable of an All-State finish after a 9th place finish in the 3200 meter run in the outdor state meet. Also looking to mix it up with the leaders is Greenbrier Christian's Michael Bailey(private school #5 ranked), who ran under 16 minutes for 5K on the track this past June.
The meet begins at 8:50 AM with the first race of the day on Hidden Valley High School's home course in Roanoke. Weather forecasts calls for a cloudy day with temperatures remaining in the low 70s for the majority of the races.