HURRICANE, W.Va. -- In order for a rivalry to be truly healthy, it never hurts if both teams are good and pretty evenly matched.
Such is the case in the world of cross country, where Putnam County rivals Winfield and Hurricane find both their boys and girls teams ranked among the top seven Class AAA teams in the state according to www.runwv.com.
Those squads met head to head Saturday morning at the Hurricane Invitational at Wave Pool Park.
The Redskins' Tori Dent finished in 20:23.7 to win the girls race by more than 19 seconds as Hurricane claimed the top spot, edging Winfield 26-30. On the boys side, Winfield placed three of the top four runners to capture first place 28-32 over Hurricane.
Buffalo's Hayden Harrison edged Winfield's R.J. Weiford by less than two seconds with a time of 17:22.9 to win boys individual honors.
It's game on the rest of the season for the rival schools.
"The funny thing is, these girls from both Hurricane and Winfield have known each other their whole lives," Winfield girls coach Kelsey Spang said. "They know the girls not only as people but as runners, so they know exactly what to look out for and who to look out for and I think it's a healthy rivalry. Hurricane-Winfield has always been a rivalry, but when it comes down to running on the course it gets exciting."
Dent, who finished seventh in the state meet as a sophomore, has been bothered by Achilles problems and was running just her third race of her senior season on Saturday. She may just now be rounding into form but she said her team has carried on well without her and that Hurricane has a bright future this season.
"I am so proud of how my team has done this season," Dent said. "Even without me there they've stayed strong. They push hard, we have a really strong team this year and I think we can do big things."
Hurricane's girls are ranked No. 2 by runwv and Winfield is one spot behind at No. 3.
On the boys side, the Generals come in at No. 5 with Hurricane at No. 7.