Dutch Fork handed Ridge View, the top-ranked boys cross country team in Class 4A, a one-point loss on Saturday at the Sandhills Invitational.
The No. 8 Silver Foxes nipped the Blazers 57-58 in the final team tabulations. But the upset was contingent upon one telling fact – Ridge View was without two key runners who were taking the SAT test. With seniors David Jennings, a three-time all-state runner, and Raeven Lantz out of the picture, the Blazers simply did not have their normal scoring power on hand.
Still, Dutch Fork, which had only five runners on the course and could ill-afford any missteps, ran extremely well and came away with its best performance of the season.
Roland Hakes led the way with a second-place finish behind individual champion Joe Keitt of Ridge View. Hakes clocked in at 16:02.45 – one of five national elite times turned in.
Keitt (15:56.7) and Blazers teammate Michael Lantz (16:18.54) had two of the other elite times.
Hakes had solid backing from Michael Sherman (8th, 17:25.12), Jo Klasnic (14th, 17:47.06), Michael Bradley (14th, 17:59.25) and Jesse Richards (17th, 18:04.53).
Keitt and Lantz finished first and third, respectively, and senior Jay Lynch, the other regular on hand, was fifth in 18:20.93.
Otherwise, Spring Valley finished in fifth place with Connor McCormack (11th, 17:34.82) and Jerold Glover’s sixth-place finish (17:13.60) paced Blythewood’s seventh-place team performance.