On October 14, 2023, sophomore Kiera Lowman laced up her running shoes to run the Elite Girls 5000-meter race at the Milestat Invitational in Mechanicsville, Virginia. She was the only representative for the Alleghany High School Cougars who just happened to be clenching to an undefeated record since her freshman year.
She donned a sleeveless, light-blue Alleghany shirt, slipped on her Nike shorts, and pulled back her blonde hair, ready to face whatever new challenges were thrown at her: one of those being the weather. Lowman, competing against 315 other high school athletes, ran the early morning Milestat Invitational against the best of the best in the rain.
However, she was not at all phased by it. She took off like a bullet, passing runner after runner, inching one step closer to the finish line. At the end of the day, Miss Kiera Lowman broke her own personal best record by about 9 seconds, according to her mother’s — Alania Lowman— Facebook post, with a time of 17:48:00. Lowman finished in 13th place, beating out over 300 hundred girls, most of which were juniors and seniors.
In addition to Lowman, there were several other Alleghany teams who competed at the Milestat Invitational on Saturday, including her fellow teammates in the “Small School Girls” category. Runners included Macyn Cash (20:24.00), Nevaeh Wills (20:42.00), Faith Barron (21:13.00), Hannah Hipes (21:49.00), Meredith Minter (23:29.00), Haley Harmon (26:22.00), Joowon Chung (26:49.00), and Taylor Jenkins (30:15.00). Head Coach Jeremy Bartley stated, “Kiera continues to impress and is running really strong this season. The girls entered their small school race without their front runner and another top 7 girl and pulled off second place. We were really proud of their effort in the rain.”
For the high school boys, Ryan Tucker was a lone ranger in the 5000-meter “JV Afternoon Boys” category, finishing with a time of 25:45.00. Meanwhile, the remainder of the team competed in the 5000-meter “Small School Boys” category. Runners included Josh Anglin (18:29.00), Trevor Jonas (18:42.00), Nick Powell (19:10.00), Nolan Nicely (19:42.00), Rilee Webb (20:13.00), James Ross (20:25.00), Miles Christian (21:48.00), Calvin Craft (22:59.00), and Brady Prior (23:14.00). As a team, they finished in 14th place.
The Covington Middle School boys’ and girls’ teams each competed in the 4000-meter run. For the boys, it was Levi Bartley (15:37.00), Nolan Rosales (15:46.00), Isaiah Humphries (17:13.00), Tanner Kenny (17:26.00), Maddox Hale (17:51.00), Cole Bowser (17:52.00), Jacob Clark (18:50.00), Gabe Craft (18:53.00), Lincoln Rosales (18:56.00), Eliot Chung (19:37.00), Heaven Bailey (19:50.00), Lennox Webb (24:23.00), and Jack Shull (25:57.00). As a team, they placed 14th.
The Covington Middle School girls who competed were Daisy Hodges (18:01.00), Willow Morgan (18:15.00), Charlotte Taylor (18:18.00), Carlea Weikle (18:20.00), Ava Nicely (18:39.00), Addi Stull (18:51.00), Madilyn Via (19:25.00), Waverly Campbell (19:54.00), and Gabi Woodson (20:56.00). As a team, they placed 12th. Head Coach Erin Bartley stated, “Every middle school athlete that participated in Saturday’s meet ran a personal best time. I’m super happy with how our season is wrapping up. We have our last race this coming weekend at ‘Running with the Wolves.’”
The “Running with the Wolves” Invitational is scheduled for this Saturday, October 21, at 10 a.m. and will only be for the Middle Schoolers. It will be hosted by Jefferson Forest in Forest, Virginia.
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