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Biola guided Cougars to breakout season

Boys Cross Country All-Area Coach of the Year

Boys Cross Country All-Area Coach of the Year

December 09, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

The Jefferson boys cross country team capped its impressive season by placing second at the West Virginia Class AAA state championships, finishing only four points behind champion Wheeling Park.

It was the Cougars' best finish in team history.

"Obviously, we were hoping to win," said Jefferson's Scott Biola, The Herald-Mail's 2008 All-Area Cross Country Coach of the Year. "But we had never been on the podium (for a top-two finish) before, so that was a very big deal for us."

While the boys team might have received more attention than the girls team at Jefferson this fall, both shared the spotlight at the Mountaintop Combo in September in Kingwood, W.Va. That race combined overall boys and girls team scores, and the Cougars topped the field of 22 schools by more than 50 points.

"The Mountaintop Combo was huge for us," Biola said. "Most of the top powers in the state were there. It was a great measuring stick for our program. It was a huge boost for us. From a co-ed standpoint, it was like we were as good as anyone in the state.

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"If you combined points at states, we would have been first in that, too."

The Jefferson girls finished fifth at the state meet.

Biola also had four all-state (top-10) runners -- Cory Hampshire (second) and Brandon Doughty (10th) in the boys race, and Andrea Nickerson (sixth) and Alyssa Boucher (eighth) in the girls race.

"We'd never had two all-state boys or two all-state girls in the same season, and this year we had both," Biola said. "That was tremendous for us."

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