Frankfort girls finish fifth, Addison Lease second at state meet

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
The Frankfort Lady Falcons finished an impressive fifth place overall at the state cross-country meet.

CHARLESTON - The Frankfort Lady Falcons, after not qualifying as a team for the state meet last season, accomplished a lot by simply qualifying for the state cross country meet this season. Once there, the Lady Falcons did not disappoint, finishing in fifth place overall as a team.

The highlight for Frankfort was seeing sophomore sensation Addison Lease finish in second place overall.

Winfield doubled their trophies by taking the girls' team title with a score of 72. Fairmont Senior finished in second place (100), Wayne ended up third (112), and East Fairmont fourth (124). Frankfort’s score of 125 earned them the fifth-place finish.

“I thought overall we ran very well. We knew going in we should finish anywhere from second to fifth, but it would have taken a really, really, really good race to finish second.  We knew Winfield was a heavy favorite, but after that it was wide open. We ended up only one point behind the fourth place finisher, and 12 points out of third place,” Frankfort coach Woody Snoberger explained.

Frankfort sophomore Addison Lease led the Lady Falcons at the state cross country meet by finishing an impressive second place overall, even finishing just ahead of last year's state champion.

The Frankfort girls were led by state runner-up Addison Lease. Addison become the seventh Frankfort girl to achieve cross country All-State honors.  Addison was followed by teammate Kat Burleson in 22nd place. Frankfort's remaining girls finished as follows: Brooke Jacobs in 37th place, Jillian Griffith in 52nd place, Addison Tharp in 53rd place in a personal record time of 23:59, Emily Smith in 57th place, and Kelsey Smith in 63rd place.

“Addie ran exceptionally well, her finishing as state runner-up was a really big deal. We knew she was definitely under-ranked because we don’t race a lot of West Virginia schools throughout the season. The way they do the point system in the projections, our points don’t always reflect accurately. They had her predicted fifth or sixth,” Snoberger stated.

According to Snoberger, “Addie and I had talked during the season, thinking that from what I was seeing and the way she was improving in workouts, I told her there was only really two other girls on her level at that point. I told her you are definitely a top three. But to finish ahead of last year’s state champion, I knew she could do it, but it was just a nice icing on the cake.”

“I knew she could do it, but to actually see it happen, to watch her race, it was incredible. Some of the moves that she made, and when you watch her run, she’s never looks like she is in any pain.  It was amazing, she is so stoic. She never panicked and ran a really smart race. It was pretty awesome to see,” Snoberger detailed.

Snoberger is appreciative of the fact that the Frankfort program is looked on so favorably from those on the outside. He’s also appreciative of the girls’ successful performances all season long.

“I’ve seen this coming the last few years. We have a big group of seniors, and it’s going to be hard to replace that group. They have represented really a culture shift, the last three to four years they have worked so hard to get the program to where it is. We had a team meeting the night before states, and we thanked the seniors for getting the program to what it is now,” Snoberger explained.

“They set the tone that they were all going to work hard and never complain, just like the boys have done. We had some tough sledding in our region in the past and it was the same this year.  But, the thing I would say, is that these girls have all bought in. They bought in to what we were saying, and they invested in themselves, they invested in each other,” Snoberger stated.”

According to Snoberger, “They took a page out of the boys book, making sure that they started doing more things together, even outside. They made sure that they would really become that family unit, and for us, we were really blessed by that. They invested in making themselves as good as they would be.”

The Frankfort girls team finished with the fourth best record in school history with a record of 112-19. 

For Snoberger, the success is one part talent, and one gigantic part hard work.

“They weren’t the most talented group we’ve ever had, but they’re probably the hardest working group we’ve ever had. Also, as a full team, the most fun group I’ve coached.