Riggs selects Stanford, Sauro wins international race in Italy

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — For the second time in the last two years, one of West Virginia’s top high school runners is bound for Stanford University. Morgantown rising senior Irene Riggs pledged her commitment to run with the Cardinal, joining former Ripley standout Tori Starcher in California.

Morgantown’s Irene Riggs (Photo by Joe Brocato)

In an interview with Phil Grove of milesplit.com, Riggs explained her decision to commit to Stanford.

“I did want to make it before the fall,” she said. “It’s my last XC season and I didn’t really want to be burdened with taking visits and planning them around races. I was blessed to be able to talk to all three of those schools, which were super amazing, so nice and welcoming,” Riggs said.

“At the end of the day, I really fell in love with (Stanford and) the area. I really thought I fit in with the team well. I know Tori Starcher, I know a lot of the girls who are from the 2022 class at Eastbay. I just felt like I fit in there the best. So that’s kind of what swung me, and I love Coach (J.J.) Clark and Coach Addy (Royal) a lot.”

Riggs led Morgantown to Class AAA state cross country and track team championships in her junior year. She won individual titles in cross country and her three races at the state track meet.

Two weeks ago, Riggs posted the second-fastest outdoor two-mile time by a high school runner in American history at the Brooks PR meet in Washington.


Williamstown’s Sauro wins International Under-18 Mountain Running Cup

Williamstown rising sophomore Alyssa Sauro bested an international field of fifty runners at the Under-18 Mountain Running Cup in Saluzzo, Italy on Sunday. Sauro was part of an American contingent of four runners in the 4.4 kilometer race.

“It was the craziest course I have ever seen. I kind of wasn’t expecting it when I got there and we walked the course. I was like, ‘Wow, this is a beast. This is going to be a hard one’. But I was excited,” Sauro said on Citynet Statewide Sportsline.

“There were four major hills that I was kind of nervous for. Three of them were in grass and one was stairs. The stairs I was kind of nervous for. I just tried to power through them.”

Sauro was nominated to represent the United States in the annual event. She broke free from the field after a congested start to the race.

“There’s a first 500 loop. I tried to use that kind of as a warmup for me. The start was pretty fast and there was a lot of pushing and shoving. It was kind of nerve-racking. But it was fun.”

Sauro crossed the line first in a time of 18 minutes, 3 seconds, earning her first international victory.

“Me and the girl from England about a [kilometer] in just kind of stuck together. Towards the end, I just wanted to stay a little bit behind her. But I knew that if I stayed with her, I could probably try to get her at the end.

“It was right at the end when I passed her, with about a hundred meters to go. I really wanted it so I just had to push as much as I can.

“I was super-excited. I couldn’t believe it. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I went straight to my mom and gave her a big hug. I was just a really exciting moment.”

Sauro recently concluded her freshman season at Williamstown. She led the Yellowjackets to the Class A state track championship, winning all three of her individual events.

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