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Former WHS star to run in cross country championships

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Gina Valenti’s legs have carried her far in her cross country career.
A plane will carry Valenti and her Lees-McRae teammates to Missouri for the biggest race of her career. Valenti helped lead the Bobcats to a Division II Southeast Regional championship and a spot alongside 23 other teams in this Saturday’s NCAA Division II cross country championships.
Missouri Southern State University will host the championships.
Valenti placed fifth for the Bobcats and 24th overall in 25 minutes, 23 seconds at the regional meet. The sophomore will be looking for another strong finish when the teams race at the Missouri Southern State Cross Country Course in Joplin, Mo.
Valenti, who will be one of 190 women competing in the championships, has enjoyed her season thus far. Her best time to date is a 20:04.
Valenti, who said her highlights have included breaking her high school cross country personal record of 20:09 by five seconds in Charleston and helping the Bobcats win regionals, said a rigid workout program has helped her to succeed.
Valenti said she feels good to be a part of a special, close team.