The NCHSAA Regional Cross Country events were held Saturday (Oct. 29th) and as expected, North Lincoln literally ran away with the boys team title in the West Region meet at Freedom High School in Morganton, but the North girls finished second.
Stephen Fernetti finished first, running the 5k course in 15 minutes, 43 seconds. The Knights Connor Bagwell was 8th at 16:49, Alex Bradley 9th at 16:53, and Logan Richardson 19th at 16:54. Bryce Anthony finished 14th at 17:05 and Juan Tinajero 18th at 17:16. Mirko Glavan finished 21st at 17:25.
For East Lincoln, Ashley Odom had the best time: 25th at 17:43. Sachit Patel was 46th at 18:36; Jeffrey Hickey, 93rd at 20:08; Noah Casey, 109th at 20:49; and Jacob Klosterman, 120th at 20:57.
North was, of course, first in the boys team score with 42 points, a 106 point advantage over second place West Henderson. The Knights averaged 16:40 for their first five runners, whose positions (1+8+9+10+14) were used for the combined score. Fred T. Foard finished 8th (308); Hickory, 9th (310); St. Stephens, 10th (315); and East Lincoln, 16th (365). Foard's best finisher was Carson Bess, 24th at 17:41.
The North Lincoln girls didn't get the team title, but came very close, finishing second by just 5 points to West Henderson. The first five places for the North girls (1+3+9+16+20) gave them 49 points, while West Henderson's first five finishers added up to 44. East Lincoln finished 7th (245); St. Stephens, 8th (261).
The Knights Macy Parks finished first in the girls meet, running the 5k course in 18 minutes 29 seconds. Bella Wood was third at 18:53, just seven seconds behind #2 finisher Breanna Budzinski of West Henderson. Loivia Ferraro was 9th at 19:37; Bella Green, 16th at 20:12; Kelbi Pierce, 20th at 20:22; Blythe Jaworsky, 37th at 21:03; Kayla Leslie, 38th at 21:09. East Lincoln's best finisher was McKenzie Benfield, who finished 27th at 20:37. Lily Guffey was 46th (21:47); Emma Thomson, 47th (21:52); Lyndsey Ferrie, 51st (22:10); Lauryn Stewart, 7th (23:29); and Briana Hickey, 84th (23:49). Fred T. Foard's best finisher was Ashlyn Kirby, 74th (23:21).
In the 2A West Regional at Swannanoa, Lincoln Charter finished second in the boys competition and fifth in the girls. Katherine Hopkins of Lincolnton High School easily won the girls run, covering the 5k course in 19 minutes 8 seconds, over 49 seconds quicker than #2 Brooke Hope of R-S Central (19:57.9). Lincoln Charter's Sophia Champion finished 12th at 21:37.5, just behind Emily Hedrick of Bandys, 11th at 21:23.9 and just ahead of Maiden's Kylin Wayne, 13th at 21:53. The Eagles' Kallie Lusk finished 16th (22:11.9). Adleigh Sutton had the best time of any West Lincoln runner, finishing 27th at 22:58.6. Lexi Matthews from Bandys was 35th (22:33.5); Lincoln Charter's Carson Bohen, 36th (22:33.7); Addison Witmer of Bandys, 39th(23:51.1); Lincoln Charter's Katherine Fox, 46th (24:29.5); the Eagles' Amelia Aganad, 48th (24:38.5); Madison Lusk, 52nd (24:48.8). West Lincoln's Jillian Mawyer was 53rd (24:56.8); McKenna Helms, 54th (24:57.7); Julie Malascalza of Lincoln Charter, 55th (25:02.2); the Rebels' Abi Barkley, 58th (25:21.4); and Maiden's Andie Smith, 61st (25:33.4) and Allyson Carpenter, 62nd (25:37.2). Allyson Carpener of Lincolnton finished 64th (25:49.4).
While Lincoln Charter finished second in the boys meet, they didn't get first or second place. Two runners from Charles D. Owen High School, host of the event and the boys team champions, finished #1 and #2. Elijah Jones (16:19.2) and Jaheem O'Hara (16:20.6) took those places; Tucker Caulder of Lincoln Charter was third at 16:46.5. Hunter Smathers of Maiden finished 6th (17:04.8); Lincoln Charter's Joel McCloskey 8th (17:13.8), Brandon Wright, 9th (17:19.8); and Brandon Wright 10th (17:23.1). The Eagles' Ben Bruce finished 17th (17:58.6); Manis Ferreira, 19th (18:01.7). West Lincoln's best finisher was Andy Saine, 23rd (18:16.1); Lincolnton's best, Chandler Sneed, 24th (18:16.3). Bandys' best was Winford Batten, 25th (18:19.1).
Lincoln Charter's first five finishers (3+8+9+10+17) added up to a team score of 47, six points more than Owen. Bandys finished 5th; Lincolnton 6th, and Maiden 13th among the boys. West Lincoln finished 15th.
Up next will be the NCHSAA State Championship meet at Ivey Redmond Park in Kernersville next Saturday (Nov. 5th). The 2A boys meet will start at 9 AM, the girls at 10:20; the 3A boys meet will begin at 2:40 PM and the 3A girls at 4:00.