This weekend, several cross country teams from the county will compete in the NCHSAA 4A West Regional at McApline Park in Charlotte. Among those looking for a strong finish once again are Cuthbertson and Weddington.
Weddington swept last week’s Southern Carolina Conference championships, winning the boys race with a total score of 33 and the girls race with a score of 29. The Warriors earned a one-point victory on the girls side over Cuthbertson by placing 1-2-3 in the 5,000-meter race.
Senior Emma Jones won the SCC girls championship with a time of 18 minutes and 12.1 seconds, while junior Elizabeth Ritter finished in 18:25.2 and sophomore Grace Hanson ran an 18:28.4. Cuthbertson runners finished fourth through eighth.
The Cuthbertson girls have won three straight 3A state cross country titles and will try to take home some hardware this season at the 4A level. Three Cuthbertson runners — junior Alyssa Preisano, junior Lillian Nasta and sophomore Stella Kermes — all have season-best times under 18:10 in the 5K.
Cuthbertson’s Madeline Hill won the 3A race at the 2020-21 state championship meet with a time of 18:11.91, and the 4A race was won in a time of 17:47.30 by Pinecrest’s Carmen Alder, a current freshman at BYU who graduated this past summer after winning three individual 4A state titles.
On the boys side, Porter Ridge junior Jacob Laney won the 5,000-meter race at the Southern Carolina Conference championships in a time of 15:35.8, almost 20 seconds better than the second-place finisher, Weddington junior Chauncey Chen (15:54.4). Weddington placed four runners in the top eight, while Marvin Ridge — which finished second — had three runners in the top 10.
Laney’s time of 15:35.8 would have won the 4A state championship meet this past spring. The winner of that race, Ardrey Kell’s Murphy Smith, finished with a time of 15:44.65.