The men’s teams at West Stokes and North Stokes both had strong showings at the State Cross Country Championships at Beeson Park in Kernersville last Saturday.
The Wildcats finished just outside of the top 10 in 11th place in the 2A race with a total time of one hour and 30 minutes and scored 273 points.The Vikings finished in eighth place in the 1A race with a total time of one hour and 30 minutes and scored 211 points.
North Stokes’ Sean Condon finished in seventh place in the 1A race with a time of 16:47. Condon is the first Viking runner to break the 17-minute barrier in several years.
Vikings’ Head Coach Rodney King said he was proud of his team’s finish, especially proud of Condon’s finish in the state race.
“He’s put in a lot of miles this season,” he said. “It’s very difficult to break 17 minutes.”
Other top finishers for North Stokes included James Hammonds (17:27) and Justin Kenard (17:53).
North Stokes had the best finish at a state meet in 12 years, King said. The previous best finish was in 2000, when the Vikings finished in ninth place.
King said that the Vikings could have finished in the top four spots in the 1A race, but Justin Kenard and Cody Young were nursing some injuries that slowed them down on the course last week.
West Stokes’ Jason Barber finished in 11th place with a time of 16:41. Barber, who won the regional meet at Beeson Park a week earlier (16:40), was disappointed with his finish. Wildcats’ Head Coach Benji Knox said Barber had been training hard and was hoping for a time in the low 16s.
“He could have ran better than he did,” Knox said.
Other top finishers for West Stokes included Sam Stone (18:02) and Aaron Lipchak (18:21).
Knox said that his team was young and inexperienced this year when they started out. It was a long shot to make it to the state meet. So the team was “pretty happy” just to be at the state event.
Both North Stokes and West Stokes had an individual running in the women’s races. West Stokes freshman Kaitlyn Stone finished in 37th place with a time of 20:45. Knox said that Stone ran faster than she did at regionals a week earlier.
“She’s got a lot of good in front of her, for just being a freshman,” Knox said. “She ran well.”
North Stokes junior Hannah McBride had her best finish at a state meet in three years, King said. McBride finished in 12th place with a time of 20:22.
“She felt like she could have ran better, but I was pleased with her time,” King said.
Both Knox and King said they were proud of their teams’ efforts throughout the year and for making it to the state championships.
All and all, “It was a very successful year,” King said. “I’m very proud of them all.”