North and South Stokes competed in the Northwest 1A cross country meet on Thursday in Kernersville at the Ivey Redman Sports Complex. The Sauras boys’ team finished with five runners in the top 21 and came in second place. The Lady Vikings, paced by sophomore Abigail Hemric, also finished in second.
Bishop McGuinness walked away with both conference championship wins.
“Our kids have been committed the whole season and have done everything we have asked of them,” said Saura coach Mitch Adams. “We increased our numbers this year and that was a big difference. Elijah (Mitchell) improved his time by almost five minutes from last year and getting Jackson Boles back from a broken foot midway through the year has helped, too. He moved up to be our number two runner. All the kids have pushed each other and almost every runner has improved their time. That’s a great accomplishment being most are first year runners.”
North Stokes junior Jacob McGee led the county with a fourth place finish and time of 17:39.72.
Freshman teammate Jaden Smith placed seventh with a time of 19:28.60 and Elijah Mitchell crossed the line at 19:37.84 for eighth. Jackson Boles (19:55.22) finished ninth, followed by teammates Austin Harger (20:12.41), Shemar Dalton (22:08.98) and Ricky Gonzales (22:21.70).
The ladies meet was smaller with 22 runners on the rigorous course. Hemric won with a time of 20:59.77 and was awarded Northwest 1A Conference Runner of the Year.
“It’s an honor. I trained really hard from last year and was able to cut some of my time,” she said.
The Vikings placed five runners in the top 16. Freshman Elizabeth McBride finished fifth with a time of 23:36.26, senior Emma Stanbery 11th (25:54.53), Madolyn Brigger 13th (27:27.67) and Crystal Gwyn 16th (28:13.09). Gwyn was welcomed back for her senior year after recovering from a car accident two years ago.
“We have had good improvement and hard work from all of our runners this year,” said North Stokes coach Jimmy Dillard. “Some of our kids run to get in shape for other sports, while some just do cross country and track. Our kids have improved their times this year with the beginners knocking off as much as four minutes.”
South Stokes Ryley Lawson squeezed in at sixth place with a time of 24:02.36 and teammate Ashley James crossed the finish line 18th at 31:17.80.
The all-conference teams were announced after the meet and are made up of: McGee (North Stokes), Smith (North Stokes), Mitchell (South Stokes) and Boles (South Stokes), Hemric (North Stokes), McBride (North Stokes) and Lawson (South Stokes).
North and South will be back in Kernersville on Saturday, Oct. 28 for the 1A regional meet with a chance to qualify for the state championship.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.