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Thursday, 16 September 2021 16:42

Raider, Lady Raider XC teams notch 2nd-place finishes at Southern Lee

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SANFORD — The Richmond Senior High School boys’ and girls’ cross country teams returned to racing on Wednesday after a two week hiatus.

Completing their second 3.2-mile race of the season, the Raiders and Lady Raiders both took second place. It was the second time both squads finished as runner-ups.

The Sandhills Athletic Conference meet was hosted by Southern Lee High School and held at the Kiwanis Park Cross Country Course.

Richmond was without its top male and female runners from the first meet, sophomore Javian Drake and senior Maylyn Wallace, but both teams still nearly took first place. Also competing were Hoke County and Lee County high schools.

Hoke County edged Richmond to win both the boys’ and girls’ meets. The Bucks scored 27 points to Richmond’s 32, while the Lady Bucks captured 25 points and the Lady Raiders were just behind with 30 points.

Neither of Lee County’s or Southern Lee’s teams had enough runners to meet the five-runner minimum to qualify for team points.

The Lady Raiders’ five runners finished the race in order taking the No. 6 through No. 10 spots. Freshman Mariana Mendez was the first Lady Raider to cross the finish line with a time of 26:15.

Behind her were sophomore Kaleigh Cloninger (7th, 26:39), junior Michaela Nemrovovich (8th, 26:59), freshman Ella Munn (9th, 28:24) and freshman Alivia Webb (10th, 29:44). 

In that order, Richmond’s runners collected 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 points, respectively, to earn second.

Hoke County’s Ashley Bell won the race with a mark of 22:37, followed by teammates Lailah Crowder and Chelsea Lee, who finished third and fourth. Lee County’s Chloe Edwards finished second and Southern Lee’s best runner was Brook Simmons in fifth.

For the Raiders, sophomore Paul McNeil was the pace setter, finishing third overall with a time of 21:46 and two points. Ahead of him were race winner Isaiah Fitzpatrick (Hoke County, 20:27) and Charles Jester (Lee County, 21:21).

Sophomore Christian Sanchez and junior Dakota Chavis took the fifth and sixth-place marks, respectively, for a combined seven points. Sanchez ran the race in 22:57, followed by Chavis’ effort of 23:54.

Securing the final qualifying points for Richmond were sophomores Cain Hunsucker and Toby McInnis, who finished in 13th and 14th place. Hunsucker recorded 11 points with his time of 28:13 and McInnis was on his heels for 12 points, crossing the finish line in 28:15.

Junior Kodie Simmons rounded out Richmond’s runners with a 16th-place finish and a time of 29:05.

Both of Richmond’s teams will return to action next Wednesday in another SAC meet hosted by Lee County. Runners will begin at 5 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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