Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
RED OAK — Southern Nash’s Jadiza Jimenez capped a roller-coaster sophomore cross-country season by winning the 3-A Big East Conference girls race Wednesday at Red Oak Middle School.
She completed the 5-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 54.91 seconds to edge Northern Nash sophomore Elana Griffin, who finished in 21:00.69. However, neither stopped the roll of Rocky Mount to the conference championship. The Lady Gryphons, with two in the top four and all five scoring runners in the top 13, breezed to the title with 41 points. Fike, led by the duo of freshman Cecilia Johnson and junior Olivia Jernigan, was second with 61, followed by Southern Nash (85), Northern Nash (88), Hunt (117) and Franklinton (125).
Johnson finished fifth in 23:23.41 to pace the Lady Demons while Jernigan was right behind her in sixth, coming in at 23:48.94. Hunt’s top finisher was senior Carolina Vazquez, 10th in 24:01.15. Fike’s Willa Boyer was 11th in 24:20.
Runners who placed in the top 10 were accorded all-conference status.
On the boys side, Southern Nash’s senior 1-2 punch of Shamir Small and Hunter Issette finished second and third, respectively, helping the Firebirds to a runner-up finish behind Northern Nash. The Knights were paced by boys champion Justin Marshall, who posted a time of 17:31.18 to edge Small at 17:38.91. Issette came in at 18:14.91.
Northern Nash collected 31 points, followed by the Firebirds (64), Rocky Mount (87), Hunt (91), Fike (98) and Franklinton (161).
Senior Amando Robles led Fike with a fourth-place finish in 18:22.47 while his Wilson County Championship dual opponent, Hunt junior David Cardenas, paced the Warriors by coming in eighth in 18:39.62. Sophomore Toby Snedeker of Fike was 13th in 19:31.84 and Hunt junior Caleb Daniels was 13th in 19:49.28.
WPA’s Zieger earns top TRC honor
ROCKY MOUNT -— Wilson Prep’s Grace Ziegler was proclaimed the 1-A Tar Roanoke Conference Girls Runner of the Year at the league’s championship meet Wednesday on the 5-kilometer course at North Carolina Wesleyan College.
Ziegler finished second in 31 minutes, 4 seconds — less than two minutes behind winner Kayla Smith of Northwest Halifax. Liyah Poole of WPA was fourth with a time of 36:54.
Those teams were the only ones represented and Wilson Prep had just two runners, not enough for a team score in the meet hosted by TRC member Rocky Mount Prep. The Lady Tigers finished second overall this season.
On the boys side, the Tigers were last in the three-team meet, won by Northampton with 25 points, followed by Rocky Mount Prep with 36 and WPA with 59. Northampton had the first three runners across the line, including winner Robert Mines in 19:28, and all five in the top 10.
Malachi Atkinson’s seventh-place finish led Wilson Prep. He crossed the line in 21:00. Also earning points for the Tigers were Luis Antunez (13th, 22:57), Jashaun Taft (21st, 24:31) and George Wooten (28th, 25:42).
“I am incredibly proud of each and every one of my athletes this season,” said WPA head coach Allison Ellis. “They have really come together as a team to not only be there for one another, but to lift each other up and encourage one another to be their best not only on the trail, but in the classroom.”
Next up for Wilson Prep is the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 1-A East Regional meet, set for Saturday, Nov. 2, at Northside High in Pinetown.