WCA teams rule 21-team field in Pumpkin Run

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In a field of 21 schools and more than 200 runners, the host Wilson Christian Academy boys and girls cross-country teams set the championship pace in the annual Pumpkin Run over the 5-kilometer course Tuesday afternoon.

With the top five runners packing within 53 seconds, the Lady Chargers raced out front with 27 points, followed by Wayne Country Day (52), Alamance Christian (57) and Wilmington Christian (73).

With three runners in the top 11, Wilson Christian’s boys amassed 38 points for their top four finishers, followed by Wayne Country Day School (56), Wilmington Christian (63) and Cornerstone of Fayetteville (91).

Wilson Christian’s girls were led by a fifth-place time of 24 minutes from senior Jenna Varnell. But Ocean Reece placed sixth in 24:05, Holland Miller seventh (24:23), Katie Glover ninth (24:28) and senior Ashley Hardy 11th (24:53).

Triumphant was Alamance’s Lucia Gandhi in 21:17. Gandhi outdistanced runner-up Hannah Rehm of Bethel Christian by more than a minute. Rehm’s time was 23:12.

Rounding out the top four were danielle Johnston of Wayne Country Day, third at 23:12; and Ava Larely of Rocky Mount Academy, fourth at 23:47.

Leading Wilson Christian’s boys was eighth-grader Seth Trull with a time of 20 minutes over the 5-kilometer course. Seventh-grader Lin Scott placed seventh at 20:22 and senior Andrew Blalock claimed 11th at 20:59. Providing the Chargers’ fourth score was seventh-grader Briceson Martin, who finished 14th in 21:59.

The top finisher from The Wilson Times readership area was junior Caleb Daniels of Community Christian with a fifth-place time of 19:56.

Winning the race was Ethan Sommers of Washington Montessori in 19:03. Wilmington’s Gus Anderson finished the runner-up in 19:22.

Completing the top four were Jason Rooker of Southeastern Homeschool, third in 19:48; and Chris Grogan of Union Grove, fourth in 19:48.

Completing the top 10 were Jack Boucher of Rocky Mount Academy, eighth (20:39); Avery Best of Wayne Country Day, ninth (20:46); and Benjamin Schwartz of Cornerstone, 10th (20:52).