Cougars sweep cross-country race

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

BOILING SPRING LAKES—The South Brunswick boys and girls cross-country teams won one of the final races of the season Oct. 7.

The Cougar boys (23) beat North (45) and Pender (99) in the conference race.

In the girls’ race, South beat Pender 26-31.

North’s Rashaad Nelson was the top finisher, running the 3.1-mile course in 19 minutes, 3 seconds—and sprinting to the finish.

But South won five of the next six spots to take the victory.

Charlie Martin finished second in 19:22. The four other top runners for South finished within 60 seconds of one another. Jacob Raleigh was third in 19:35, Nick Spell fifth in 20:05, Will Spencer sixth in 20:19 and Alex Keitz seventh in 20:21.

Other South times: Brandon McGirt, 20:50; Keifer Brammond, 21:41; Sam Johnson, 21:41; Ken Shadid, S 22:14, Bryson Harlee, S 23:59.

Other North times: Nic Merritt fourth 19:51; Ryan Moeller ninth in 21:21; Logan Shipman, 23:05; Trey Jackson, 23:10.

Every runner in the boys’ race had his best time of the season, South coach Joe Yalch said.

“They’re reaping the benefits of their (practices),” he said.

In the girls’ race, Pender’s runners took the top-two spots: Sararesa Hudson in 25:15 and Tabitha Rivenbark in 27:37.

But South won the next four spots: Sammy Altobelli was third in 27:44, Kayla Graziani fourth in 28:26, Gabby Alcorn fifth in 29:59 and Elizabeth Butler sixth in 31:03.

An eighth-place finish by Brooke Holden clinched the victory. She finished in 33:32. Teammate Abby Weatherwax was eight seconds behind.

South began the season with about 30 total runners, and that number has held steady.

“We had a couple that went into other sports,” Yalch said, “and we had about three more that joined. We at about 26 and holding steady.”

South and North will race on Oct. 16 at Pender in the conference championship race. That is the final race before a state-qualifying regional Oct. 25. Yalch will decide which seven runners will run in the boys’ regional. (All seven girls will be entered.)

“That’s going to be tough to pick,” he said, “because everybody is running so well. But I’m just so proud of all of them and to see them smiling when they heard their times today.”

MICHAEL PAUL is the sports editor at the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or at sports@brunswickbeacon.com.