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LELAND—Carmen Hilliard completed her high school cross-country conference career Oct. 16 by winning a fourth straight championship.
In the final Waccamaw Conference meet of the season, Hilliard ran the 3.1-mile course in 20 minutes, 17 seconds and led her teammates to the conference championship.
West Brunswick had four runners finish in the top 10, but that was insufficient to beat the Cougars. South finished with 33 points in winning its fourth straight Waccamaw title. West was second with 40 points.
Hilliard could have run the course in a faster time, but she paced herself in the opening loop as part of a strategy to help the Cougars win the team title.
“We held Carmen back, to run with the freshmen, on the first mile,” coach Mike Hilliard said. “She pushed them to under seven minutes. Then she took off and still wound up with 20:17.”
Junior teammate Ashley Sloup, one day after winning the conference championship in golf, was second in 21:24. Freshman Kendall was Regan was sixth in 23:59. Avery Mavroudis was 11th in 24:54. Tori Johnson was 13th in 25:10 and clinched the title.
Johnson was third in the conference last year was not among the top runners for the Cougars this year.
“She did not come out till later in the season,” coach Hilliard said. “It took her awhile to get back into running form. Today she showed up and moved into our No. 5 spot. I was pushing for Tori (and two other runners) to finish in our fifth spot. Our top four I was feeling really confident about. But that No. 5 spot was going to be really key “We got Kendall and Avery (Mavroudis) up there, and that was the highest finish for them all year.”
“All of our girls were under 25:10, and that’s big,” coach Hilliard said.
For West, sophomore Shelly Chavis was third, senior Brianna Mokma seventh, junior Corina Sierra eighth and sophomore Alexa Evans was 10th
North’s top runner was Kelly Heyer, fourth.
“Our girls ran well all year long,” Caraway said. “We only lost one meet, and that was at Whiteville. I thought we would be able to hold off South Brunswick, but it’s hard to beat (a team) that has the No. 1 and No. 2 runners.”
All top-10 runners are all-conference.