Saints XC teams experience bittersweet day

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SMITHFIELD - Sidelined by injuries, Southern Wayne seniors Donshae Boseman and Conner Whiting could only watch their teammates compete in the season-ending Quad County 3A cross country championship meet Wednesday afternoon.

It was a bittersweet ending.

Dylan Tyndall logged the Saints’ best time - a 20th-place effort of 21 minutes, 17 seconds on the 3.1-mile course at Smithfield-Selma High School. Senior Jabari Pearsall ended up 27th in 23 minutes.

Jeremy Whitley (26:07) and Matthew Blizzard (28:40) crossed the line 43rd and 49th, respectively.

“Last official conference meet,” SW head coach Takisha Vann said. “Fighting and dealing with injuries that caused some runners not to perform their best or to finish at all, we also had runners to run their best meet of the season.

“And, as always, it’s a great look to see them cheer and support each other’s efforts.”

On the girls’ side, senior Lehyssa St. Julien wound up 27th overall in 28:40. Fellow senior Nerchka Maxi took 29th in 28:48.

Kyren Strong (29:26) and Sophia Marshall (42:08) claimed 31st and 45th, respectively.

Neither squad fielded enough runners to earn a team score.

“This season was a rebuilding year for the Southern Wayne program with only one runner [returning] from both the men’s and women’s teams [in the spring],” Vann said. “We had athletes to commit to the process and didn’t even know what they were committing to. Each day they prevailed and I believe for the majority we have developed a group of runners that we can continue to build on for next season.

“[I’m] very proud of all their efforts and commitment this season.”

West Johnston swept the individual and team titles.

Senior Josh Hendren emerged as the boys’ champion with a time of 17:58, nearly 30 seconds faster than teammate and runner-up Lance Surles. The Wildcats defeated Charles B. Aycock, 19-38, in team action.

Senior Caroline Hamrick secured the girls’ crown in 21:43, almost a minute faster than runner-up Teagan Farrell of Smithfield-Selma. The Wildcats cruised to a 34-54 win over Wilson Fike. SSS and C.B. Aycock shared third place with 62 points.

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