PILOT MOUNTAIN — Representatives from five high schools and four middle schools took part in history Tuesday by participating in the first cross country meet ever hosted by East Surry. The teams convened at the Edward M. Armfield Civic Center for the event, but not before countless hours of preparation. East Surry coach First Sergeant Ronald Montgomery said it took many people to make the event a success.
“It takes a lot of help to run a cross country meet and I’m thankful for the parents, teachers, friends, and cadets that helped with the meet,” Montgomery said.
Up first were the middle school-ers. Boys and girls from Meadowview, Pilot Mountain, Central, and Gentry middle schools took off at 4 p.m. and didn’t look back. The unforgiving trail pushed participants to their limit. It was said that the times of the runners would be one or two minutes slower than normal, due to the terrain of the course.
Jair Gonzalez of Meadowview was the first participant to cross the finish line. Gonzalez’s time of 14:38 was 42 seconds faster than that of the next contestant, Jeremiah Hernandez. Hernandez’s 15:20 gave him second place while Ray Pell rounded out the top three, giving Meadowview another participant on the podium.
Despite having two runners in the top three, the collective score of Meadowview’s top five contestants equalled that of Central. Central won the tiebreaker, determined by the place of the team’s sixth-lowest time, giving the Hornets the team victory.
Aylin Soto of Central Middle was the first female to finish the race, with a time of 16:27. Sarah Mauldin was the second girl to cross the finish line and the first to represent Gentry. Abigail Hernandez was the second girl from Central to complete the course and the third girl overall. The two teams alternated the first five places, but Central took the advantage by winning both sixth and seventh place, completing the middle school sweep for Central Middle School.
Despite issues with the starting pistol, the boys’ participants took off in hopes of bringing home both individual and team trophies. Erick Ramirez-Ramos was the first competitor to finish at 20:28, bringing individual gold back to Surry Central. It was nearly 30 seconds before Eli Riggs of North Surry would be the second to finish. Elijah Mitchell of South Stokes earned bronze, and East Surry’s Devin Hill just missed out on making the top three.
Four competitors from South Stokes finished in the top 10 to help earn the Sauras a team victory. Host East Surry tied with North Surry for second place, but won the tiebreaker to put them over the Greyhounds.
Only five seconds separated first and second place in the high school girls’ division. Alma Rodriguez pulled out a victory for North Surry with a time of 25:55 to narrowly defeat Surry Central’s Brooklyn Lester. East Surry’s Courtney Brown finished in third at 26:19.
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