KERNERSVILLE — Mount Airy’s Jo Snow constantly thought about her struggles at last year’s Midwest Regional Cross Country Meet in the buildup to this year’s event.
As a freshman, Snow had a successful season but admitted she struggled to deal with the high-profile race and couldn’t finish the regional meet due to what she called “a panic attack.”
The failure only made Snow more motivated to succeed this year, and the Mount Airy sophomore rose to the occasion at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex on Saturday with a silver medal in the Midwest Regional and a time of 20:36.09. Snow finished 17 seconds behind South Davidson’s Hannah Davidson.
“It feels really good, being able to come back and finish the race, but also finish in second,” Snow said. “I was really proud of myself. I actually thought about (last year) a lot. I was always trying to remind myself waht happened because I had to redeem myself. It pushed me to keep going and not give up.”
Saturday’s success comes off the heels of a gold medal at the Northwest Conference regional meet last weekend. Snow completed that meet in 21:06.18, so she cut half a minute off her time this weekend.
Snow was the only member of the Mount Airy girls cross-country team to compete in the regional, and she credits coach Clarence Cropps with her successes this season.
“This has always been my goal, (Cropps) has been such a good coach and he pushes me so hard. I wouldn’t have made it to this day without him,” Snow said.
East Surry junior Ashlyn Nagel also took part in the event and finished the race in 25:34.59. Nagel finished in 63rd place out of the 88 girls who took part in the regional.
Gray Stone Day defeated second-place Bishop McGuinness in the team competition with a final score of 21.
On the boys’ side, six members of the East Surry team made it to Kernersville. Brad Snow was the top Cardinal, posting a time of 20:13.80 and finishing 68th overall. Mark Calderon (20:31.59), Garrett Cannoy (20:46.36), Jayson Moore (20:52.96), Samuel George (20:55.33), Tucker Maggie (21:19.61) and Michael Gravely (21:40.88) followed Snow for the Cardinals.
As a team, East Surry finished in 15th place.
Mount Airy also sent three runners to take part in the boys’ Midwest Regional. Matthew Eads (21:10.95), Jackson Heath (21:31.50) and Griffin Spencer (25:18.20) rounded out the local competitors.
Still, Snow was the only runner from either Mount Airy or East Surry to qualify for the State Championship next Saturday.
2A Midwest Regional
The Surry Central and North Surry boys’ cross-country teams battled all season in the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference, and things didn’t change at the 2A Midwest Regional on Saturday.
The Greyhounds edged the Golden Eagles by 15 points in the boys’ competition for a sixth-place finish while Surry Central finished in seventh.
However, two Golden Eagles qualified for the State Championship meet next Saturday, compared to just one from North Surry. Surry Central’s Daniel Alvarez-Orlachia (17:07.41) finished in seventh place, and his teammate, Elvis Vega (15:59.89), finished 15th.
Other competitors from Surry Central were Tristain Ellard (18:43.83), Blake Woods (20:16.50) and Aldo Landaverde (21:28.41),
Matthew Mayes will represent the Greyhounds next weekend with a time of 17:09.73 and an eighth-place finish. Also running for the Greyhounds at Saturday’s 2A Midwest regional were Eli Riggs (18:37.48), Carson Green (19:22.96), Justin Angel (19:47.96), Chris Smith (20:06.13), Ethan Oakley (20:56.47) and Jose Rubio (22:59.58).
Forbush’s Dakota Mendenhall was the fastest male runner of the day. Mendenhall dominated the competition in the WPAC this season, and he kept his strong performances going to win gold and a time of 16:23.74 at the regional.
On the girls’ side, five local runners competed in the regional, led by the Surry Central duo of Lora McDevitt and Mirian Hernandez.
McDevitt (22:07.51) finished in 22nd place and Hernandez (22:14.56) wasn’t far behind with a 24th place finish. Also representing the Lady Eagles was Marinaa Gonzalez (26:27.00)
North Surry’s two girls in the regional were Alma Rodriguez (27:34.68) and Jaden Gentry (36:47.20).
The fastest girl from the WPAC was West Stokes’ Kaitlyn Stone, who earned silver at 18:38.56.