Home Local Sports Lady Raiders 1st, Raiders 2nd at Dragon Park

Lady Raiders 1st, Raiders 2nd at Dragon Park

Junior Mariana Mendez nears the finish line during her win at Tuesday's SAC meet. (Contributed by Tami Davis McInnis)

LAURINBURG — The times and team scores for Richmond Senior High School’s boys’ and girls’ cross country teams continued to get better on Tuesday.

Competing in their third Sandhills Athletic Conference meet of the season at Dragon Park, the Lady Raiders secured their second win of the season.

The Raiders, who also ran the 3.2-miler against host Scotland High School and Hoke County High School, placed second overall, their best finish so far.

Also securing her second first-place finish of the season was junior Mariana Mendez, while senior Zaviar Lowry led the Raiders with his second third-place mark.

The Lady Raiders had all five of their point-qualifying runners finish in the top 10 spots, clinching the win with 31 points. Hoke County (37 points) and Scotland (60 points) followed.

In the boys’ race, Hoke County won with 18 points. The Raiders’ 44 points took second, while Scotland was one runner shy of earning points.

Mendez, Lady Raiders win second meet

Two Lady Raiders set new personal record times on Tuesday, while four others ran their fastest time yet this season.

Mendez crossed the finish line first overall with a mark of 22:18, which was four seconds slower than her race time last week.

Sophomore Samanth Barnes, juniors Ella Munn and Alivia Webb and freshman Dayana Franco rounded out the team’s scorers. Barnes placed fourth overall with a time of 24:35, seven seconds behind her pace from a week ago.

Munn (7th place) and Webb (9th place) were part of the latter group that showed improvement. Munn’s time of 24:55 was 12 seconds faster, while Webb took an impressive 1:35 off her race time (25:15).

Franco, who continued to improve during her freshman campaign, registered a final time of 25:24. That was a new PR for her, 26 seconds faster than her week-one time.


Senior Kaleigh Cloninger (27:56) and junior Quanna Bostic (30:19) placed 12th and 15th, respectively. Bostic’s time was also a new PR, improving by 1:16.

Junior Nelly Cadena (30:24, -36 seconds) and freshman Madyson Cloninger (33:19, -20 seconds) also shaved time. Senior Ashley Cannas ended the day with a time of 33:48.

All nine Raiders improve times

Left to right: Angel Cristobal, Toby McInnis and Cain Hunsucker helped the Raiders earn second place. (Contributed by Tami Davis McInnis)

Taking advantage of all nine runners posting faster times, the Raiders also had five new personal records set on Tuesday.

For the second straight week, Lowry improved his time while also continuing to be the Raiders’ No. 1 runner. At Dragon Park, Lowry ran a new PR of 18:56, which was eight seconds faster.

Sophomores Cameron Gladden, Jake Richardson and Angel Cristobal, along with senior Cain Hunsucker, were the other four Raiders to collect points. 

Gladden was ninth overall (8 points) with a PR of 21:27, a full 50 seconds faster than his run two weeks ago. Richardson took a second off (23:38), was 14th overall and snagged 10 points.

Cristobal’s time of 23:49 was also a PR, which saw him erase 45 seconds off his previous best mark. He was 15th overall (11 points). Hunsucker ran his fastest time this fall (26:29), which was 52 seconds better and put him in 18th place (15 points).

Also cutting 52 seconds off his time was senior Toby McInis, who was 19th (26:31). Sophomore Luke Gilliam (27:18, -33 seconds) and junior Jaxon Chavis (28:54, -1:14) took 20th and 22nd, respectively, and each had a new PR.

Richmond’s cross country teams will host a home meet next Tuesday at Hinson Lake. The other schools running will be Pinecrest and Scotland, with the first race firing off at 5 p.m.

Previous articleDoubleheader ends in two losses against Union Pines
Next articleOBITUARY: Arnold Locklear
Kyle Pillar is a 22-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on X @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.