Home Local Sports Lady Raiders 1st, Raiders tie for 2nd at Hinson Lake meet

Lady Raiders 1st, Raiders tie for 2nd at Hinson Lake meet

Members of the Lady Raider cross country team take off at the start of Tuesday's 3.2-mile race at Hinson Lake. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — The familiar outer loop of Hinson Lake proved to be a benefit to the Richmond Senior High School cross country teams on Tuesday.

Running in their second meet of the fall, and their first on their home course, the Lady Raiders won their first competition of the season.

In the boys’ race, the Raiders finished tied for second out of the four teams competing. Running in both races were Hoke County, Lee County and Southern Lee high schools.

Four Lady Raiders and three Raiders set new personal record times during Tuesday’s 3.2-mile race, with several more taking time off their marks from last week.

“We were excited to see marked improvement from all of our runners’ times since our last meet,” coach Morgan Tedder said. “Sheccid Heaton cut over three minutes from her time, Alivia Webb took almost two minutes off and Nelly Cadena shaved off four minutes.

“The boys also had big improvements as well, with D.J. Gainey and Kodie Simmons both taking big chunks off their final times.”

Mendez PRs, takes first in girls’ race

Sophomore Mariana Mendez set a new PR and won Tuesday’s SAC meet at Hinson Lake. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Sophomore Mariana Mendez led the pack of 25 female runners at the one-mile mark and held on to cross the finish line in first place. Her time of 24:54 was a new personal record and she took 2:04 off her time from a week ago.

Pacing the race, Mendez finished 1:37 ahead of second-place finisher Sarai Perez of Hoke County (26:31). Mendez’s first-place mark earned the team one point and was one of five Lady Raiders to cross the line in the top 10.

Senior Sheccid Heaton (fourth place), junior Kaleigh Cloninger (sixth place), senior Jenifer Gomez (eighth place) and sophomore Alivia Webb (10th place) secured the final points for the team.

Heaton’s time of 28:10 was a new PR and was over three minutes faster than her race last week. Cloninger (28:46) shaved 38 seconds between races and Gomez’s final time of 29:56 was a new personal best for the first-year runner.

Webb knocked off 1:55 in the home race, while freshman Presley Dawkins (11th, 32:36) and sophomore Nelly Cadena (18th, 34:49) both contributed to offsetting other runners.

Freshmen Ella Gibson (40:12) and Ella Parker (46:29) also ran for Richmond. 

Hoke County took second place with 35 points, Southern Lee was third with 69 points and Lee County didn’t have enough runners to qualify.


Raiders tie for 2nd place in home meet

Senior Kodie Simmons, who led the Raiders and finished 6th overall, nears the final stretch of Tuesday’s race at Hinson Lake. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

A total of seven runners represented the Raiders, who finished the race with 60 points, drawing even with Lee County.

Hoke County eased its way to a win, collecting 17 points and had six runners finish in the top 10. Southern Lee didn’t qualify for the team competition.

Senior Kodie Simmons was the first Richmond runner to cross the finish line in sixth place, clocking in at 22:50. That mark was 1:51 faster than last week’s race at Union Pines and just 50 seconds from his personal record.

Fellow senior Christian Sanchez took 13th overall (24:34) for 12 more points, finishing eight seconds faster between meets.

Freshman D.J. Gainey, senior Naaman Perakis and freshman Jake Richardson placed 15th through 17th overall, respectively. All three impressed with new personal best times.

Gainey ran the race in 26:03, bettering his race time by 2:36. Perakis (26:09) took off 1:23 and Richardson hustled in with a mark of 26:37, bettering his time by 63 seconds.

Juniors Cain Hunsucker and Toby McInnis rounded out Richmond’s effort, finishing back-to-back in 22nd and 23rd place. Hunsucker recorded a time of 30:15 and McInnis was on his heels with a mark of 30:34.

The Raiders and Lady Raiders will run in their third meet of the regular season next Tuesday at Southern Lee. Also competing will be Hoke County and Lee County, with races set to begin at 5 p.m.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.