Home Local Sports Lady Raiders, Raiders place 2nd and 3rd in final regular-season meet

Lady Raiders, Raiders place 2nd and 3rd in final regular-season meet

Senior Sheccid Heaton (foreground) was one of six Lady Raiders to set a new PR. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

SOUTHERN PINES — Richmond’s boys’ and girls’ cross country teams competed in their final regular-season meet on Tuesday.

Running at Pinecrest High School, the Lady Raiders secured second place and the Raiders took third place. Also racing were Pinecrest and Hoke County.

The Patriots and Lady Patriots swept their home course, with each team earning 17 points. Lauren Wimberly (20:50.35) and Zack Gilbertson (17:23.70) won their respective races.

Six of the nine Lady Raider runners set new personal records during the 3.2-mile race, helping land the team in second with 52 points.

The Raiders (89 points) also saw three of their six runners cross the finish line with a PR, with another runner posting his fastest time this season.

Mendez, Heaton set tone for Lady Raiders

Breaking up a sea of Pinecrest green, sophomore Mariana Mendez placed fourth overall on Tuesday with a new PR of 22:22.80. That broke her previous best time set at Southern Lee earlier this season by 23 seconds.

Pinecrest earned seven of the top eight spots, and it was senior Sheccid Heaton who was the next Lady Raider to cross the finish line. She clocked in a 24:51.70, also a new PR 33 seconds faster, taking ninth place. 

Sophomores Ella Munn (24:55.80) and Alivia Webb (25:08.10) were the next two to come in, earning 12 and 13 points, respectively. Webb’s mark was another PR for the team, seeing her shave an impressive 1:39 off her best time set during her freshman season.

Freshman Presley Dawkins became the fifth and final Lady Raider to register points, claiming 14th place with a new PR of 26:36.70. Improving each race this fall, Dawkins made a statement run by knocking 2:20 off her old record.

Also running for the Lady Raiders to help offset Hoke County’s runners were junior Kaleigh Cloninger (27:02.70), senior Jenifer Gomez (27:28.40), sophomore Nelly Cadena (29:53.10) and freshman Ella Parker (43:36.00).

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Cadena and Gomez’s times were new personal records. Hoke County’s team finished third with 77 points.

Richmond boys face tough Patriot, Buck runners

Facing two of the stronger teams in the conference, the Raiders fell behind Pinecrest (17 points) and Hoke County (44 points).

Richmond’s first runner to cross the line for points was senior Christian Sanchez, who earned 13th overall with a time of 21:06.40. That time was his second fastest finish this season.

Fellow senior Kodie Simmons eclipsed his personal best time after getting close to it the last several meets. Setting a new PR of 21:51.20, Simmons placed 16th overall. That time was his best career run by 9 seconds, which was set during his junior year.

The next two Raiders to cross the finish line also set new PRs, starting with freshman D.J. Gainey in 19th place, followed by senior Namaan Perakis in 20th place.Gainey’s time was 3 seconds faster and Perakis took 25 seconds off his previous best run.

Freshman Jake Richardson was on their heels in 21st place (24:37.50) and junior Toby McInnis rounded out the Raiders’ efforts with a season-best time of 25:08.80 in 22nd place. McInnis cleared his best time this fall by an impressive 1:26.

Richmond’s teams will prepare for the Sandhills Athletic Conference championship meet, which is set for Tuesday, Oct. 18. That race will determine All-Conference and regional qualifiers.

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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.