Home Local Sports Richmond XC season closes at 4A Mideast regionals

Richmond XC season closes at 4A Mideast regionals

Left to right: Coach Morgan Tedder, Toby McInnis, Alivia Webb, Dayana Franco, Samantha Barnes, Mariana Mendez, Zaviar Lowry and coach Ashleigh Buie. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

CARY — One final competition of the season awaited the Richmond Senior High School cross country teams on Saturday.

The Raiders and Lady Raiders ran in the NCHSAA 4A Mideast regional meet at WakeMed Soccer Park.

The 5000-meter, or 3.2 mile race, featured two dozen programs and 141 male runners and 133 female runners.

Representing Richmond were two Raiders — seniors Zaviar Lowry and Toby McInnis — and four Lady Raiders — juniors Mariana Mendez and Alivia Webb, sophomore Samantha Barnes and freshman Dayana Franco.

Out of the starting line, runners began the race down an incline that moved into a wooded section filled with rolling hills. Returning back toward the starting point, runners climbed steadily inclining hill.

The race featured two laps around the course with the finish line at the top of the big hill.

“What a wonderful experience this was for our runners,” co-head coach Ashleigh Buie said. “For many of them, they were able to return to regionals and compete against a really big field made up of some the best runners in the state. And for a couple it was their first time at regionals.

“We’re a smaller program but the effort and grit by our kids makes us so proud,” she added. “It takes a lot of courage to come out here and do what they do, and we’ve been impressed all season.”

In the boys’ race, Lowry finished in 108th place with a time of 19:15.00, his third best time of the season. McInnis, who notched his second fastest race time in his final season, clocked in at 24:52.14 (138th place).

Winning the individual 4A Mideast regional championship was Cary High School’s Luke Liming (15:21.58). The team championship went to Chapel Hill High School (90 points), which edged Jordan High School (106 points).

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The Lady Raiders were spearheaded by Mendez, who placed 76th overall in the girls’ race with a time of 22:18.99. That was her third fastest performance this season.

Barnes was next to cross the finish line in 108th place (25:08.62), followed by Franco (25:44.65, 111th place). It was Franco’s second best time this fall and Barnes tied her third fastest mark.

Rounding out Richmond’s efforts was Webb, who placed 116th with a final time of 26:39.57. Having improved in each of the previous three races, Webb’s time was her fourth best during her junior campaign.

Fellow Sandhills Athletic Conference runner Alessia Potts from Pinecrest High School was the girls’  individual 4A Mideast regional champion. The freshman finished in 17:55.19, more than 30 seconds ahead of the second-place runner.

Panther Creek High School’s 55 points secured the team 4A Mideast regional championship, followed by Green Level High School (67 points).

Richmond’s season came to an end, as neither team qualified for the state championship (top five) or had an individual qualifier.

The good news, Buie concluded, is that the majority of the program’s runners, some of whom did not participate on Saturday, will return next season.

PHOTOS: To view more than 80 photos from Saturday’s regional race, click here.