Wednesday, 18 November 2020 19:50

Wallace's PR paces Lady Raiders to second place in first meet

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Junior Maylyn Wallace rounds one of the final turns in Richmond's cross country meet Wednesday. Junior Maylyn Wallace rounds one of the final turns in Richmond's cross country meet Wednesday. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

LAURINBURG — Junior cross country runner Maylyn Wallace had a breakout season last fall, and she picked up right where she left off on Wednesday.

The Richmond Senior High School girls’ cross country team officially kicked off its 2020 season at James L. Morgan Recreation Complex. Behind a new personal record from Wallace, the Lady Raiders captured a second-place finish.

Joining Richmond on the course were Scotland High School and host Purnell Swett High School. The meet was originally scheduled to be run at Luther Britt Park in Lumberton, but was changed earlier this week.

Per the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s COVID-19 guidelines, teams were only allowed seven runners to compete. The top five runners from each team were used to tally the final score, with Scotland winning with 25 points.

The Lady Raiders weren’t far behind, using efforts from Wallace, sophomores Rylie Bohman and Sheccid Heaton, freshman Kayleigh Cloninger and senior Alena Craddock. All finishing in the top 11, Richmond recorded a team score of 38 points.

Wallace would take fourth overall with a time of 22:40, her new personal best on the course. Last season, she took over six minutes off her 3.2-mile race time from beginning to end, and now she’s setting a new standard for herself.

“It’s definitely a great accomplishment,” Wallace said. “I’m really happy about it. I knew I was going to do better this year, but I didn’t think I’d start off this well.

“It was colder than we’re used to, but I think everybody did really, really well,” she added of the team’s efforts.

Bohman and Heaton, both returners from last season, finished inside the top 10. Crossing the finish line with a time of 24:38 was Bohman, good enough for sixth place, while Heaton’s mark of 25:50 put her in eighth place.

Cloninger impressed in her high school debut, edging out several Purnell Swett runners to take ninth overall. She clocked in at 26:11. Rounding out the top five for the Lady Raiders was Craddock, who placed 11th with a time of 24:36.

“It was really exciting to finally get to race today,” Bohman said. “We all had this drive because it was the first meet of the season and we realized we’re back. That really motivated us today to run well for Coach Covington.”

Many fans were on hand for the outdoor event, spread out across the course. Bohman added that having a strong support system helped the Lady Raiders put on a good showing.

“I love when parents and fans are out here cheering us on. It makes us feel more accomplished,” she said. “Even though it was a smaller crowd, it was helpful for all of us.”

Richmond’s final two runners were freshman Gabby Lutz and sophomore Andrea Ellerbe. Lutz finished her first varsity race in a time of 29:47, while Ellerbe rounded out the top seven with a mark of 30:11.

Scotland had the top three runners, with Carson Bowie taking the No. 1 spot in 21:51. Purnell Swett’s leader was Kylie Chavis, who finished fifth (24:02).

“Maylyn had a great race and I was really, really pleased with how she did,” head coach Jessica Covington said. “Rylie was second for us and ran a really good time today. Sheccid also had a great time to help us.”

The Lady Raiders will return to the course next Tuesday, Nov. 24, at Lumberton. The meet will begin at 3:20 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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