ROCK HILL --
For the second straight week, the Fort Mill boys’ squad put on a dominant show at Northwestern High School, this time winning the Region III-AAAA cross-country title.
Fort Mill beat Northwestern 21-45 to win the title after having its top five runners finish in the top 10.
The Jackets were led by Lucas Stalnaker, who won the event in 16:11. He was followed by Christian Ruppe at 16:22 in second place.
Northwestern’s top runner, Mason Lenox, finished third at 16:29, followed by South Pointe’s Loftin Bridges at 16:42 in fourth.
Fort Mill’s Matthew Case rounded out the top five in 16:44, followed by teammates Cameron Ruppe in 16:45 and Jeremy Ricks in 16:47.
“I knew they were going to be tough to beat,” said Fort Mill head coach Marc Pyrc. “We had some other guys step up. Our guys should be the top qualifier in Upper State.”
The Nation Ford boys’ team finished sixth in the meet. Their highest finisher was Forrest Sharp in 18th with a time of 17:41.
In the girls’ race, South Pointe’s Victoria Burdette won the event in 19:39, followed by Rock Hill’s Alex Moseley.
Fort Mill finished in fourth in the girls’ race with a score of 88.
The Lady Jackets’ highest finisher was Emily Lyons in eighth place with a time of 20:40.
Behind Lyons was Ania Rzepka in 12th in 20:48 and Melissa Smith in 15th at 21:16. The Lady Jackets’ Meagan Allen was just five seconds behind Smith finishing 16th at 21:21.
Fort Mill’s fifth runner, Allyssa Resech, came in 37th at 22:51.
Nation Ford’s girls also finished sixth with Polly Goss coming in 21st at 21:42.
Head coach Caitlyn Bagwell said she is just trying to keep things simple for her runners heading into next week’s Upper State qualifier.
“We are taking it a day at a time and concentrating on the runners running their fastest times,” she said.
The Upper State qualifier will be hosted by Dorman High School in Spartanburg next Saturday. The top eight schools from the Upper State qualifier will move on to the State Championship meet in Columbia Nov. 3.