Fort Mill, NaFo runners in top 3

mbanks@comporium.netOctober 21, 2013 

Fort Mill’s Clay Pratt nears the finish line during the York County cross-country championship at Northwestern High School.

MAC BANKS - SPECIAL TO THE FORT MILL TIMES — Mac Banks - Special to the Fort Mill Times

— The Fort Mill girls’ and the Nation Ford boys’ cross-country teams finished in the top three at the York County Cross-Country Championships Saturday.

Led by Melissa Smith in the girls’ race with a sixth place finish at 20:17, Fort Mill’s Lady Jackets beat Northwestern, Clover, Nation Ford and York for third, but finished behind South Pointe, which won the girls’ event, and second-place Rock Hill.

South Pointe edged Rock Hill by just one point as the Stallions posted three top-five runners, while Rock Hill posted one top-five and one top-10 runner.

Fort Mill had two runners in the top 10 in Smith and Jessica Brugh, who finished ninth in 20:57.

Following Smith and Brugh fort the Lady Jackets was Meagan Allen at 21:04 in 11th and Ania Rzepka in 12th at 21:14. Anne Marie Rajkowski rounded out the top five for Fort Mill at 22:21 with a 26th place finish.

For the Lady Falcons, a sixth-place finish was led by Addy Rogers, who was Nation Ford’s top finisher with a 24th place finish in 22:17. She was followed by Abigail Audette at 36th in 23:33 and Jordan Wright in 38th at 23:59.

Anna Hardymon and Emily Wyndham finished 40th and 41st, respectively, at 24:34 and 24:38.

Jackets cross-country head coach Terrence Herrington said both the girls’ and boys’ team has to step things up. Herrington also said the girls exceeded expectations with a third place finish, but more work needed to be done.

“Both the boys and girls have to improve another notch to make to state (in November),” he said.

In the boys’ race, Fort Mill’s Clay Pratt led the way for the Jackets and was the top local finisher at sixth with a 16:49. That time beat out Nation Ford’s Will Manning by just two seconds. Manning came in seventh.

Nation Ford finished second behind Rock Hill by 51 points. Manning’s top 10 was the only one for the Falcons, while the Bearcats posted three in the top 10.

Behind Manning was Luke Christison, who finished 12th for Nation Ford in 17:07 and Landon Crook, who finished 21st at 17:34. The Falcons’ Ben Hardymon crossed the finish line in 22nd, with a nearly identical time trailing Crook by just 0.51 seconds. Nation Ford’s Cleve Fisher finished 24th at 17:42 to round out the scoring for the Falcons.

“We knew second would be a good finish for us,” said Nation Ford head coach Richard Cooney. “It is a good improvement from where we started the season. We have gotten to a place where state is a possibility for then team.”

For the Fort Mill boys, trailing Pratt was David Trotter with an 18th place finish in 17:22. Then came Grant Hendrickson in 20th at 17:32. Fort Mill’s Jeremy Ricks finished 26th at 17:48 and Cameron Smith finished 32nd at 18:16 to round out the scoring for Fort Mill.

The region meet will be held this week at Northwestern.

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