By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net
BOONE, N.C. — West Henderson sophomore Noelle Houlihan crossed the finish line first (19:51) in the women’s varsity division of the High Country Cross Country Classic on Sept. 24, but Lexington (S.C.), led by 8th grader Kendra Miles’ second place finish (20:02), captured team honors with all five of its scoring athletes finishing in the top 15 of the 84 athletes competing.
Host Watauga’s Gwendolyn Anderson (11th, 20:55) led a quintet of Pioneer athletes all finishing in the top 25 to secure third place in the team results 11 squads competing on the hilly course. The other Pioneer women contributing to the team’s finish included Brianna Anderson (13th, 21:14), Andriana Rink, (17th, 21:55), Janie Beach-Verhay (19th, 22:00), and Sydney Cate Townsend (24th, 22:17).
In the junior varsity women’s division, Reagan completed a 1-2-3 sweep in taking four of the top eight finishing positions before Science Hill came across in 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th.
A pair of Reagan freshmen harriers, Keira Bach (23:24) and Slayde Schott (23:52) led the field.
Watauga freshman Patricia Bailey Collins led the Pioneers, finishing 9th, with senior Caroline Beach-Verhay close behind in 11th. Watauga junior Vivi Rushing completed the 5,000 meter course in 14th.
WOMEN’S VARSITY, TOP 10 INDIVIDUAL
- Noelle Houlihan, Soph., West Henderson, 19:51
- Kendra Miles, 8th, Lexington, S.C., 20:02
- Lydia Metz, Soph., Lexington, S.C., 20:22
- Kate Henderson , Soph., Reagan, 20:27
- Breanna Budzinski, Jr., West Henderson, 20:32
- Lara O’Neal, Sr., Science Hill, 20:36
- Laurel Walls, Soph., Lexington, S.C., 20:41
- Lauren Sochia, Sr., West Henderson, 20:51
- Ava Kanitkar, Soph., Lexington, S.C., 20:53
- Sarah Fassinger, Soph., Reagan, 20:54
WOMEN’S VARSITY TEAM SCORES
- Lexington, S.C. – 35
- West Henderson – 48
- Watauga – 83
- Reagan – 89
- Science Hill – 96
- Jesse Carson – 201
- Avery County – 215
- East Mecklenburg – 222
- Liberty Prep Christian Academy – 254
- Providence Academy – 272
- Surry Home Educators – 313