By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net
BOONE, N.C. — Perfect weather for long distance running marked the Firetower Project cross country races at Appalachian State’s State Farm Intramural Fields and the Don Kennedy Trails.
The men’s and women’s high school divisions were dominated by Watauga and West Henderson harriers. Brianna and Gwendolyn Anderson swept the first two spots in the women’s division (19:38.91 and 19:43.70, respectively), with eight Pioneers finishing in the top 15. West Henderson countered with six athletes in the top 15, among the 51 runners from seven schools.
Other top finishers for the Pioneer women included Savannah Duval (Sr., 5th), Rachel Cathey (Jr., 7th), Janie Beach-Verhay (Fr., 10th), Andriana Rink (Sr., 11th), Maddie Bollman (Soph., 14th), and Sydney Cate Townsend (Fr., 15th).
In the men’s division, Watauga’s Will Bradbury finished second (16:43.95) behind West Henderson’s Hudson Rice in first (16:28.49). West Henderson took four of the top six spots, while the Pioneers placed seven in the top 16.
Bradbury, a sophomore, was followed by fellow Pioneers Collin Anderson (Jr.) in eighth, Roman Sibaja (Jr.) in ninth, Elliott Taft (Fr.) in 11th, Sam Nixon (Jr.) in 14th, Jonah Norris (Soph.) in 15th and Sam Rex (Soph.) in 16th. Sixty-seven athletes competed in the high school men’s division, from seven schools.