Topsail boys, Laney girls capture cross-country meet at Hugh McRae Park is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

As area cross-country runners start to gear up for the New Hanover County Championships, which is one week away, local teams had a chance to test the course at Hugh McRae Park on Thursday after the Laney meet was moved because of wet conditions.

Eight different schools from across the area had a chance to run what’s coined as the fastest track in Wilmington as the Topsail boys and Laney girls captured victories in the final gear-up before the championship season gets underway.

Trent Pyrtle. Photos by Joe Catenacci
Trent Pyrtle. Photos by Joe Catenacci

The Pirates put in a dominating performance with seven of the top 10 finishers wearing the black and gold. Trent Pyrtle was the first to cross the finish line at 17:27:10, while Domenick Dibiase and Jackson Moore each represented Topsail by running the 3.1 mile course in under 18 minutes. Ashley’s Dakota Spurley was the only other runner to come in under the 18 minute mark to place fourth. Aidan Flynn rounded out the top five out of New Hanover High School.

Connor McEarlen was the top runner from Coastal Christian with a time of 19:25:16. Destin Hoffman placed 31st for Laney and Alex Nadaud finished at 19:39:32 for Cape Fear Academy.

In the girls meet, Sara Pellizzari got back to her winning ways for Hoggard and edged Katherine Flynn (New Hanover) by a little over three seconds to capture first at 20:34:13. Pellizzari is the defending county champion and looks to carry her performance over into next week’s race.

The Laney girls took the team title on Thursday with four runners in the top 10. Natalie Tyner continued a strong season with a third-place finish, while Cameron Smithwick, Breanna Bakker and Haley Smithwick closed out a dominating win for the Bucs.

Seven different schools had competitors in the top 10 as Lucy Marcum finished fifth for Topsail in just under 22 minutes. Julia Bodreau (Ashley) was eighth, Lilli Johnson (Hoggard) ninth and Summer Beesly (Cape Fear Academ) placed 10th.

Boys meet

No. 1 Trent Pyrtle, Topsail, 17:27.10

No. 2 Domenick Dibiase, Topsail, 17:36.02

No. 3 Jackson Moore, Topsail, 17:42.93

No. 4 Dakota Spurley, Ashley

No. 5 Aidan Flynn, New Hanover, 18:20.32

No. 6 Cohl Sudduth, Hoggard, 18:26.56

No. 7 Matt Estrada, Topsail, 18:50.88

No. 8 Noah Dansby, Topsail, 18:51.64

No. 9 Eddie Wolfard, Topsail, 18:51.90

No. 10 Blake Schieffer, Topsail, 18:55.66

Team results

No.1 Topsail, 21; No.2 Hoggard, 72; No. 3 Ashley, 72; No. 4 New Hanover, 135; No. 5 Coastal Christian, 143; No. 6 Laney, 153; No. 7 Whiteville, 187; No. 8 Cape Fear Academy, 195


Girls meet

No.1 Sara Pellizzari, Hoggard, 20:34.13

No. 2 Katherine Flynn, New Hanover, 20:37.70

No. 3 Natalie Tyner, Laney, 21:15.77

No. 4 Cameron Smithwick, Laney, 21:16.46

No. 5 Lucy Marcum, Topsail, 21:28.25

No. 6 Breanna Bakker, Laney, 21:33.72

No. 7 Haley Smithwick, Laney, 21:34.83

No. 8 Julia Boudreau, Ashley, 21:42.95

No. 9 Lilli Johnson, Hoggard, 21:51.46

No. 10 Summer Beesly, Cape Fear Academy, 21:54.40

Team results No. 1 Laney, 38; No. 2 Hoggard, 74; No. 3 Topsail, 98; No. 4 Ashley, 103; No. 5 Cape Fear Academy, 109; No. 6 Coastal Christian, 138; No. 7 New Hanover, 176; No. 8 Whiteville, 208