Tyner takes seventh at state meet; area cross-country teams compete in final race of the season

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KERNERSVILLE — The Wilmington area had several representatives at this year’s North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Cross-Country Championships held on Saturday at Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville.

The Laney girls cross-country team won the county and conference championship this season.
The Laney girls cross-country team won the county and conference championship this season.

Sophomore Natalie Tyner finished a remarkable fall with a seventh-place finish in the 4A girls race. The standout from Laney High School paced the Bucs with a 18:31.92 mark, a little more than one minute behind 4A winner, Nevada Mareno (17:27.62) of Leesville Road.

Mareno’s time set a new 4A women’s course record, bettering her own time from last year of 17:46.50 as back-to-back individual winner. 

Cardinal Gibbons took home top team honors for the second year in a row at the 4A level after moving up from 3A. The Crusader women have won seven straight cross country championships between the 3A and 4A level. The Crusaders placed four runners in the meet’s top 10, as Sloan Walter, Katharine Priu and Annie Pierce finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

Tyner’s best mark this season was 17:58 earlier this year. Laney took ninth place as a team. Haley Smithwick finished her high school career 34th of the 129 runners at 19:45.01.

Erik Dahlgren, left, and Jamie Witmer were the top two area finishers.
Erik Dahlgren, left, and Jamie Witmer were the top two area finishers.

The top local performer of the day in the 4A boys race was Hoggard junior Erik Dahlgren. He finished 19th of the 139 runners in the field, finishing the 3.1 imile race in 16:10.60. The Vikings were 11th overall out of the 16 qualifying teams. Jamie Witmer ended in the top 50 at 16:40.47.

Raleigh-Broughton got five finishers in the top 20 of the team competition to edge Green Hope for first by a single point. The Capitals finished with the team title and 67 points, with an average finish time of 16:12.42. Green Hope finished a tight second with 68 team points and an average team time of 16:11.67. 

Connor Lane from Cardinal Gibbons dusted the course 4A classification record with a time of 15:12.57. His finish eclipsed last year’s mark of 15:44.62 set by Broughton’s Jeremy Brown. 

Top local performers

Click here for complete results from Saturday’s 4A NCHSAA Championship

4A girls

  • No. 1 Nevada Mareno, Leesville Road, 17:27.62
  • No.7 Natalie Tyner, Laney, 18:31.92
  • No. 34 Haley Smithwick, Laney, 19:45.01
  • No. 61 Cameron Smithwick, Laney, 20:21.41
  • No. 64 Ryleigh McIntyre, Ashley, 20:25.29
  • No. 73 Bella Idol, New Hanover, 20:39.67
  • No. 78 Erin Coon, Laney, 20:49.14

4A boys

  • No. 1 Connor Lane, Cardinal Gibbons, 15:12.57
  • No. 16 Erik Dahlgren, Hoggard, 16:10.60
  • No. 45 Jamie Witmer, Hoggard, 16:40.47
  • No. 87 Connor Riggs, Laney, 17:22.86
  • No. 91 Aidan Flynn, New Hanover, 17:23.95
  • No. 94 Patrick Shields, Laney, 17:26.83