West girls celebrate CCC cross country title

SALISBURY | West Davidson has had its share of success in cross country spanning the years but the Green Dragon girls had never before won a conference championship.

Until now.

Led by overall winner Callie Wynn, who toured the Dan Nicholas Park course in 19:47.2, West finished with 24 points, followed by East Davidson (46), Salisbury (76) and Thomasville (106).

“The girls put in a lot of hard work over the summer months to get ready for this season,” said West coach Lynn Ludwig. “Their first goal was to win the county meet. They were excited to have an opportunity to run against all of the other schools in the county. ... The girls won every regular season conference meet. I don’t think we ran more than one or two meets with the entire top seven girls. Callie Wynn, Laura Payne, and Anna Rose Sink all missed at least one meet and we still won.”

Six other Dragons were in the top 12. Payne was third, Patience Hunt was fifth, Casey Crisp was sixth, Sink was ninth, Jasmine Benitez was 10th and Jordan Hunt was 12th. Hunt’s finish was especially savored.

“I had talked to Jordan Hunt, a senior, about her running her best race to join the rest of the girls in the top 12,” Ludwig said. “When she crossed the finish line I thought she was 13th. I had to see her card to believe it. That’s when the celebration started.”

Ariel Grimsley turned in a fourth-place finish for East while Jordan Harrison was seventh and Whitney Manns eighth.

Thomasville’s Charity Oliver took 11th place.

Salisbury won the boys’ meet with 38 points, followed by West (52), East (74), North Rowan (111), Lexington (114) and Thomasville (135).

Philip Simons of Salisbury was the meet winner in a time of 17:57.9.

Tyler Oldaker of East was second and Austin Campbell was third.

Jonathon Makepeace paced West with a seventh-place finish. Logan Herman was eighth and Caleb Bauguess ninth.

Thomasville’s Enrique Solis took 10th place and Lexington’s Basilio Armando was 11th.

“I know the boys were disappointed by their second-place finish but they all ran some of their best times of the season,” Ludwig said. “We had three runners (Logan Herman, Jonathon Makepeace, and Caleb Bauguess) to finish in the top 12 and Obediah Fire finished 13th. I think they started too fast and when I saw their time at the first mile I knew they were in trouble. Their effort was great but they came up short in the end against Salisbury.”

And now it’s on to the 2-A Midwest Regional on Oct. 26 in Kernersville.

“We feel good about the regional meet,” Ludwig said. “Last year we finished 3rd at the regional meet and this year we believe we can improve that. ... the boys’ new goal is to qualify as a team for the state meet. That has never happened for the boys and they want to make it happen.”