Cuthbertson’s LaTour Sets Sights On State Title

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At A Glance

Cuthbertson High School

Coach: Kirk Walsh

Between The Lines: Senior Sarah LaTour is one of the top distance runners in the state and she is expected to contend for a state title this fall. … Andrew Kiss and Davis Seik are the top boys’ returnees for the Cavaliers.

There are no days off for Cuthbertson High School girls cross country runner Sarah LaTour.

LaTour is one of the top distance runners in North Carolina and the senior is one of the favorites to win the individual Class 3A State Cross Country Championship this fall after finishing as the runner-up a year ago.

LaTour recently returned from a trip to Ireland but the Cavaliers distance runner didn’t miss a day of training while overseas. LaTour said she is training hard to help Cuthbertson win a team state championship after the Cavaliers finished as the state Class 3A runner-up in 2016.

“Our goal as a team this year is to win state,” LaTour said. “We were pretty close behind state champion Chapel Hill, and they still have a good team. But I think we can get them this year. We have a good team this year and we have really been running strong this summer. I think we have a chance this year.”

Cuthbertson boys and girls cross country coach Kirk Walsh said LaTour’s work ethic is second to none. That work ethic also helps set the tone for the rest of the Cuthbertson girls team, which returns all but one runner from last year’s state runner-up in the team standings.

“She is an awesome student-coach to have on the team,” Walsh said. “I have coached Sarah since she was in the seventh grade when she was first learning how to do this. Her work ethic has not waivered since she was an 11-year-old kid.

“She has always been someone you want front and center because she teaches everyone else on how to carry themselves. You need someone like Sarah to set that example and model that type of behavior.”

LaTour is the favorite in Class 3A this fall as the Cavaliers senior is the top returnee from the 2016 season. LaTour set a personal best at the Class 3A State Cross Country Championships last fall when she finished second in a time of 18:42.87.

That effort capped a solid junior season as LaTour won five of the nine meets she entered. She finished second in two other meets while recording one fifth-place finish. LaTour won the Southern Carolina Conference and Midwest Regional meets heading into the state meet.

LaTour said she is going to take the upcoming season one meet at a time with the hope of peaking when the postseason meets begin.

“I try not to put too much pressure on myself,” LaTour said. “I’m just focusing on my summer training right now. Our team will just take it one meet at a time and we hope to get stronger as the season goes along.”

LaTour finished 36th at the 2015 Class 3A meet and she recorded one win and two second-place finishes her sophomore season.

“(LaTour) is the favorite this year,” Walsh said.

Senior Samantha Hirsch, juniors Morgan Allison and Delaney Patterson and sophomores Gabriella Castro and Annalise Furr also bring varsity experience. Freshmen Madeline Hill, Leah Helms and Kaitlyn St. Hilaire are also expected to contribute.

Walsh also said the boys’ team has the potential to be a state contender as the bulk of last year’s team that finished 10th at state returns. Senior Andrew Kiss and sophomore Davis Seik are the top two returnees. Paris Wortham, Max Walker, Daniel Chavez and Caleb Sluiter all ran at the state meet last season.

Freshmen Shaun Raughley, Evan Zotti and William Walsh are also expected to contribute.

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at