Hill, LaTour Lead Cuthbertson to regional X/C championship

The Cuthbertson High girls cross country team.

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Class 3A Midwest Regional Cross Country Meet

At A Glance

Girls’ Team Champion: Cuthbertson High

Boys’ Team Champion: Mount Tabor

Girls’ Individual Champion: Madeline Hill, Cuthbertson High

Boys’ Individual Champion: Cameron Ponder, Mount Tabor

The roles were reversed for the Cuthbertson High girls cross country team but the results were the same — another first-place finish.

Freshman Madeline Hill won the Class 3A Midwest Regional Cross Country Meet Saturday, Oct. 28 and teammate and senior Sarah LaTour finished in second place as the Cavaliers edged Weddington 45-50 to win the team championship at the McAlpine Greenway Course in Charlotte.

“It was a fantastic day and an exciting day for the girls,” said Cuthbertson High cross country coach Kirk Walsh.

Cuthbertson won the Southern Carolina Conference Cross Meet last month, also edging Weddington, as LaTour finished in first while Hill crossed in second place.

But the roles were reversed at the regional meet.

Hill and LaTour broke from the pack and ran side-by-side for much of the race. Hill had a 10-meter lead late in the race and Walsh said he expected to see LaTour’s closing kick and close the gap and possibly pass her teammate at the finish.

But Hill closed strong and finished with a winning time of 18:23.85, which was her first victory at the high school level. LaTour crossed in second place nine seconds later in 18:32.03.

“Madeline and Sarah were pretty much up front the whole race and they were on their own,” Walsh said. “I think the fact that it was a Cuthbertson jersey in front of her (LaTour), and I am not saying that Madeline wouldn’t have won anyway, but I think Sarah would have had a different response if a different jersey was in front of her at the end of the race. She (LaTour) said after the race, ‘As long as it was Cuthbertson, I don’t care.’

“I think this will be the first of many victories for Madeline. It was a good day for Madeline and it was a good day for the Cavs.”

Sophomore Gabriella Castro finished in 11th place for Cuthbertson while freshman Kaitlyn St. Hilaire (19:43..86) and Tori Bridgeforth (19:54.79) rounded out the Cavaliers’ scoring by finishing in 15th and 16th place, respectively.

Weddington placed three runners in the top 10 with sophomore Anna Brown finishing in sixth place in a time of 19:10.56. Nico Brown (19:25.50) finished in ninth place for the Warriors while teammate Sydney Burke crossed in 10th place (19:26.57).

Parkwood senior Anna Bristle finished fourth overall in a time of 18:56.98 to qualify for the state cross country meet.

In the boys’ race at the Class 3A Midwest Regional, Mount Tabor edged Weddington 48-53 to win the team title. Cuthbertson, which had six of seven runners run personal bests, finished in third place with 96 points.

Weddington junior Kyle Durham was the first of three Warriors to finish in the top 10 with a fifth-place finish in a time of 16:01.88. Jackson O’Hara crossed in sixth place in a time of 16:07.75 for Weddington while teammate Will Mazur finished in seventh place in a time of 16:09.43.

Andrew Kiss was the first Cuthbertson boys’ runner to finish with a 12-place time of 16:23.26. Cavaliers’ sophomore Davis Seik finished in 13th-place in a time of 16:24.93.

Marvin Ridge competed in the Class 3A West Regional and the Mavericks’ Kaitlyn Cole finished in the top 10 in the girls’ race with a time of 20:04.60.

The Cuthbertson, Marvin Ridge and Weddington boys and girls cross country teams will run at the Class 3A State Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Kernersville.

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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 ripig1979@yahoo.com.