A trio of ninth graders took the top three spots in the boys Region VI-AAAA cross-country meet at Freedom Florence Recreation Center, but Socastee’s depth allowed them to take the region title after winning a tiebreaker over Carolina Forest (51-51).
Shane Mooney of Conway set the course record with a winning time of 16:43, followed by Carolina Forest’s Michael Pieterse and Sumter’s Brandon Poston, but Socastee ran their way into a tie that was eventually broken by eighth grader Ward Wilson’s 20th place (19:49) finish.
“With his work ethic and the time that he put in going all the way back to the summer if you had told me back then that we were going to be in that position and that Ward was going to be the deciding factor, I would’ve put everything on him,” said Braves coach Robb Urbaniak.
The Braves didn’t land a runner in the top four, but they were led by the 5-7 finishes of Keahi Mendoza, Stephen Ciaramitaro and Elijah Lawson, respectively, and then Nick Koonce in ninth. Urbaniak said the depth is something they’ve preached to the team as important, and it’s something he’s happy to see finally come together at the right time.
“We really talk a lot with them because we know we don’t have that elite runner like the other schools, so we sort of have to make up for that with the depth of our program,” he said, noting that they weren’t sure what to expect in moving back up to AAAA after winning the past three region titles at AAA. “Any time anybody wants to step up and move into one of those varsity spots, it’s available for them, all they have to do is work for it.”
On the girls side it was a similar story. Lisa Pieterse of Carolina Forest led the field, followed by Conway’s Kenia Smith – whose 19:35 set a school record the ninth grader had already made her own earlier in the year – and Alyssa Waibel. Then the Braves pack followed en route to a 22-point win over Conway. Socastee runners finished 4th, then 6-9. Urbaniak said the way his teams train together is a big key to their success.
“A lot of our girls are not afraid to get up and compete with those boys,” he said. “We tell them they need to start hunting as a pack, and that's what they did tonight.”
: Socastee 51, Carolina Forest 51, Conway 78
: 1. Shane Moody, Conway, 16:43; 2. Michael Pieterse, Carolina Forest, 16:48; 3. Brandon Poston, Sumter, 16:59; 4. Dominique Daniels, South Florence, 18:03; 5. Keahi Mendoza, Socastee, 18:05; 6. Stephen Ciaramitaro, Socastee, 18:05; 7. Elijah Lawson, Socastee, 18:21; 8. Hunter Morgan, West Florence, 18:36; 9. Nick Koonce, Socastee, 18:38; 10. Nick Beale, Carolina Forest, 18:45
: Socastee 34, Conway 57, West Florence 79, Carolina Forest 90
: 1. Lisa Pieterse, Carolina Forest 19:00; 2. Kenia Smith, Conway, 19:35; 3. Alyssa Waibel, Conway, 21:03; 4. Sommer El-Khatib, Socastee, 21:13; 5. Caitlyn Penter, Carolina Forest 21:22; 6. Crystal Shimer, Socastee, 22:00; 7. Kasie Ingram, Socastee, 22:01; 8. Rebekah Booth, Socastee, 22:14; 9. Janneke Morin, Socastee, 22:14; 10. Abbey Velasquez, West Florence, 22:25
Top 10 runners in each race earn all-region honors
CCU women’s soccer
Coastal Carolina women’s soccer team dropped its second straight 1-0, this time falling on the road at Radford on Wednesday.
The Chanticleers are now 8-7-2 overall and 5-2-1 in the Big South heading into Friday night’s Senior Night showdown against first-place Liberty, according to a news release.
Radford tallied the game’s lone goal in the 39th minute and improved to 7-8-2 overall and 4-4-1 in the conference.
High school cross country
The Green Sea Floyds girls, which saw all eight runners hit personal best times, breezed through their Region VII-A meet at Green Sea Floyds high school Wednesday, beating Latta by 41 points. The boys squad had its top 10 runners notch personal bests, but fell 21-40 to Carvers Bay.
The Bears had the winner of both races, Xavier Drayton (17:54) on the boys side and Madison Pope (22:08) on the girls side.
“Every runner today put forth their very best effort,” Trojans coach Phyllis Elvington said. “We're just very excited.”
She also said a main reason for all the fast times in the region meet was that due to the number of schools in Class A, there’s no need for a Lower State meet; her squads’ next tests will be at the state championship on Saturday Nov. 8 at the Clemson Research Center in Columbia.
“You cannot do any other competitions during that time, so you just have to use that time to cut your time, get better,” Elvington said. “But it is really hard to keep them running for two solid weeks without competing. So you've just got to keep it interesting.”
: Carvers Bay 21, Green Sea Floyds 40, Latta 102
: 1. Xavier Drayton, Carvers Bay, 17:54; 2. Alfredo Vasquez, Green Sea Floyds, 18:22; 3. Laterence Davis, Carvers Bay, 19:05; 4. Tyreke Gamble, Carvers Bay, 19:09; 5. Sam Sellers, Latta, 19:11; 6. Rashawn Burrough, Carvers Bay, 19:50; 7. James Milton, Carvers Bay, 19:52; 8. Cesar Alvarado, Green Sea Floyds, 19:54; 9. Lou Norton, Green Sea Floyds, 20:03; 10. Micah Floyd, Green Sea Floyds, 20:05
.: GSF 27-13
• Team: Green Sea Floyds 20, Latta 61, Carvers Bay INC
: 1. Madison Pope, Carvers Bay, 22:08; 2. Joana Jaimes, Green Sea Floyds, 23:33; 3. Caitlin Jackson, Green Sea Floyds, 24:01; 4. Katya Howell, Green Sea Floyds, 24:06; 5. Blakely Lovett, Green Sea Floyds, 25:10; 6. America Sandoval, Green Sea Floyds, 25:36; 7. Tess Graham, Green Sea Floyds, 26:30; 8. Grace Elliott, Green Sea Floyds, 26:31; 9. Katie Williams, Latta, 27:49; 10. Margaret Desser, Latta, 28:31
.: GSF 33-6
Top 5 in each race earned All-Region honors
High school girls tennis
•(At) Socastee 4, River Bluff 3
| The Braves edged River Bluff in first round Class AAAA Lower State playoff action with Rachel Gresko and Anna Brice Cox clinching the fourth and winning point in their No. 1 doubles match (4-6, 6-3, 1-0).
Socastee coach Debbie Atkins said she was proud of her girls, particularly Haley Duvall’s hard-fought win over River Bluff’s Brooke Houdyshell at No. 3 singles.
“Our girls all played really hard and it paid off,” Atkins said.
The Braves are next in action Monday, facing off against the winner of No. 1 seed Wando and No. 4 seed Westwood.
: Rachel Gresko (SOC) def. Elizabeth Roquemore 6-0, 6-0; Anna Brice Cox (SOC) def. Meaghan Togneri 6-1, 6-1; Haley Duvall (SOC) def. Brooke Houdyshell 6-4, 6-2; Sarah Beth Moore (RB) def. Josie Voss 4-6, 6-3, 1-0; Kiana Thatcher (RB) def. Kristin Case 6-0, 6-0
: Gresko/Brice Cox (SOC) def. Roquemore/Togneri 6-0, 6-0; Brooke Patton/Maddy Addy (RB) def. Joy Renforw/Lexi McNeill 6-2, 2-6, 1-0
.: Socastee 12-5