Beaufort High’s Nash Mills edged May River’s Colin Keck at the finish line, but the Sharks nipped the Eagles in the team standings at the Region 7-4A cross country meet Wednesday in Habersham.
Mills clipped Keck by seven-tenths of a second to win the individual crown with a time of 16:05.16, but May River boasted four of the top eight finishers and finished with 37 points, edging the Eagles by nine points for the team title.
Armando Macias Jimenez finished fourth in 16:20 to lead Bluffton to a third-place finish.
This figures to be the first of three head-to-head battles between the Sharks and Eagles, who will square off again at the Lower State qualifier Oct. 30 in Chapin and the Class 4A state championships Nov. 7.
May River had the upper hand this time thanks to Keck’s runner-up finish and the trio of Jaxon Beebe, Mills Campbell, and Sean Hamby coming across sixth, seventh, and eighth. Cohen MacDonald (17:12) rounded out the Sharks’ scoring in 14th.
Beaufort High’s Connor Eby was fifth in 16:29, but the Eagles have some work to do to catch the 2019 Class 3A state champion Sharks. Beaufort’s next finisher was seventh-grader Gavin Moore (17:11) in 12th, with recent Georgetown commit Marlon Belden (17:12) right behind in 13th as last year’s Class 4A state runner-up continues to work his way back from an injury. Joseph Patterson (17:13) was also in a tight pack of four runners who finished within two seconds of one another for 12th through 15th place.
Hilton Head High finished sixth in the seven-team meet, but junior Nick Gariti cracked the top 10 with a time of 16:59.