Six area teams and a trio of individuals from the Lowco earned spots in the SCHSL Class 4A Cross Country Championships with strong showings at the state qualifying meet Friday in Newberry.
May River and Bluffton each placed second in their qualifying races, while Hilton Head High’s girls were fourth, the Seahawk boys finished third, and the boys teams from Bluffton and Beaufort High each placed sixth.
The top eight teams from each race qualified for the state meet, along with any individuals who placed in the top 20. Beaufort High’s girls finished 13th in the odd race, but Charlize Antia (7th, 20:02) and Yzeault Antia (20th, 20:55) claimed spots in the state championships, and May River’s Noah Wasserman (16th, 17:17) qualified in the boys race despite the Sharks finishing just outside the top eight.
May River’s girls placed second in the odd race behind Region 7-4A champion James Island, as Trojans star Hannah Vroon (18:45) edged the Sharks’ Anya Arroyo (18:54) and Victoria Sosa (19:35) for the top spot. Cynthia Gudaitis (20:39) finished 17th to lead Hilton Head High to a fourth-place finish, and the Antia sisters picked up individual invitations to the state meet.
The Bobcats blazed to second place in the even race, finishing behind Greenville. Aubrey Sampson led Bluffton with a 10th-place finish in 20:47, while Ava Gerschutz (12th, 20:50), Elise Hunt (14th, 20:56), and Kaitlyn McDonagh (20th, 21:13) also cracked the top 20.
After a fifth-place showing at the Region 7-4A meet, Beaufort’s boys ran strong Friday, finishing sixth in the odd race with Connor Eby (5th, 17:02) and Charlie Bennett (22nd, 17:32) leading the charge. May River’s boys placed ninth, missing a spot in the state meet by three points as Wasserman qualified and Cohen MacDonald (21st, 17:28) missed claiming a berth by seven seconds.
The HHIHS boys put together an outstanding showing in the even race, placing third a week after taking fourth in the region meet. William Lemire (17:25) led the Seahawks in 13th, while Caden Thune (17:26) was right behind in 14th, and Nick Gariti (17:32) was 17th. Bluffton placed sixth in the same race with freshman Earlon Baker (17:06) placing 11th.
The Class 4A state championships will be held Thursday at the Sandhill Research Center in Columbia. The girls race is scheduled for 9 a.m. with the boys to follow at 9:30 a.m.
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