Cross country

Honeycutt, Wright lead teams to victory

Roberson's Elise Wright was the girls winner at Monday's Mountain Athletic Conference cross country meet in Swannanoa.

Roberson’s Elise Wright was the girls winner at Monday’s Mountain Athletic Conference cross country meet in Swannanoa.

SWANNANOA – Roberson junior Elise Wright got herself a cup of water Monday and found a prime spot to cheer on her teammates at the finish of the Mountain Athletic Conference cross country meet.

Wright had all the time in the world after winning the girls race by more than a minute and a half.

Wright (19:25.00), who ran last year for Veritas Christian Academy, didn’t look like a rookie in her first MAC meet. Wright was by herself for much of the way around Asheville Christian Academy’s 3.1-mile course.

Following her lead, three other Rams placed in the top-10 – Ashlyn Blakely (second place, 20:57.40), Sarah Lewis (fifth, 21:35.70) and Ellie Phillips (sixth, 21:40.00).

Abby Methvin (12th, 22:37.40) also counted towards the team score for the Roberson girls (26 points). It was the fourth consecutive year that they and the Asheville High boys (32 points) were the overall champions. Since the MAC officially recognizes a 3-A and 4-A champ in every team sport, the Roberson boys (62) were a 4-A winner and the Asheville girls (54) took home a 3-A title.

“I’m really proud of everyone on my team and myself for doing so well today. And I’m thankful for my coach (Tom Ferguson) for all that he’s done for us,” Wright said.

“I felt good. It was a little dusty for certain parts of the course, but it was exciting. I’m really looking forward to our next few meets, I’ve never been to states before so that’s a big goal.”

Boys individual winner Haven Honeycutt (16:48.80) and the lead pack took a wrong turn Monday, but he and the Cougars were able to overcome the navigational error.

Davis Turner (fourth place, 17:34.20), John Kelly Douglas (seventh, 17:39.40), Isaiah First (eighth, 17:44.00) and Collin Kemper (12th, 18:01.20) were other scoring runners for Asheville.

Interestingly, the top three individuals in the boys race were all underclassmen – Honeycutt and runner-up Michael Zapherson from Roberson (17:10.30) are both sophomores, while Reynolds’ Dwayne Lillie (17:26.00) placed third as a freshman.

“We were able to hold the pack good and everyone did what they were supposed to today,” Honeycutt said.

“I’m very proud of my team.”

Next up for Monday’s runners is Western Regional competition on Oct. 29. The 4-A meet is at Charlotte’s McAlpine Greenway Park (a former state championship site), while the 3-A will be held at Morganton’s Freedom Park.

Here are the team scores and all-conference teams:

Mountain Athletic Conference meet

Monday at Asheville Christian Academy

BOYS

Team scores

1. Asheville 32; 2. Reynolds 54; 3. Roberson 62; 4. North Buncombe 105; 5. Enka 141; 6. McDowell 164; 7. Erwin 183.

Individual results (all-conference team)

1. Haven Honeycutt (Ash)) 16:48.80; 2. Michael Zapherson (TCR) 17:10.30; 3. Dwayne Lillie (ACR) 17:26.00; 4. Davis Turner (Ash) 17:34.20; 5. Parker Hamel (NB) 17:35.80; 6. Noah Clifford (ACR) 17:37.80; 7. John Kelly Douglas (Ash) 17:39.40; 8. Isaiah First (Ash) 17:44.00; 9. Sean McDowell (TCR) 17:44.70; 10. Luke Shealy (NB) 17:46.70; 11. Neil Rogers (ACR) 17:53.50.

GIRLS

Team scores

1. Roberson 26; 2. Asheville 54; 3. Reynolds 68; 4. Enka 125; 5. North Buncombe 133; 6. McDowell 161; 7. Erwin 174.

Individual results (all-conference team)

1. Elise Wright (TCR) 19:25.00; 2. Ashlyn Blakely (TCR) 20:57.40; 3. Sophie Pruett (ACR) 21:26.10; 4. Ava Freeman (Ash) 21:29.30; 5. Sarah Lewis (TCR) 21:35.70; 6. Ellie Phillips (TCR) 21:40.00; 7. Audrey Kayser (Ash) 21:49.60; 8. McKenna Winterflood (En) 21:50.20; 9. Jaiden Bartley (Er) 21:51.60; 10. Corey McVay (ACR) 22:15.90; 11. Hannah Clarkson (Ash) 22:23.80.

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