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West Stanly Cross Country continues successful run

The West Stanly Cross Country program is once again in postseason mode and coming off a sweep of last week’s Stanly County Championships at Oakboro District Park.

With Natalie Almond leading the way for the Girls team and James Shue for the Boys team, the Colts look to repeat as conference champions in Tuesday’s RRC Championship Meet at Central Academy.

Almond and Shue were each named Stanly County Runner of the Year last week, with Almond taking first place honors in 20:25.

Shue edged South Stanly’s Davis Wright in a close race by finishing in 17:49, three seconds ahead of the South runner. Josh Huneycutt (South Stanly) took a third-place finish in 18:04, while Camden Misenheimer (18:31), Carson Wells (18:42) and Elijah Morton (18:43) took the next three spots for the Colts.

Nathan Marks helped clinch the title for the Colts as the fifth runner to cross for the team in eighth place overall and with a time of 18:58.

Jayden Oliver and Gavin Miller earned Top 10 finishes for South Stanly, while Nicholas McClure represented the North Stanly Comets on the All-County team.

In the overall Boys standings, West took first with 24 points, followed by South Stanly (32 points) and North Stanly (79 points).

Almond paced a group of seven female All-Stanly County runners for the Colts, with Makalyn Morton (21:50), McKenzie Clontz (22:55), Caroline White (23:30), Laney McCollom (24:14), Holly Hatch (24:37) and Karsyn Underwood (24:38) also earning Top 10 honors as the Colts took the championship honors with a near-perfect score of 16.
Gia Dunlap (23:53) and Lexi Goode (24:30) were All-County honorees for the runner-up North Stanly squad (51 points) while Kiersten Hollis represented South Stanly with her 10th-place finish for the Rebel Bulls.

Shue and Almond both have Top 10 overall finishes at the always-competitive Greensboro Invitational and Wendy’s Invitational meets this season.

Shue ran a personal best time of 16:58.4 at Wendy’s, while Almond’s personal best time of 19:53 was earned at this season’s regular season meet at CATA — a course she will race again during next week’s conference championship.

Following Tuesday’s Rocky River Championship meet, the Colts will again compete in the 2A Midwest Regional Meet on Oct. 30 at Fisher River Park in Dobson. There, they will seek to earn a spot in the Nov. 6 NCHSAA championship meet at Kernersville’s Ivey Redmon Park.