The Bluffton High School boys cross country team claimed first place Monday in the weather-delayed Class 4-A Lower State Qualifier, anchored by three top-10 finishes at Old Santee Canal State Park in Moncks Corner.
Joshua Tierney finished fifth to lead the Bobcats, followed closely by seventh-place Evans Beach and Robert Wesley Long in ninth place. They will lead the way as the Bluffton boys try for a state championship in Saturday's state meet at Sandhills Research Center in Columbia.
Beaufort High's boys finished ninth as a team, led by Brandon Pratt, who finished 11th individually.
On the girls' side, Bluffton finished fourth in the qualifier. Casey Witkowski grabbed a top-10 spot, placing ninth. Beaufort High's Madison Maddox was right on her heels in 10th. The Eagles were 10th as a team.
The Class 4-A girls will run at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by the boys at 10 a.m.
Class 4-A Lower State Qualifier
Monday, at Old Santee Canal State Park, Moncks Corner
Bluffton boys (1st) -- 5. Joshua Tierney 15:48.86, 7. Evans Beach 15:50.73, 9. Robert Wesley Long 15:54.04, 22. Nahuel Coronel 16:22.35, 28. Matthew Gaze 16:30.77
Beaufort High boys (9th) -- 11. Brandon Pratt 15:55.69, 49. Brahm Gideon 17:39.66, 62. Ciaran Cordial 18:27.98, 68. Christopher Bacon 18:49.11, 69. Zachary Wilson 18:57.14
Bluffton girls (4th) -- 9. Casey Witkowski 18:52.53, 15. Lea Tierney 19:16.98, 16. Savannah Schepp 19:33.33, 24. Scottie House 19:56.60, 34. Annadet Giles 20:24.38
Beaufort High girls (10th) -- 10. Madison Maddox 18:57.38, 45. Rebecca Fisher 21:17.10, 47. Katelin Miller 21:20.36, 71. Arianna Tkach 24:23.02, 74. Ashton Lancaster 24:36.78