Hilton Head Island boys, girls win 3-A cross country state championships

mmccombs@islandpacket.comNovember 9, 2013 

It was a clean Class 3-A sweep for Hilton Head Island High School on Saturday in the S.C. High School Cross Country Championships at the Sandhills Research Center in Columbia.

Despite having no individual champions, the boys and girls teams won their respective races in dominating fashion.

Just how dominating?

On the girls side, Hilton Head Island totaled 50 points, well ahead of second-place Eastside at 116. On the boys side, Hilton Head outscored Eastside again, 45-81.

In both cases, the Seahawks could have substituted their sixth and seventh runners for their top two and still claimed the championship.

"We totally peaked at the right time," said coach Bill Wrightson. "I was expecting good things but not this good."

On the boys side, the five that scored for the Seahawks all finished in the top 15, earning All-State status.

Junior Cisco Ferre (15:39.92) and senior Colton Hennessey (15:57.45), both ranked in the top 10 in the state, unsurprisingly finished third and seventh, respectively. They were joined in the top 10 by junior Eladio Wilkinson, who finished eighth in 15:58.82.

"I believe today is the first time we've ever had three boys run under 16 minutes in the same race," said Wrightson, who says this is the fastest team in school history.

Freshman Ben Gilman (16:20.07) and sophomore Sam Beattie (16:22.19) finished 13th and 14th, respectively, to round out the Seahawks' scoring.

"They did better that I thought they were going to do , but I always thought they were going to take it," Wrightson said of the boys team, which had been ranked No. 1, regardless of classification, for much of the season.

Wrightson wasn't nearly so sure about the girls.

"It was a huge surprise," he said. "We've been chasing James Island all season and today we caught them."

Four of the five Seahawks that scored finished in the top 15, earning All-State status.

Eighth-grader Mallory Liggett (19:18.24) finished third to lead the Seahawks, followed closely by sophomore Carley McGlinn (19:28.16), who finished fifth. Eighth-grader Abbigale Gross (19:3.04) and senior Ciara McMahon (19:48.96) finished 12th and 14th, respectively, to make All-State.

"For Ciara, it was her first time breaking 20 minutes" Wrightson said. "We've been shooting for that for years."

Hilton Head Island's fifth runner to score was junior Rebeka Parent (19:50.78), who finished 16th, just missing All-State.

"We work on a 24 -week cycle. Over the last 4 or 5 weeks, you could just see our girls coming on," Wrightson said "They ran their best today. They're the second fastest girls team in school history. They showed up big.

"What makes all that so exciting is we did not believe that could happen."

The title was the fourth for Hilton Head's boys (1986, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013) and the third for the girls (2008, 2009, 2013).

Runners and teams from other county schools participated, as well.

In Class 2-A, the Battery Creek boys finished 15th of 23 teams with 406 points, led by Erik Barbosa, who finished 29th in 17:45.17. Academic Magnet dominated the team competition, while Bishop England's Christian Widenhouse won the individual title with a time of 16:04.24.

The Battery Creek girls finished 17th of 21 teams with a total of 469 points. Landrum won the team title with 56 points, while Waccamaw sophomore Amelia Jones won the individual title in 19:15.60.

In Class 1-A, the Whale Branch boys had a strong showing, finishing eighth among 19 teams with 237 points. The Warriors were led by top-40 finishers Devonta' Glover (37th) and Christopher Conn (39th).

St. Joeseph's won a tight battle for the team title over Christ Church, 42-44, while Christ Church's James Quattlebaum won the individual title by almost a minute with a time of 15:15.15.

For the 1-A girls, St. Joeseph's swept the titles, winning the team competition with a dominating 30 points, while Annika Bissinger won the individual crown with a time of 18:40.68.

In 4-A, the Bluffton boys and girls each finished 20th, the boys with 462 points and the girls with 552 points.

Beaufort High's Brandon Pratt (16:56.31) ran as an individual, finishing 38th in the 4-A boys race.

S.C. Cross Country State Championships

At Sandhills Research Center, Columbia

Class 4-A Boys

Beaufort High: 38. Brandon Pratt 16:56.31.

Bluffton: 58. Evans Beach 17:11.54; 72. Anthony Chissell 17:29.46; 105. Ryan-Michael Livingston 17:59.91; 110. Rory Witkowski 18:12.47; 117. Dylan McMahan 18:30.68; 131. Joey Roberts 19:14.84; 136. Daniel Falcocchio 19:27.93.

Class 4-A Girls

Bluffton: 51. Lea Tierney 20:36.06; 113. Riley Chafer 22:08.79; 125. Hannah Hundley 22:41.93; 131. Cathryn Roberts 23:20.36; 132. Casey White 23:21.29; 133. Tianna Donaldson 23:27.41; 135. Scottie House 23:30.29.

Class 3-A Boys

Hilton Head Island: 3. Cisco Ferre 15:39.92; 7. Colton Hennesseey 15:57.45; 8. Eladio Wilkinson 15:58.82; 13. Ben Gilman 16:20.07; 14. Sam Beattie 16:22.19; 16. Phillip Evans 16:44.84; 25. Nahuel Coronel 17:15.68.

Class 3-A Girls

Hilton Head Island: 3. Mallory Liggett 19:18.24; 5. Carley McGlinn 19:28.16; 12. Abbigale Gross 19:34.04; 14. Ciara McMahon 19:48.96; 16. Rebeka Parent 19:50.78; 25. Esther Anderson 20:05.86; 45. Frankie Schoning 20:15.64.

Class 2-A Boys

Battery Creek: 29. Erik Barbosa 17:45.17; 58. Luis Castillo 18:43.74; 104. Liam Anderson 20:08.32; 105. Dalton Mickel 20:10.26; 110. Brian Labean 20:14.77; 111. Brayden Smith 20:16.98; 148. Abdu Mejia 23:55.85.

Class 2-A Girls

Battery Creek: 61. Zakiya Cobban 23:19.53; 73. Neelia Heath 23:58.67; 98. 26:42.64; 117. Blair Scherr 28:53.61; 120. Maryury Gonzalez 29:23.91; 122. Luz Diaz 29:34.11.

Class 1-A Boys

Whale Branch: 37. Devonta' Glover 18:53.70; 39. Christopher Conn 18:59.90; 42. Wesley Murphy 19:08.27; 53. Karlton Washington 19:40.51; 66. Thomas Vicuna 20:34.75; 74. Ivan Bryant 21:06.27.

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