Coastal sweeps XC meet; Epstein, Pieterse prevail

The Coastal Carolina men’s and women’s cross country teams swept individual and team honors in the Coastal Carolina Invitational on Friday, and two local runners broke the tape in the high school competition.

Myrtle Beach High sophomore Ethan Epstein captured first place in the boys event with a time of 18:08, finishing 19 seconds ahead of runner-up Robert Reardon of Carolina Forest, which won the team events.

Carolina Forest’s Lisa Pieterse set a girls’ course-record with a time of 18:35 to lead the Lady Panthers, followed by a distant second-place Benjamin Jenerette of North Myrtle Beach at 21:08.

In the college ranks, Coastal’s Joseph Keitt, Evan Niciphor and Ryan Beckley crossed first, second and third, respectively, for the Chanticleers. Keitt claimed the individual title after setting a new course record with a time of 15:29.68. Niciphor finished fourth overall, crossing the line in 15:59.77. Beckley turned in a time of 16:06.60 to place sixth.

For the CCU women, Kyla van Graan continued her impressive start as a freshman, taking the women’s 5k individual title with a time of 17:55.14. Senior Emily Marchini repeated her results from the Carolina Challenge two weeks ago, finishing second for the Chants and in the overall standings, clocking in at 18:24.36.

The Lady Chants got a strong boost from the core of the team, placing their next four runners in the top 10. Shelby Nicosia crossed fifth in 19:22.54; Janel Reeves crossed in 19:24.56 to finish fourth for the Chants, sixth overall; Emma Hulburd clocked in at 19:43.38 to claim eighth; and Jackie Brengal placed 10th with a 19:53.34 5k time.

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