Socastee teams rule home course at six-team XC meet

A six-team cross-country meet came down to a three-way photo finish, with the Socastee High boys and girls teams successfully defending their home turf on Tuesday.

The Lady Braves tied St. James for first place in a rare tie with 44 points, edging Carolina Forest at the tape with 48 points and the first- and third-place individual finishers.

Carolina Forest’s Lisa Pieterse completed the 5K course in 18:43, more than two full minutes over runner-up Samantha Cunningham (20:47) of Saint James. Lady Panthers freshman Mattie Earnest (20:49) was third, but then a freight train of Socastee runners crossed the tape to earn a share of first.

Socastee had two runners in the top five – fourth Crystal Shimer (21:05.74) and fifth Jill Dudley (21:12.45) – followed by 10th Kyleigh Adorno (22:28), 11th Beka Booth (22:52) and 14th Skye Pelliccia   (23:08).

St. James had sixth-place Christine Cunningham (21:30), eighth Kelsey Glover (21:54.97), 12th Karleigh Jones (22:56) and 16th Natalie Feagin (23:28) to claim a share of the win. Carolina Forest had seventh-place Caitlyn Penter (21:37), 21st Nicole Mathews (25:18) and 37th Arlie Weaver (27:04).

Myrtle Beach finished fourth with 103 points, led by Madison Tilford (22:25.40), 13th Kailey Flannelly  (23:07.12), 27th Angela Hervig (25:40), 32nd Haley Capps (26:20), and 33rd Rebecca Garris (26:24). The Lady Seahawks edged Green Sea Floyds (129) and Loris (169).

In boys action, Myrtle Beach sophomore Ethan Epstein captured medalist honors with a time of 17:23, but Socastee’s Justin Knipper was just five seconds behind for runner-up.

Four other Braves finished in the top 14 – seventh-place Austin Goss (18:57) eighth Cameron Amann (19:01), 12th Nick Koonce (19:15) and 14th Nicholas Lefever (17:28) for a team total of 42 points.

The Seahawks (49) finished a close second, edging Carolina Forest (53) for runner-up. The Panthers had three runners finish in the top six – third-place Robert Reardon (18:13), fourth Michael Pieterse  (18:13) and sixth Nick Beale (18:35) – with 16th Stephen Ciaramitaro (19:44) rounding out the five.

Myrtle Beach made an even stronger run at Socastee, placing four runners in the top 12 – fifth-place Jimmy Recinos (18:33), 10th Miguel Garcia (19:05) and 11th John Chambers (19:11) – and fifth man JT Schexnayder (20:17) finished 22nd.

St. James (77) finished fourth, led by ninth-place finisher Hunter Brown (19:02.47), 14th Joey Simpson, 17th Cory Falco (19:46), 18th Austin Trinh (19:53) and 19th Zack Tripp (19:54). Green Sea Floyds (153) and Loris (171) rounded out the field.

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