Stratford High School’s cross country teams have reached their spot at the starting line for the final run of the season through trails Nov. 16.
Both squads qualified for the Class 5A state championship meet by finishing inside the top 6 at the Lower State meet Nov. 6 at Wannamaker Park in North Charleston.
The Stratford girls placed three runners inside the top seven and finished runner-up behind James Island. Sydney Palmer (19:29.21) was third while teammates Kaelan Pierce (20:00.68) and Alyssa Davis (20:18.81) were fifth and seventh (out of 88 runners). Cloe Runion (21:24.88) was 22nd and Olivia Diaz (21:54.26) placed 29th.
Paced by Owen Smith (16:33.37) in sixth, Stratford’s boys placed fourth as a team. The Knights also counted times from Ryland Kowalski (17:10.30, 18th), Kyle Strickland (17:12.19, 20th), Hunter Calvert (17:46.69 34th) and Nathan Cox (17:48.46, 37th).
The state championship meet is in Camden on the Colonial Cup course. Class 5A boys race at 9 a.m., and Class 5A girls start at 10:40 a.m.
Stratford coach Shane Sutherland’s goal each fall is for the Knights to finish top 10 in the state. In 2018, the boys were 17th and girls 19th.
Stratford’s teams won’t be alone in representing the Berkeley County School District. A pair of Cane Bay High School runners placed inside the 20 for a non-qualifying squad and will get their shot at state gold, too.
Cane Bay’s Zane Jackson cruised to the Lower State championship with a time of 15:43.30. Jackson finished 22 seconds head of Fort Dorchester’s Dawson Wright and Summerville’s Daren Hinds. Cobras teammate Robert Perrecone (16:39.57) was 10th (out of 95 runners).
In 2018, the winning time in the 5A boys state meet was 15:40.15 so Jackson appears to be within striking distance of the podium going in, though last year was at Sandhills Research Center.
A time of 18:23.21 was the top girls time in Class 5A last fall.
Berkeley High School’s top boy was Asher Overholt (19:10.67) in 49th.
Goose Creek High School’s top boy was Coleston Runge (19:27.22).
Cane Bay’s top girl was Emily Trotter (22:15.44) in 42nd.
Berkeley High School’s top girl was Madison Johnson (24:20.36) in 60th.
Goose Creek High School’s top girl was Malea Bongbonga (25:05.69) in 66th.
Lower State Team Scores
(Top six advance to state meet)
Wando 73, Summerville 92, Fort Dorchester 104, Stratford 115, Ashley Ridge 139, Socastee 153, Carolina Forest 155, Cane Bay 160, James Island 177, St. James 198, Berkeley 358, Conway 359, Goose Creek 400, West Ashley 408.
James Island 53, Stratford 66, Summerville 73, Wando 116, Ashley Ridge 120, Fort Dorcheste 126, St. James 158, Socastee 193, Cane Bay 228, Conway 322, Berkeley 328, West Ashley 368.