Pisgah cross country hosted its final home meet of the season, the Black Bear Bolt, last Thursday. The meet featured Pisgah, Tuscola, Franklin and Smoky Mountain.
Pisgah finished second on the boys side, and had three top-10 finishers (Jake Moore, Jay Schrieber and Paul Gonzales). The final order on the boys side was: Franklin, Pisgah, Smoky Mountain, Tuscola.
“I think they did well,” said Pisgah head coach Stephnaie Kuykendall. “We had three boys in the top 10 this time. And other than being 95 degrees, it was good for October.”
The meet was also the final chance for Pisgah’s seniors, including Moore, to race in front of their home fans.
“It means everything,” Moore said. “Because I don’t get to do it anymore after this, and that was the last time I get to do anything in front of all those people.”
The Tuscola girls team took home first place at the meet (Tuscola, Franklin, Smoky Mountain, Pisgah). The Mountaineers had four top-10 finishers (Alessea Caldwell, Eva Rinker, Selah Hill and and Lydia Jackson.
“I think everybody performed very well,” said Tuscola head coach Will Norris. “I think the biggest takeaway is it wasn’t an extremely fast day time wise because it was about 90 degrees, so it was a really hot one again. I feel like the kids ran extremely tough. That’s what we talked a lot about before the race was that our season opener was very similar in that aspect. It was also very warm, a very hot day. We just talked about mental toughness. At this point, we’ve practiced this a lot and they’ve executed well in the heat before.”
The Tuscola girls’ performance has Norris’ sights set high for the rest of the season.
“The girls team’s looking really tough right now,” Norris said. “I think at this point in the season, we’re kind of past that midpoint of the season and postseason is now only two meets away. I think a very realistic goal right now is to try to make the state meet. I think that’s something that we’re aiming for and it’s a very attainable goal. It’s not going to be easy, it’s not a given, but I think that’s where the girls are approaching as a team. They’re competing at that high of a level and they ran great.”
Both teams will compete in the United Way Meet in Newton, North Carolina on Oct. 9.