The Tuscola Mountaineer Cross Country teams closed out their seasons in great fashion at the NCHSAA 3A West Regional Meet this past Saturday.

The boys team had a strong showing led by freshman Luke Parrish (18:29) and senior Kennan Sanders-Huskison (19:40). Both posted season best times at the biggest meet of the year. The rest oft he top five for the boys team was completed by Tyler Evans, Andrew Delbene and senior Robert Super.

The leadership of Sanders-Huskison and Super on and off of the course has made them irreplaceable assets to the team. They will be missed next year.

The lady Mounties placed sixth overall out of 21 teams, the highest regional finish by Tuscola in four years, narrowly missing qualification for the State Meet by one spot. Collectively, the girls posted several personal best times. The lady Mounties were led by Junior Alesea Caldwell, who finished with a season best time of 21:10 and scored 18th overall.

Caldwell earned a spot to represent Tuscola at the NCHSAA 3A State Meet in Kernersville next Saturday as an individual. In an amazing display of grit and determination, Caldwell lost a shoe about 1/2 mile into the race and still ran an impressive final 2.5 miles wearing only the remaining shoe. While it was tough to miss the State Meet as a team by such a narrow margin, the future looks bright as top runners Selah Hill, Eva Rinker, Lydia Jackson, Emily Ferguson, Faith Dougherty and Macy Fisher all return next year along with Caldwell.

“I’m extremely proud of both teams,” said head coach Will Norris. “They all had their best performances of the season. The girls team barely fell short of making the state meet which was a heart breaker, but it’s hard to be disappointed when everyone ran as well as they did.

“We are also all very excited for Alesea that she made the State Meet. Her qualification despite losing a shoe early in the race speaks to her grit and determination — she deserves it. We will also miss really miss our seniors Kennan Sanders-Huskison, Robert Super and Molly Dorgan next year. Their leadership on and off of the course makes them irreplaceable.”

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