Cross Country Girls: Parker leads West to pre-county title
SALISBURY — West Rowan junior Rebecca Parker would have prettily easily won a game of hide-and-seek at Dan Nicholas Park Tuesday. Once again, when Parker crossed the bridge with the finish line in sight there was no one behind her for some time.
This time, Parker celebrated and so did her team at the Pre County Cross Country meet.
West had four girls place in the top 10 to edge East Rowan by two points. The Falcons finished with 37 points to East’s 39. The Mustangs had three place in the top 10. All seven of West’s girls placed in the top 20.
Parker won the race for the third-straight year in 20:44. Her time fell short of a sub-20 minute goal, but she won the race by over two minutes. Not bad considering it was the Falcons’ first run of the season.
“We had a time trial here and I ran a 21:06 so I cut off some time,” Parker said. “Everyone was so nervous coming in, even me. But we did great. I can’t say how great our team did.”
Parker, the defending county champion, gained the lead late in the first mile and tried to duplicate her best time at Dan Nicholas, a 19:26.
“I’ve never been in the 19s here before,” Parker said. “I really want to get into the sub 20s.”
West’s Josie Helgar finished third (22:53) while track standout Brienna Owens (ninth, 24:14) and Hannah Allison (10th, 24:33) added strong runs. Owens was making her cross country debut after making noise in the 400 and 800 runs in the spring.
“I wanted them to not focus on whether or not we’d win,” West coach Brittany Chester said. “I wanted them to focus on where they wanted to be at. We’re starting off pretty strong. Last year, we had a couple girls get hurt this race and spent the season trying to get back.”
West’s Sammie Brassard (25:31) placed 14th and Kelly Jankowski (26:23) placed 18th. Emily Goddard (26:56) was 20th.
East’s Faith Blume was runner-up with a 22:47 time. Tori Gaul (23:26) placed fifth for East while Haley Lyerly (23:47) was eighth.
Salisbury’s Susannah Dixon (23:14) placed fourth.
Carson’s Katie Nichols (23:29) and Caitlyn Blais (23:42) finished sixth and seventh respectively. Carson finished third with 58 points while Salisbury (105) and North Rowan (142) rounded out the field.
“A lot of other teams have already started and this was our first race,” Chester said. “So I’m very happy with what we did.”
NOTE: The county championship is scheduled for Sept. 25 at Dan Nicholas.