High school cross country: Stout start for Carson girls

Published 7:13 pm Thursday, August 17, 2023

Staff report

SALISBURY — Carson’s girls have won four straight Rowan County cross country championships, and they may be headed for a fifth.

Carson won the Rowan Pre-County Meet held on Wednesday at Dan Nicholas Park, which wasn’t a big surprise. The Cougars have won seven of the last nine county championships for coach Les-Lee Ihme and have been able to reload whenever standouts graduate.

Carson doesn’t have the Borst sisters this year — they’re running for Pfeiffer now — but Carson does return three of last year’s top five runners.

Emily Landaverde, who was third in the Rowan County Championships last year, was the winner of the Pre-County Meet in 23:16.

Julia Burleson, who placed 11th in the county as a Cougar freshman, placed fifth on Wednesday.

Mackenzie Todd, another returner, took eighth place.

Lainey Barger finished seventh for the Cougars, while Darlene Cruz was 14th to round out Carson’s winning team score.

East Rowan finished second. The Mustangs were led by Jadyn Featherstone (3rd), Iyanna Lynch Berry (4th) and Sadie Featherstone (6th).

Third-place South Rowan’s girls ran as a unit following the death of Blythe Elliott’s mother. They placed ninth through 13th.

Only three schools had the minimum five runners to post team scores.

West Rowan couldn’t post a team score, but Katie Roberts took second place individually.

Salisbury’s outstanding track sprinter Christyonna Lewis put in some mileage and finished 31st to lead the Hornets.