Noah Ward wins state title in cross country
Sooner or later, the Philip Simmons High School boys’ and girls’ cross country teams will ultimately win the Class AA team state championships. And sooner might be as early as next fall if the results of this year’s meet are any indication.
The boys’ team fared well during the Nov. 19 state meet, which was held at the Colonial Cup facility in Camden, S.C.
Led by gold-medal winner Noah Ward, the team came oh-so-close to capturing its first state title in the school’s brief history, but had to settle for second place as Greer Middle College Charter posted a 62-64 victory over the Iron Horses in a meet that was pushed back two days because of bad weather.
The reason for optimism if you follow PSHS boys’ cross country? The top five finishers are juniors and should be back next season.
The girls’ cross country team also came close to capturing the biggest trophy awarded by the High School League. Again, Greer Middle College Charter claimed the championship with 56 points. St. Joseph was second with 61 and Philip Simmons was right behind with 62.
The reason for optimism if you follow PSHS girls’ cross country? The top five finishers are only in the eighth grade and should be back for next season.
Ward, who captured first in the 5K run with a personal best time of 15:36.84, is one of the best distance runners in the state regardless of classification or season. He also is one of the top 1,600- and 3,200-meter runners in track and field.
It was Ward’s second individual state championship in cross country, and the fourth time he earned all-state honors.
Henry Wood claimed eighth place and Colin Nemeth was ninth. Thomas Schmenk placed 18th and Mitchell McCorkle was 28th.
Hailey Meyers led the Lady Iron Horses with a sixth-place time of 19:30.43.
Meyers is one of the Fab 5 eighth graders who run for Philip Simmons, and her future in track and field looks promising if last year’s state championship is any indication.
Last May, she had one of the best performances ever at the state meet, winning three state titles, sweeping the distance runs. She captured gold in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.
Teammate Josie May was right behind in seventh place, 15 seconds off Meyers’ pace.
Emmy Wood was 12th while Grace Ward, Noah’s sister, finished 16th overall and Emma Muller was 21st.
Meanwhile, the Bishop England boys’ cross country team came close, but failed to defend its championship in the Class AAA meet.
May River won the boys’ event with 64 points, while Academic Magnet claimed second with 118, and the Bishops were third with 135.
Mark Richter led BE with a third-place finish and a time of 16:16.22. Logan Desciak finished 10th.
In the Class AAA girls’ meet, Seneca won the championship, while the BE girls held down ninth place. Mary Wallace Rainero had the best finish for the BE girls, finishing in the top 10.