HHH boys cap­ture 6th straight state crown; girls are run­ner-up

The Beaufort Gazette (Sunday) - - Sports - BY WOR­THY EVANS Spe­cial for The Is­land Packet

Hil­ton Head High’s boys cross coun­try team came into the state meet at Sand­hills with a five-year run of state cham­pi­onships. Earn­ing a sixth state ti­tle in the midst of com­pe­ti­tion from Daniel and East­side was not go­ing to be a given.

“It hasn’t been the same as other years,” Sea­hawks top run­ner Sam Gil­man said. “Every year is dif­fer­ent, but this one, we wanted it a lit­tle more.”

Gil­man’s sec­ond place fin­ish — be­hind Daniel’s Alex Zan­gara — and Jasper Rein­hardt’s sev­enth place run was just enough for Hil­ton Head to best East­side by two points and claim the sixth state tro­phy.

“It was just a fight down to the fin­ish.” Hil­ton Head coach Max Mayo said. “It’s in­cred­i­ble to win six state ti­tles in a row, that’s out of sight.”

Gil­man’s time of 15 min­utes, 43.39 sec­onds was 13 sec­onds be­hind Zan­gara’s 15:30.67 fin­ish, but Rein­hardt’s 16:08.33 time got him sev­enth place.

Lo­gan Seifert (16:40.39) and Max­imil­lian Baez (16:51.67) fin­ished 19 th and 21 st , and Colton Thune came in at 37 th with a 17:20.47 fin­ish to ac­count for the Sea­hawk’s 84 points. That to­tal was just un­der East­side’s 86 points. Daniel took third with 106.

Gil­man said the guys hung in there be­cause of the team’s de­sire to go be­yond in­di­vid­ual goals. Gil­man had one the in­di­vid­ual cham­pi­onship last year.

“I could care less about that this year,” he said. “I’m so much hap­pier that the team got this ti­tle.”

The Hil­ton Head girls fin­ished as run­ners up to Daniel, whose top three run­ners claimed the top spots in the race and won state with 49 points.

Is­abel Muehle­man took sixth with a time of 19:11.44 to lead the Sea­hawks. Sarah Neville came in right be­hind her with a sev­enth-place 19:21.75 fin­ish. Sarah Cooke (19:55.40) and Tori Herman (20:05.46) took 18 th and 19 th , and Ari­anna Saponara fin­ished 30 th with a time of 20:33.96.

Beau­fort’s Mar­lon Belden (15:48.46) fin­ished third in the boys race and Shan­non Smith (19:43.21) fin­ished 15 th in the 4A girls race.

May River took third in both the 3A girls and boys races. Owen An­drews (16:41.98) and Jaxon Beebe (16:45.63) took 10 th and 13 th place for May River in the boys race.

Emma Peluso led the team with a fourth-place fin­ish at 19:25.57. Team­mate Vic­to­ria Sosa fin­ished sev­enth at 19:56.95.

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