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