BOONVILLE — The MVAC conference championship for cross country was held at Starmount Tuesday afternoon, but it was East Wilkes and Ashe County who stole the show.
East Wilkes got the day started off with junior Kyle Rhodes beating his personal goal, and his competitors with a 16:30 time on the 3.1-mile course. The course itself makes for faster times, but even he was surprised at his time.
“It feels really good to know that my hard work’s paying off and that I’m finally getting the times I want,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes has qualified for states in both his freshman and sophomore year, and would like to do so again. To do that, he’ll have to do just as well as he did at the conference championship come Oct. 31 during regionals.
East Wilkes girl’s cross country team also did well. While Ashe County ran away with it in the end, the battle for second came down to the final strides. East Wilkes sophomore Gracie Brown was trailing a West Wilkes runner heading into the final corner, but Brown made a move on the outside. From there, Brown and the West Wilkes runner were side-by-side all the way to the final feet. Brown made a push and just barely got second.
“Right before the curve I was thinking, ‘I really, really want to win this, and if I’m not first, then I’m for sure going to get second,’” Brown said. “It’s making it that much sweeter that we have a great team. It makes it easier to run when you have a great team backing you up.”
Full results from the conference championship were not available at press time. However, Starmount and Elkin also will have some runners competing in regionals as well.
Ryan Decosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.