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All-Observer girls cross-country: Union, York County stars share runner of the year

Nation Ford’s Katie Pou is the Observer’s co-girls cross-country runner of the year
Nation Ford’s Katie Pou is the Observer’s co-girls cross-country runner of the year

Cuthbertson’s Madeline Hill and Fort Mill Nation Ford’s Katie Pou came into their sophomore season with championship expectations.

Both Hill and Pou proved they were state champions on the course to earn co-Charlotte Observer Girls’ Cross Country Runners of the Year.

Hill won the 3A state championship in a personal-record time of 18:11.52.

Hill also won the Southern Carolinas’ conference (SCC), 3A Midwest Regional and Union County cross country championships this season.

Pou won the S.C. AAAAA state title for the second year in a row, this time she was 12 seconds clear of the field. She also won the Bob Jenkins York County Championship, Eye Opener Invitational and Region III, AAAAA title running a personal-best 18:03.41.

Cuthbertson’s Kirk Walsh is the Charlotte Observer Girls’ Cross Country coach of the year after leading the Cavaliers to the 3A state championship.

The state title was Cuthbertson’s first in cross country.

The Cavaliers won it all with their depth as they boasted five runners in the top 75 times in the state, according to ncrunners.com.

First Team

Katie Pou, Nation Ford, So.: Falcons’ standout repeated as S.C. AAAAA state champion, won 5A Mid-State qualifier and Region III, AAAAA title in a personal-best, Observer-best 18:03.41.

Madeline Hill, Cuthbertson, So.: Cavaliers’ standout won the 3A state championship in a personal-best 18:11.52, also won the 3A Midwest and SCC titles.

Leah Helms, Cuthbertson, So.: SCC, 3A Midwest Regional runner-up to her teammate, Hill; also finished 3rd at the 3A state meet in a personal-best 18:19.22.

Cora Cooke, Myers Park, So.: Southwestern 4A conference, 4A West Regional champion, came in fourth at the 4A state meet; ran personal-record 18:26 at the Foot Locker Southeast Regional.

Jonna Strange, North Iredell, Jr.: North Piedmont conference and 3A West Regional champion, finished fifth at the 3A state meet; ran personal-best 18:27.60 at the Foot Locker Southeast Regional.

Sophia Ritter, Watauga, Jr.: Northwestern 3A/4A conference champion was also 3A West Regional runner-up, finished sixth at the 3A state championships win in a personal-best 18:33.94.

Sophia Raspant, Forestview, Sr.: Jaguars’ standout finished third at the 3A West Regional; ran a personal-best 18:35.50 at the Shelby Invitational.

Emma Jones, Weddington, Fr.: Warriors’ freshman had a breakout year in her first high school season, running a personal-record 18:40 at the Great American Cross Country Festival, also came in 12th at the 3A state meet.

Lilly Waters, Hough, Fr.: I-Meck 4A conference champion, 4A West Regional runner-up (in a personal-best of 18:45.10) finished 9th at the 4A state meet all as a freshman.

Angie Allen, North Lincoln, So.: 2A Midwest Regional champion was also South Fork 2A conference and 2A state runner-up ran a personal-best 18:54.20 at the Nike Cross Nationals’ Southeast Regional.

Anna Davis, Weddington, Jr.: Warriors’ junior finished fourth at the Southern Carolinas’ conference champion, sixth at the 3A Midwest Regionals, ran a personal-record 18:55 at the Great American Cross Country Festival.

Anna Brown, Weddington, Jr.: Warriors’ standout ran a personal-record 19:00.40 at the Great American Cross Country Festival, finished 11th at the 3A state meet, 7th at 3A Midwest Regionals.

Alyssa Galvin, North Lincoln, Jr.: The South Fork 2A conference champion was also 2A Midwest Regional runner-up, placed 3rd at the 2A state meet, ran a personal-best 19:01.90 at the Nike Cross Nationals’ Southeast Regional.

Second Team

Sophie Spada, Charlotte Country Day, Jr.

Abby Farris, Lake Norman Charter, So.

Maddie Huecker, Lake Norman, Fr.

Sami Homburger, Mooresville, Fr.

Kaitlyn St. Hilaire, Cuthbertson, So.\u0009

Gabriella Castro, Cuthbertson, Jr.

Elizabeth Timberlake, Arborbrook Christian, Sr.

Michaela Gammon, East Lincoln, Sr.

Delaney Patterson, Cuthbertson, Jr.

Alexis McDonnell, Hough, Sr.

Sarah Bechtel, Weddington, Sr.

Alyx Beausoleil, Weddington, Fr.

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