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James Island girls, Bishop England boys repeat as cross country champions


The James Island girls cross country team won the Class AAA state championship on Nov. 11 in Columbia. Provided photo

COLUMBIA – The James Island girls and Bishop England boys cross country teams won state championships at the Sandhills Research Center course on Nov. 11.

It was James Island's second straight Class AAAA girls title. Bishop England won the Class AAA boys championship for the second consecutive year. 

In what may be a first in state history, James Island placed six runners among the top 15 finishers, each earning all-state honors. Leading the way was sophomore Hannah Vroon, who won the race for the second straight year.

“We sort of thought we had a chance to put six runners in the top 13 to 18 range but to have all six finish in the top 15 is pretty amazing,” Trojans coach Dave Lee said. “I don’t know if that’s ever been done before in South Carolina. Maybe it has happened but I know what we did today was pretty impressive.”

Vroon posted a time of 18:15 to win medalist honors. Her time was nearly 30 seconds better than what she ran at the state qualifier last weekend.

“She was great today and we’re very proud of her,” Lee said. “The thing about Hannah is how great a person she is and how coachable she is. She has a very high running I.Q., and a tremendous work ethic. This doesn’t happen by accident. She puts in the work.”

Freshman Avery Belk finished fourth and eighth-grader Alice Taylor was ninth. Freshman Kirra Borg ran 11th, followed by junior M.K. Huddleston (14th) and sophomore Chloe Gilbert (15th).

James Island scored 31 points in the meet, finishing well ahead of state runner-up Greenville (92) and May River (101).

In the AAAA boys race, James Island finished ninth in the team standings while Lucy Beckham ran 11th. Sophomore Reid VonRosenberg of Lucy Beckham was the top local finisher, earning all-state honors with an 11th-place finish.

Bishop England scored 75 points to out-run Pendleton in the boys AAA final race. The Bishops were led by sophomore Justin Hafner, the state runner-up, and senior Hank Linder, who ran to a third-place finish. Sophomore Charlie Tessier also earned all-state honors with a 13th-place finish.

For Hafner, it was his second straight runner-up finish. Pendleton’s Ronan O’Neill won the boys race for the third consecutive year.

Academic Magnet finished seventh in the team standings, led by freshman Quinn Swanton, who was 12th overall and earned all-state recognition.

The Bishop England girls took third-place in the final team standings, scoring 92 points. Waccamaw won the state title with 67 points, followed by Daniel with 73 points.

Eighth-grader Nora Brahim ran to a second-place finish. Sophomore Nini Clarke (8th) also was all-state.

North Charleston sophomore Ellie Timmons was all-state with a sixth-place run, while Academic Magnet sophomore Anna Hollister was seventh. Academic Magnet finished seventh in the team standings. Hanahan was eighth and Oceanside Collegiate finished 11th in the team standings.

State meets in Classes AAAAA, AA and A will be run on Nov. 12.

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