The McDowell Titans cross country team finished fourth out of seven teams at the Caldwell County Invitational in Lenoir Wednesday, while the Lady Titans placed fourth in a six-team field.
The Titans (108) finished behind Watauga (23), Ashe (57) and Freedom (89), and were followed by Alexander Central (111), South Caldwell (157) and Hibriten (179).
The Lady Titans (110) placed behind Watauga (23), Ashe (68) and Freedom (73). Hibriten (116) and Alexander Central (134) placed fifth and sixth respectively.
“Both teams are focused right now and we're working harder every day to become mentally and physically stronger,” said McDowell head coach Brandon Smith. “Both teams competed hard and each athlete gave their best effort.”
In the boys’ race, Nicolas Greene was the top McDowell finisher. He placed 19th in a field of 85 runners with a time of 21:01.8. Freshman Barrett Webb was right behind Greene in 20th place with a 21:02.
Victor Adams (22:35) was 35th, Isaac Smith (22:55.4) 38th and Carter Christian (23:07.8) 42nd for the Titans.
Matthew Bossinger, John Ramirez, Alex Pittman, Sam Yang and Toby Howard also ran for the Titans.
Ashe County’s Tafton Baker won the race with a 17:40, finishing more than two minutes ahead of a pack of Watauga runners. Pioneer runners ended up claiming second through fifth places, as well as ninth through 11th.
Danae Lagos was the top Lady Titan finisher, placing 10th with a time of 25:23.42. Zitlaly Juarez (26:27.34) took 18th in the 73-person field. Tyler Young (28:52.57) was 26th.
Miryam Ramirez-Jasso, Abby Lewis, Natasha Catala and Sara Puentes also ran for the Lady Titans.
Watauga’s Sophia Ritter won with a time of 21:35.08, as Watauga runners claimed three of the top four spots.
McDowell competed in the Rocket Hokum-Karem Relays at A.C. Reynolds Saturday, and will run in the Freedom Invitational next Saturday.
“We've improved and beaten some good teams so far this year but NWC Conference foe Freedom is our next target right now,” said Smith.