PISGAH — The Pisgah varsity girls cross country team just missed a first-place finish in its annual invitational meet on Saturday.
But as competitive as the Eagles are, head coach Gus Hembree didn’t mind this time finishing behind the time that took the Pisgah Invitational’s Small School (Class 1A-4A) Varsity Girls 5K Race title.
Ider (41 points) edged Pisgah by eight points for the top spot. Ider was running in memory of their principal, Pisgah High School alum Cyrus Frost, who died unexpectedly on Sept. 2. Ider runners ran with Frost’s initials written on their arms.
“ Even though the Ider girls beat us, I was happy, emotional and excited for them,” Hembree said. “I know each one of them was running with a heavy heart at the passing of their principal. I know he was a huge supporter of cross country at Ider. He will be sorely missed by all that knew him.”
Ider seventh-grader Makinley Traylor was the top overall finisher with a time of 21:24.16. She finished nearly two minutes in front of runner-up Kendall Harbison (23:13.39) of Vinemont and nearly two-and-half minutes in front of third-place Jennifer Vega (23:51.94) of Section.
Rounding out Ider’s top-five scoring runners were Kenzie Smith in 11th place (25:29.73), Alexis Brewer 12th (25:56.33), Aubree Chapman 14th (26:03.41) and Brynley Traylor 15th (26:26.19).
“The kids dedicated that to him Mr. Frost and wanted to run for him. All seven of them ran their best race yet,” said Ider head coach Dustin Bryant. “(Frost) came to every meet we had wherever it was. It’s hard to put into words what he meant to us.”
Rhylee Bell led the Pisgah effort with a sixth-place finish (24:25.30) while Serenity Olinger was 10th (25:23.40), Kayana Stewart 13th (26:02.96), Nevaeh Evans 17th (27:19.36), Jazimine Wilson 18th (27:26.72), Emma Sisk 19th (27:27.75), Laily Brown 25th (28:54.54), Kimberly Miller 36th (31:58.64) and Addison Goff 38th (32:17.03).
Three other Jackson County teams had runners in the race.
Along with Vega’s third-place finish, Section got a 34th-place finish from Madison Armstrong (30:41.57) and a 41st-place finish from Morgan Armstrong (33:01.71). Katie Roach finished 26th (29:00.36) for Skyline while Delana Pierce was 33rd (30:34.79) and Saiyni Ramirez 40th (32:57.24) for North Jackson.