Red Springs boys cross country wins as Chavis runs 2nd; St. Pauls’ Thompson wins girls race

Red Springs wins boys race; St. Pauls’ Thompson tops girls

Chris Stiles Sports editor

			
				                                Chris Stiles | The Robesonian
                                Runners from Red Springs, St. Pauls and West Bladen start Friday’s 5K race at Red Springs.

Chris Stiles | The Robesonian

Runners from Red Springs, St. Pauls and West Bladen start Friday’s 5K race at Red Springs.

<p>Chris Stiles | The Robesonian</p>
                                <p>Red Springs’ Noah Chavis looks down at the finish line just before crossing it to finish second during Friday’s cross country race at Red Springs.</p>

Chris Stiles | The Robesonian

Red Springs’ Noah Chavis looks down at the finish line just before crossing it to finish second during Friday’s cross country race at Red Springs.

<p>Chris Stiles | The Robesonian</p>
                                <p>St. Pauls’ Jakieya Thompson approaches the finish line to win Friday’s cross country race at Red Springs.</p>

Chris Stiles | The Robesonian

St. Pauls’ Jakieya Thompson approaches the finish line to win Friday’s cross country race at Red Springs.

<p>Chris Stiles | The Robesonian</p>
                                <p>St. Pauls’ Shaun Emanuel holds his side as he struggles towards the finish line during Friday’s cross country race at Red Springs.</p>

Chris Stiles | The Robesonian

St. Pauls’ Shaun Emanuel holds his side as he struggles towards the finish line during Friday’s cross country race at Red Springs.

RED SPRINGS — Red Springs cross country runner Noah Chavis was one of the last runners to arrive at the team’s home meet Friday against St. Pauls and West Bladen.

But even without much of a warmup, he was one of the first to cross the finish line.

Chavis finished second in the meet, behind West Bladen’s Keagan Havaldson, and led the Red Springs team to victory.

“I got here kind of late … you know how that goes,” Chavis said. “They said, ‘come here and get on the (starting) line,’ so I just ran the race.”

Chavis ran the 5K race in 20 minutes, 27 seconds, a 2-second improvement from his time in the Red Devils’ season opener on the same course Monday. He finished 46 seconds behind Havaldson, who won in 19:41. Shaun Emanuel from St. Pauls was third in 21:00.

“I see how everybody starts off sprinting and everything,” Chavis said. “So I let them go ahead and do what I’ve got to do, and by the time I get to the graveyard site, it’s like I catch a second wind, and I do my thing and keep on.”

Red Springs won the meet with 21 points, with St. Pauls accumuating 40 points. West Bladen, with two boys runners, did not record a team score.

Other Red Springs runners included Christian Moore in fourth at 21:26, Henry Buie in fifth at 22:30, Brian Foulks in seventh at 23:05, Mario Leonard in eighth at 23:07, Kohnner Oxendine in ninth at 23:35 and Shawn Putman in 10th at 24:11.

Behind Emanuel, St. Pauls runners included Araft Acosta in sixth at 22:41, Moises Ramirez at 24:22, Jakota Locklear at 25:23, M.J. Galbreath at 26:11, Lukus Osborn at 26:12, Vinson Locklear at 26:15 and Randall Durden at 26:34.

Jacob Bryan was West Bladen’s other runner and finished in 29:43.

In the girls race, St. Pauls’ Jakieya Thompson won by over a minute over the second-place finisher with a 5K time of 25:16.

Even with the sizable win, the race was challenging for Thompson in the Bulldogs’ season opener. With the different athletic schedule caused by the pandemic, it was the team’s first race in over a year.

“It’s been harder, we haven’t been at a cross country meet in a while. It’s difficult,” Thompson said. “(I had to) keep the pace up, don’t slow down, keep my breathing steady.”

West Bladen won the team event as the only team with five finishers; St. Pauls had two runners who did not finish and Red Springs had one. Second place was determined by the placements of the remaining teams’ top three runners; Red Springs finished second with 15 points in that format and St. Pauls third with 17.

Red Springs runners finished second and third; Dayanara Tellez was second in 26:24 and Elora Oxendine was third in 26:39. Hancey Trochez was the Red Devils’ other finisher, in 10th at 32:06.

Behind Thompson, St. Pauls’ T.J. Eichelberger finished fifth in 29:06 and Tamyra Council finished in 33:23.

West Bladen’s Laney Autry finished fourth in 27:00, Kaden Thurman sixth in 29:13, Tinyauh Rhoda seventh in 30:43, Violet Allen eighth in 30:48, Azillyah McDonald ninth in 31:58. Olivia Allen finished in 33:57.

Red Springs and St. Pauls both compete again on Dec. 2, with the Red Devils hosting a meet and St. Pauls competing in a meet at Luther Britt Park in Lumberton.

East Bladen runners win at Luther Britt

A Friday meet at Luther Britt Park in Lumberton was won by two individuals from East Bladen.

In the boys race, Aaron Smith ran the 5K distance in 18:04 to win by nearly a minute and a half over Whiteville’s Brandon Nguyen, who finished in 19:30.

Fairmont filled out the rest of the field, with Javian Manning finishing third in 21:58. Savonte McKeithan finished in 24:48, Nathanael Jones in 25:21, Eduardo Perez in 25:35, Khalil Alford in 25:38 and Elijah Meekins in 31:28.

In the girls race, East Bladen’s Cate Devane won with a time of 26:03.

AhNeillyah Gilchrist finished second for Fairmont in 31:40. Destiny Melvin was third in 31:41 and Paris Bethea was fourth, also in 31:41. Trinity Thompson finished in 35:47, Secret Davis in 36:25 and Emone Werrell in 38:57.

Whiteville’s four runners were led by fifth-place Maria Rojas, who finished in 31:42.

Fairmont won both races as the only school with five finishers.

Chris Stiles can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected] You can follow him on Twitter at @StilesOnSports.