Silva holds on to top spot on Raiders XC

Pinecrest sweeps team titles

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Tommy Delaunay, a junior at Pinecrest, was the only runner to break the 17-minute barrier. He crossed the line in 16:48.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Tommy Delaunay, a junior at Pinecrest, was the only runner to break the 17-minute barrier. He crossed the line in 16:48.

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Complete results – posted when available
* Photo gallery – more than 1,300 photos
* Aug. 25 – Blood, sweat and tears
* Sept. 2 – Silva, Hudson cruise to victory

ROCKINGHAM — Brandon Silva didn’t have a shot at winning the individual title in a triangular cross country meet early Tuesday evening at Hinson Lake.

The Richmond Senior High School freshman did, however, retain his No. 1 spot in the varsity seven of the Raiders’ squad. By three seconds.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Brandon Silva, right, sprints to the finish of a 3.1-mile race Tuesday around Hinson Lake in Rockingham. Raiders teammate Wells Griffin finished three seconds behind.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Brandon Silva, right, sprints to the finish of a 3.1-mile race Tuesday around Hinson Lake in Rockingham. Raiders teammate Wells Griffin finished three seconds behind.

That’s all that separated Silva and junior Wells Griffin — 17:54 to 17:57, respectively — through as harriers from Richmond, Purnell Swett and Pinecrest completed two inner loops through a steady rain. Pinecrest swept the team titles as well as the individual championships in the boys’ and girls’ races. Tommy Delaunay, Pinecrest junior, won in 16 minutes and 48 seconds while teammate Rachel Von Cannon won the girls’ title in 20:53.

But the thought, on Silva’s mind, of being beaten by Griffin?

“Oh, no,” Griffin said. “He wants to beat me every time.”

Only three weeks ago on the same course, Silva won the race outright and stopped the clock in 18:41.8. Griffin was 5.9 seconds behind. On Tuesday, Griffin cut the difference by a little more than half. From the outset, though, it hardly looked like Griffin would make the improvement. Once again, Silva went out with the leaders. Griffin knew he’d have his work cut out for him.

Griffin said by the time he reached the wooden footbridge at the far side of Hinson Lake, the lead pack was gone. So was Silva, who was still hanging with Pinecrest’s top four runners through at least the midway point.

“I couldn’t see him,” Griffin said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Raiders freshman Brandon Silva got off to his customary fast start on Tuesday in a tri-meet with Pinecrest and Purnell Swett.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Raiders freshman Brandon Silva got off to his customary fast start on Tuesday in a tri-meet with Pinecrest and Purnell Swett.

Griffin knew Silva, a notoriously fast starter, would likely slow on his second lap. So Griffin set to reeling him in, one stride at a time. He caught up with him as he approached the wooden footbridge on his second lap, roughly 2.4 miles into the race. The Pinecrest top four, Griffin said, we were ahead of them.

Delauney said that was the plan. As Pinecrest’s top two runners served as pacers, he and others were there to tag along and then, he said, go “all out the last mile.” The goal was under 17:00. For Delauney, it was mission accomplished.

After Silva and Griffin, Zac Paul (18:51), Ryan Humphreys (19:42) and Cody Mabe (23:23) rounded out the scoring five for the Raiders. Aaron English was sixth, and 40th overall, in 24:01 while Darin Anderson finished 43rd in 27:20.

Hudson, Mabe lead Raider girls

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Raiders freshman Kayley Mabe took nearly three and one-half minutes off her time from three weeks ago on the same course. Her performance moved up from No. 4 on the team to No. 2 behind sophomore Cameron Hudson.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Raiders freshman Kayley Mabe took nearly three and one-half minutes off her time from three weeks ago on the same course. Her performance moved up from No. 4 on the team to No. 2 behind sophomore Cameron Hudson.

For freshman Kayley Mabe, the improvement — when compared to Griffin’s — was far more dramatic. In a home meet Sept. 2, Mabe was fourth for the Raiders and ninth overall in a 19-runner field. Her time of 29:15.7 was hardly impressive.

The result was much different on Tuesday. The freshman moved up two spots and finished second for Richmond in 25:46, an improvement of nearly three and one-half minutes. Sophomore Cameron Hudson finished first in 24:06, behind Pinecrest’s first 12 runners in the combined varsity and JV race. She nipped the team’s 13th runner at the finish line.

Three weeks ago, it was dry, hot and humid. On Tuesday, it was much cooler — about 60 degrees and rainy. The conditions, Mabe said, were perfect for a fall cross country meet.

“I run a lot better in the cold,” Mabe said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Cameron Hudson, left, ekes out a margin of victory against Pinecrest's 13th runner on Tuesday in a tri-meet at Hinson Lake in Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Cameron Hudson, left, ekes out a margin of victory against Pinecrest’s 13th runner on Tuesday in a tri-meet at Hinson Lake in Rockingham.

The Raiders are scheduled to compete against Lumberton at Purnell Swett on Sept. 30, against Hoke at Scotland on Oct. 7 and then in the Southeast Conference championship on Oct. 14. The regional meet is set for Oct. 25.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Rachel Von Cannon leads from the start and - well, she looks back once - en route to a clean - er, muddy - victory.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Rachel Von Cannon leads from the start and – well, she looks back once – en route to a clean – er, muddy – victory.

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