Silva, Hudson lead Richmond XC

Raider boys, Hoke girls run to team titles in triangular

MacKenzie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Brandon Silvers, left, and Wells Griffin lead the Richmond Raiders to the boys' team title Tuesday in a tri-meet at Hinson Lake against Hoke County and Purnell Swett.

MacKenzie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Brandon Silva, left, and Wells Griffin lead the Richmond Raiders to the boys’ team title Tuesday in a tri-meet at Hinson Lake against Hoke County and Purnell Swett.

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Previous coverage: Blood, sweat and tears 
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* Boys results
* Girls results

ROCKINGHAM — It was just a little triangular cross country meet.

But seeing as how it was the first one of the fall season, it sure felt nice to don the gold Raider singlet and complete two loops around Hinson Lake in Rockingham for time.

With a chase pack.

Freshman Brandon Silva led wire to wire on Tuesday and teammate and fellow first-year harrier Wells Griffin tucked in behind him to secure the top two spots and lead Richmond to the team title with 21 points. Purnell Swett was second with 49 points and Hoke County was third with 54 points.

Silva stopped the clock in 18:41.8 while Griffin finished less than six seconds behind in 18:47.7. Teammate Zac Paul, a junior, placed a distant third in 19:53.8 but won a small race of his own as he edged out Purnell Swett senior Cody Harris (19:55.7) in a sprint on the levee. The tactic and finish-line effort could pay dividends not so much in an early-season meet but in more important invitationals later this season.

MacKenzie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Cameron Hudson, a Richmond sophomore, led all finishers to the line of the Raiders' tri-meet Tuesday at Hinson Lake in Rockingham.

MacKenzie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Cameron Hudson, a Richmond sophomore, led all finishers to the line of the Raiders’ tri-meet Tuesday at Hinson Lake in Rockingham.

Two more Raiders — junior Ryan Humphreys and senior Josh Meehan — finished inside the top 10 in 20:41.8 and 21:23.8, respectively, while Shyheem Monroe finished out the scoring five with a time of 23:19.1, good for 16th in the field of 29.

For Silva, it’s all about getting off to a fast start. Richmond coach Reggie Miller even tried to slow him down at a recent time trial. It is not, Miller cautioned, a 100-meter sprint of a race. But that doesn’t mean Silva doesn’t start out like it is. So far, he said, it’s a strategy that works.

“If somebody gets in front of me” at the start, Silva explained, “I don’t think I’ll get back up.”

So he goes all out for a couple of minutes. On Tuesday, that meant he put a fair amount of distance between himself and the rest of the field — well, everyone but Griffin. Even at the midway point, Griffin was a mere three seconds off the lead pace.

“I was just trying to keep up with” Silva, Griffin said. “At the beginning, he took off. He was pretty far ahead of me.”

Using a more traditional approach for the 3.1-mile distance, Griffin used the available miles to catch up. Once he and his teammate had a lead on the rest of the field, “I never looked back,” Griffin said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com The start line on the levee.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
The start line on the levee.

Neither did Cameron Hudson. The sophomore and second-year cross country runner put more than 30 seconds between her and runner-up Summer Thompson, a Hoke County senior. Hudson, who also led during last week’s time trial, finished in 24:26.5. Thompson stopped the clock in 24:57.6 and fellow sophomore and Raider Summer Moore took third in 26:29.8.

After Richmond junior Breanne Daley place fifth in 27:40.6, Hoke County assured itself of the team title when it swept the sixth, seventh and eighth spots — Autumn Hardin in 27:45.8, Katlin Quinn in 28:52.3 and Isis Baldwin in 29:06.7.

Hoke County edged Richmond for the team title, 27 points to 28 for the host Raiders. Purnell Swett fielded an incomplete team.

For his part, Silva figured the season-opening competition is the start of good things to come. He believes he chop off about two minutes from Tuesday’s time.

“I think I can do that, at least,” Silvers said.

To get there, Silvers said he’s more than willing to do “an extra lap or two” needed.

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