By Carey Phillips
Smoky Mountain’s women placed fourth, and the men were fifth in the Mountain Six Conference Cross Country Meet held Oct. 23 at the Jackson County Recreation Center in Cullowhee.
Tyler Watterson finished third among the 51 runners for the men in 16:44.
Lily Buenting was fifth out of 47 runners for the women in 20:42.
They earned all-conference honors by placing in the top 10.
“All of our kids had either personal-best or seasonal-best times,” Coach Pam Shuler said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with our times. They ran fast and hard. We did not place as well in the conference because in some key positions runners from Franklin and Pisgah were right in front of our runners.”
In addition to Buenting, those finishing in the top five for the Lady Mustangs included:
Anna Morgan, 13th, 21:48; Lucy McRae, 23rd, 22:41; Maia Wilde, 24th, 22:46; and Becky Pechmann, 27th, 23:35.
Franklin’s Dylan Garcia was the winner in 19:06.
Brevard took the team title with 31 points, followed by Hendersonville (43), Franklin (79), SM (83) and Pisgah (133).
East Henderson did not have enough runners to qualify for team standings.
Joining Watterson in the top five for the Mustang men were:
Parker Smith, 14th, 18:03; Caleb Phillips, 23rd, 18:52; Ben Saunooke, 26th, 19:07; and Henry Hanks, 27th, 19:21.
Franklin’s Ethan Stamey won in 16:19.
Franklin edged Brevard 49-50 for the team title. Hendersonville was third with 72 points, followed by Pisgah (91), SM (93) and East Henderson (143).
The Western 2-A Regionals are set for Saturday at Southside Park in Newton.
“Our goal is to improve for the regionals to place better and get in front of our competition rather than right behind them or beside them,” Shuler said.