smhs cross country

Smoky Mountain’s men and women competed in the State 3-A Cross Country Meet held Saturday at Kernersville. Team members include, from left: (first row) Richard Ly, Gavin Coggins, Caleb Phillips; (second row) Maia Wilde, Morgana McCollough, Vanessa Salgado, Sophia Ammons, Jainy Hoang; (third row) Zeb Mathis; (fourth row) Lily Buenting, Parker Smith, Ben Saunooke, Aidan Menickelli, Coleman Hopfinger and Davey McCoy.

By Carey Phillips


Smoky Mountain’s women finished 16th out of 18 teams, and the men were 19th among 21 squads at Saturday’s State 3-A Cross Country Meet at Kernersville.

“All the coaches are very excited for our kids,” Coach Adam Phillips said. “We’re very proud of the year they had. Moving from 2-A to 3-A and getting both teams to the state meet says a lot about our kids and how hard they worked. We have a very bright future for both teams.”

Six of the top seven will be back for the women, and five of the top seven will return for the men.

Lily Buenting had the highest finish for any SM runners as she was 38th in 20:59. Completing the top five for the Lady Mustangs were:

Vanessa Saldago, 91st, 22:44; Maia Wilde, 94th, 22:47; Sophia Ammons, 116th, 23:31; and Morgana McCollough, 145th, 26:37.

Parker Smith led the Mustang men as he was 44th in 17:28. Rounding out SM’s top five were:

Caleb Phillips, 64th, 17:53; Zeb Mathis, 121st, 18:53; Coleman Hopfinger, 137th, 19:19; and Richard Ly, 159th, 20:18.

Also competing for the men were Davey McCoy, who was 161st in 20:31, and Aidan Menickelli, who was 170th in 21:48.

North Lincoln’s men and women won state titles.