BHS boys, HHIHS girls lead local state qualifiers

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Beaufort High’s boys and Hilton Head High’s girls won their races, and three other boys teams and two additional girls teams from the Lowco also qualified for the SCHSL Class 4A Cross Country Championships at the state qualifying races Friday in Chapin.

The teams were seeded into two boys races and two girls races, with the top six teams in each field advancing to the state championships. 

Beaufort’s boys won the Boys Odd race, as defending state runner-up Marlon Belden continued his return to form, placing fourth in 16:26. Teammate Gavin Moore (16:49) was close behind in ninth for the Eagles. HHIHS placed third in the odd race, with Max Struna (16:49) leading the way in eighth. 

In the Boys Even race, May River finished second behind seventh- and eighth-place finishers Colin Keck (16:25) and Jaxon Beebe (16:34), while Bluffton was fourth with Armando Macias Jimenez (16:21) placing sixth.

The Seahawks won the Girls Odd race thanks to three top-five finishers. Cynthia Gudaitis finished third in 18:59, followed by teammates Laney Duncan (19:21) and Sarah Neville (19:26) to round out the top five, and Reagan Gilman (19:57) was 12th. 

In the Girls Even race, Bluffton placed second, led by Ava Gerschutz (20:04) in eighth and Kaitlyn McDonagh (20:18) in 10th. May River’s Anya Arroyo won the race in 18:28, and Victoria Sosa (20:19) was 11th, leading the Sharks to a fourth-place showing.

The state championship races are Thursday at Sandhill Research & Educational Center in Columbia.

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