WILMINGTON — West Johnston's Dakota Peachee and Maraya Slatter saved their best for last Saturday, capturing respective individual titles in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4-A East Regional cross country championships.
Peachee used a move on the final mile of the course to rally past Wilmington Hoggard's Charles Wofford in claiming the boys crown and leading the Wildcats to a third-place team finish.
Peachee completed the 3.1-mile circuit in 15:45.7. Wofford trailed at 15:49.11.
"I felt really good going into the race," Peachee said. "The wind was horrendous at times and slowed us down to a crawl."
The Wildcats finished with 80 points but were beaten by team champion Southern Pines Pinecrest, which had 73 points, and runner-up Wilmington Hoggard.
Fayetteville South View claimed the final team qualifying spot, finishing fourth with 101 points.
Pinecrest, led by Derek Whitescarver's 11th-place showing, placed five among the top 18 finishers in taking the team title.
Qualifying individually for next week's 4-A championships at Tanglewood Park in Winston-Salem were Jordan Locklear of Jack Britt, Chase Christianson of Terry Sanford, Blake Woodall of Pine Forest and Kurt Zendher of Southeast Raleigh.
Slatter, running virtually stride-for-stride with Fayetteville Terry Sanford's Cory Catlett in the girls event, dropped to the inside of Catlett as the tandem entered the chute leading to the finish line. Slater moved by Catlett and pulled away for a winning time of 19:05.56.
Slatter paced the Wildcats to the team championship, as West outdistanced Terry Sanford 47-69. Pinecrest was third with 109 points, and Hoggard was fourth with 128.
Earning qualifying berths were Caitie Simmons of Clayton, Dana Johnson of SouthView, Shelby Howell of New Hanover, Cassandra Lindquist of Smithfield-Selma and Tyrah Winfry of Seventy-First.