The Watuaga High boys' and girls' cross country teams kicked off the 2014 season Saturday bh hosting the Pioneer Clash of the Classes. The WHS girls picked up a gold medal, a silver medal and they had 18 top 20 finishers. Leading the way was senior Kathleen Mansure, who was WHS' only state qualifier last fall (she finished in
82nd place at the Class 4A state meet). Mansure, who also qualified for states in track, won the girls senior race in 11:40.13.
She bested the field by nearly a full minute. Kenzie Himelein-Wachowiak of Asheville-Reynolds came in second with a time of 12:26.47. Courtney Caprel of the Pioneers finished fourth in 13:52.26; Lily Weeks was seventh in 14:54.33; Rachel Foutz finished tenth in 15:48.88. Nelson McKenzie was 11th (15:49.65) and Elise Lehr was 16th (18:26.84).
The Pioneers had three finishers in the top 20 in the girls' junior race. Jessica Wangler led way with a 13th-place finish in 14:54.78; Lauren Welsh was 18th in 15:17.27; Amanda Langston was 20th in 15:31.52. Anna Vess of Asheville-Reynolds won the junior race in 11:53.41. Ashley Smith of West Forsyth finished second in 12:07.42.
The Pioneers had three top 20 finishers in girls' sophomore race. Collins Finley paced WHS with a second-place finish as she crossed the finish line in 13:25.30. Amber Opp of Freedom won the race in 12:34.37.
Katie Harrleson of WHS was 18th in 16:19.57; Tory Jensen was 20th in 16:30.61.
The WHS freshman girls had six top 20 finishers. Anna Selong was WHS' top finisher. She finished sixth in 15:17.42. Maddie Brown was tenth in 15:53.78; Sage Souza was 11th in 16:07.91; Angela Ramsdell was 16th in 16:38.63; Molly Nguyan was 17th in 17:40.50; Eryn Boyle of the Pioneers was 18th in 17:45.99. Isabel Flores of Pinecrest won the girls' freshman race in 13:16.14.
For the WHS boys, a silver medal, a bronze medal and 13 top 20 finishers in all. Leading the way was senior Michael Holland, who finished second in 9:56.73. Tim coffey of Mooresville won the boys' senior race in 9:48.81.
The Pioneers had two top 20 finishers in the boys' junior race. Matthew Hellenbrand was sixth in 11:10.54; Nelson Russ of West Forsyth won the race in 9:55.08; Jarrett Prtichard of WHS was 20th (12:45.94).
River Rhodes paced the Pioneers in the boys' sophommore race with a seventh-place finish (11:30.76). John Corley of the Pioneers finished ninth in 12:18.70; the Pioneers had four top 20 finishers.
Michael Whitt was 15th in 13:01.21; Evan Miller was 16th (13:05.91. Devan Pratt of Terry Sanford won the race in 10:40.98.
WHS had six top 20 finishers in the boys' freshman race. Price St. Clair had WHS second-best showing of the day with a third-place finish (11:40.40). Josh Lamont of the Pioneers was right behind him in 11:41.76. Logan Carter of Walkertown won the race in 11:11.12.
Elias Norman of the Pioneers was 15th (13:28.63); Aiden Powers was 17th (13:47.45); Sam Yates was 18th (13:50.31).
Seth Warren of East Alexander Middle School won the boys' middle school race in 12:23; Blaine St. Clair, who was unattached, finished second in 14:03.
The Pioneers travel to St. Stephens for the Northwestern 3A-4A Conference relays. They travel to Hendersonville for the Western North Carolina Cross Country Carnival Saturday.