Wilson Hall senior Trey Parker closed out his stellar high school career Saturday at Heathwood Hall by winning his third-straight SCISA Class 3A cross country championship.
Parker, who first prevailed as a sophomore in 2006 after finishing third as a freshman and fourth as an eight-grader behind former Ben Lippen star Graham Tribble, was satisfied with his finish, but not necessarily his time on the soggy 3.1-mile course.
"The state record is 15:16 (set by Tribble in his final prep outing) and that was kind of the goal at the start of the season, but I'm happy with getting the third win because not too many other people have done that," said Parker.
"I was really hoping to go under 16 minutes today, but the course was wet and soft and I just missed it."
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Parker clocked in at 16 minutes, 1.8 seconds - his best SCISA championship time and the fastest time in his career at a major meet. His previous best was a 16:09 on the same course at the Highlander Invitational two weeks ago. He concluded his career with two national elite times.
The big story in the girls Class 3A race was the end of Hammond's four-year reign. St. Joseph's Catholic of Greenville, after two straight runner-up finishes, blew away the competition en route to its first state title. The Knights placed all five scoring runners finished in the top eight to finish with 22 points, 34 points ahead of second-place Hilton Head Prep. Hammond finished third with 67 points.
"We set the goal to win this right here last year," said St. Joseph's coach Marie Kernell. "This is talent, hard working and crazy lovers of running group."
The Knights made their intentions known with a convincing win over Hammond at a small-scale, early-season meet, and never faltered against the Skyhawks the rest of the way.
"Beating Hammond at that early meet was very important," said Kernell. "After that we had the goal in sight. The girls went for it, and did it."
Emily Coggins, Dani Ingleby, Katie Sanders and Katie Lynam lined up at the finish line in order behind individual champion Jill Brunori of Hilton Head Prep.
The St. Joseph's boys team made it a clean sweep by winning the 3A title for the second year in a row. Brothers Joshua and Brad Benore led the way by finishing second and third, respectively, behind Parker.
Team scores: St. Joseph's 22, Hilton Head Prep 56, Hammond 67, Ashley Hall 104, Heathwood Hall 159, Cardinal Newman 202, Augusta Christian 207, Ben Lippen 213, Porter-Gaud 250, Wilson Hall 251, Pinewood Prep 256, Orangeburg Prep 353.
Top 10 individuals: 1. Jill Brunori, Hilton Head Prep, 19:44.04; 2. Emily Coggins, St. Joseph's, 19:44.33; 3. Dani Inglesby, St. Joseph's, 19:54.54; 4. Katie Sanders, St. Joseph's, 19:58.71; 5. Katie Lynam, St. Joseph's; 20:10.45; 6. Catherine Herring, Hammond, 20:26.71; 7. Louisa Phillips, Ashley Hall, 20:41.41; 8. Kayli Heuk, St. Joseph's, 20:49.12, 9. Avery Fine, Hilton Head Prep, 21:03.80; 10. Mason Castles, Hammond, 21:07.19.
Team scores: St. Joseph's 49, Porter-Gaud 51, Wilson Hall 58, Ben Lippen 111, Heathwood Hall 136, Cardinal Newman 177, Hilton Head Prep 196, Augusta Christian 217, Pinewood Prep 240, Hammond 243, Orangeburg Prep 274.
Top 10 individuals: 1. Trey Parker, Wilson Hall, 16:01.08; 2. Joshua Benore, St. Joseph's, 17:15.67; 3. Brad Benore, St. Joseph's, 17:40.47; 4. Hunter Frady, Ben Lippen, 17:45.90; 5. Marshall Vingi, Porter-Gaud, 17:50.20; 6. Wesley Mather, Porter-Gaud, 17:50.28; 7. Ben Lougenecker, St. Joseph's, 17:50.90; 8. Jaiden Brandt, Augusta Christian, 17:50.99; 9. Evan Love, Porter-Gaud, 17:53.79; 10. Josh Jennings, Wilson Hall, 17:58.48.