Gonzalez wins gold at WPAC championship

The Forbush men’s and women’ cross country teams competed in the WPAC meet last week.

Courtesy of Forbush Track Twitter

DOBSON — Representatives from six Western Piedmont 2A Conference schools took part in the Cross Country Conference Championship meet at Fisher River Park on Jan. 5.

Competitors haven’t been in a race of this size since 2019 due to COVID regulations that have been in place for the 2020-21 season. There were 36 male competitors and 28 female competitors.

Atkins won the boys race with four finishes in the top-5, including each of the top three spots.

West Stokes’ girls won their third-straight conference championship as a team, but it was a young woman from Forbush that captured the conference championship.

Atkins senior Walter Sellers had the performance of the day. Sellers finished the 5,000-meter run in 16:21.96, nearly 40 seconds faster than his teammate and second-place finisher, Andrew Burrell.

That time would put Sellers in the top-10 of last season’s 2A State Championship.

Forbush’s Nate Warden helped spoil Atkins’ clean sweep by taking fourth place at 17:45.08. West Stokes’ Cameron Knox also prevented Atkins from taking the top five spots with a 17:53.71 finish.

West Stokes took second as a team behind Atkins.

Surry Central’s top finisher was senior Hector Morales, who crossed the finish line at 18:29.71 to take ninth place. North Surry’s Isaac Riggs was right behind Morales at 18:39.87.

Surry Central’s boys finished in third place and qualified for regionals along with Atkins and West Stokes.

North Surry and Forbush didn’t qualify for regionals as a team, but each had representatives qualify as individuals: Warden for the Falcons and Riggs for the Greyhounds.

Full boys results are below. The top 12 finishers received WPAC All-Conference honors.

1. Walter Sellers ATKS 16:21.96

2. Andrew Burrell ATKS 17:00.62

3. Mason Rudel ATKS 17:01.87

4. Nate Warden FBSH 17:45.08

5. Will Downs ATKS 17:52.08

6. Cameron Knox WEST 17:53.71

7. Jackson Lackey ATKS 17:57.49

8. Greg Grasso WEST 18:15.21

9. Hector Morales SCHS 18:29.71

10. Isaac Riggs NSHS 18:39.87

11. Jacob Adkins WEST 18:50.84

12. Ethan Hall ATKS 18:54.43

13. Charlie Hernandez SCHS 19:16.34

14. Elijah Bower WEST 19:31.93

15. Christian Furno FBSH 19:38.18

16. Eddy Osorio-Ramirez SCHS 20:04.27

17. Sebastian Sanchez SCHS 20:13.99

18. Ray Pell NSHS 20:20.30

19. Salvador Rodriguez NSHS 20:21.40

20. Jonah Keen FBSH 20:27.68

21. Camryn Agee ATKS 20:52.58

22. Bryson Milner WALK 20:58.74

23. Ethan Snow FBSH 21:18.62

24. Carter Jones SCHS 21:22.65

25. AJ Moran WEST 21:25.52

26. Jair Gonzalez NSHS 21:56.74

27. Phillip Lowman WEST 22:32.55

28. Jaysen Smith FBSH 22:37.14

29. Jaxson Gray FBSH 22:44.02

30. Jackson Gentry FBSH 23:02.87

31. William Erickson WEST 23:39.27

32. Brayden Millner WALK 26:06.99

33. Jacob Flemming WALK 26:20.55

34. Peyton Kowalski WALK 27:42.74

35. Chris McCorkle WALK 27:44.46

36. Miles Fowler SCHS 27:59.52

Forbush’s Bianca Gonzalez crossed the finish line of the girls race a full 30 seconds before anyone else. She won the WPAC Championship with a 5K time of 21:28.81.

West Stokes’ Sydney Cockerham took the silver medal at 21:59.46. Although Cockerham couldn’t capture an individual championship, she did lead the Lady Wildcats to the team championship.

Five Wildcat runners finished in the top 10 while no other school had more than two.

North Surry senior Amelia York rounded out the podium with a third-place finish at 22:31.27. Although the Greyhounds won’t be competing as a team at regionals, York will be there representing North Surry.

Surry Central’s girls finished third as a team. The Golden Eagles were led by a pair of freshmen that finished No. 6 and No. 10.

Lanie Fitzgerald finished just outside the top five at 23:16.52. Ella Priddy wasn’t too far behind at 24:41.27. Both girls received All-Conference honors and helped the Eagles qualify for regionals as a team.

Full girls results are below. The top 12 finishers received WPAC All-Conference honors.

1. Bianca Gonzalez FBSH 21:28.81

2. Sydney Cockerham WEST 21:59.46

3. Amelia York NSHS 22:31.27

4. Darlene Valverde FBSH 22:59.08

5. Maggie Hill WEST 23:08.87

6. Lanie Fitzgerald SCHS 23:16.52

7. Rhyan Sapp WEST 23:21.46

8. Mikayla Nixon WEST 24:18.65

9. Ragan Speer WEST 24:22.43

10. Ella Priddy SCHS 24:41.27

11. Ashley Wang ATKS 24:43.02

12. Lorena Mendoza FBSH 24:45.40

13. Haley (Jordan) Mclean ATKS 25:15.78

14. Weatherly Reeves NSHS 25:24.30

15. Abigail Hernandez SCHS 25:27.93

16. Brittany Frausto SCHS 25:30.55

17. Sarah Wiendhoft FBSH 25:36.49

18. Veronica Sherman ATKS 25:48.71

19. Wendy Cantor SCHS 26:17.74

20. Greyson Orr WEST 26:18.52

21. Vianey Cortez FBSH 26:40.11

22. Nydia Cabrera NSHS 26:50.46

23. Aliana Senter FBSH 26:50.65

24. Sadie Knox WEST 27:11.27

25. Jessica Hackenbruch ATKS 29:59.87

26. Maddie Creed NSHS 30:21.99

27. Natalie Slate NSHS 31:32.46

28. Claire Marion SCHS 32:59.49

Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith