County clash

North Wilkes’ Keaton Hincher and West Wilkes’ Austin Triplette jockey for positioning early in last weekend’s Midwest Regional championship.

The final North Carolina High School Athletic Association cross country races of the fall 2019 season are scheduled for this Saturday at the Ivey M. Redmon Complex in Kernersville.

Action at the state championship will begin at 9 a.m. with the 3A boys race and the final race will start at 3:30 p.m. with the 2A girls.

Fresh off his 10th place finish in last weekend’s 1A West Regional, East Wilkes’ Preston Dowell will be making his fourth state championship appearance.

He will compete in the 1A boys race, which will take place at 9:30 a.m. Dowell finished 11th in last year’s championships — just one spot out of All-State recognition. The senior was an all-state finisher in 2017 when he placed ninth.

Wilkes County will be well represented in the 2A state championships by six runners, starting with the 2A boys race at 2:30 p.m.

West Wilkes’ Austin Triplette, who finished 10th in the Midwest Regional last weekend, will be the most experienced county runner in the 2A championships. He will be making his third state championship appearance.

Wilkes Central will have the most runners from the county competing with three. Maddie Beard will be making her second state championship appearance after turning in a Midwest Regional runner-up finish last weekend. Teammate Kaylin Bang will also be making her second state appearance after qualifying back in 2017.

Mountain Valley Athletic Conference Runner of the Year Anthony Perales, who finished fourth in the Midwest last weekend, will be making his first appearance at the state championships for the Eagles.

Like Perales, North Wilkes’ Braeden Foster and Keaton Hincher will both be making their first state championship appearances.

Foster, a sophomore, finished 11th last weekend while Hincher, a senior, claimed a 13th-place finish.

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