By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Cherokee’s Kendall Toineeta has another award to add to her already growing trophy case. She took 7th place at the 1A State Cross Country Championships in Kernersville on Saturday, Nov. 5 and earned All-State honors by placing in the top 10.
“All of the top All-State runners were leaving all they had on the course,” said CHS coach Eddie Swimmer. “I cannot remember seeing any high school athletic event where all the athletes were finishing totally exhausted.”
“Kendall ran strong and stayed in the top ten all throughout the race. All of the hard work and lonely miles she put in this summer and season paid off Saturday.”
Kirsten Parries, Mount Airy, took the state championship with a time of 19:33.99 followed by Sarah Hardin, Lake Norman, 19:44.31 and Carly Kreber, Bishop McGuinness, 19:44.31.
Lake Norman won the team championship with a score of 55 followed by Bishop McGuinness 65, Gray Stone 143, Franklin Academy 153 and Hendersonville 155.
Toineeta, Smoky Mountain Conference champion, finished with a time of 20:17.10, her personal record according to Coach Swimmer.
“Words cannot describe how I feel of her and the whole high school and middle school cross country program,” said Swimmer. “They all start getting ready for cross country right when school gets out for the summer. In a sport where one really has to be dedicated, committed and devoted, Kendall is a great example as well as the whole cross country team. Truly, Kendall deserves the title of All-State!”
CHS Coach Ahli-sha Stephens commented, “I am extremely proud of Kendall. All of her hard work has truly paid off. All the days she ran in the hot sun to the cold and rainy days helped prepare her for this race. As a freshman with her kind of talent, hard work ethic and her parent’s support, she is destined to great things in her high school athletic career.”
Coach Swimmer is also looking toward the future. “It has been one of the best seasons we have had and I can only wait to see what this program grows into. I would like to thank all my kids for working hard this season: Lady Braves – Kendall Toineeta, Shayna Ledford, Avery Mintz, Jordyn Thompson, Priscilla Squirrell, Alexis Maney, Alea Tisho, Deija Burgess and Miranda Smith; Braves – Levi Swearengin, Earl Carroll and Gerald Mahan.”