Lake Norman's Griffin Horner makes his way to the finish line Tuesday to win the Iredell County boys' championship race.

Consider the cream of this fall season’s cross country crop in Iredell County as raised to the top.

Two area-based teams and one set of similarly located feet wound up setting the pace during the course of the running of the annual Iredell County Cross County Championship Meet.

Conducted at the Mac Anderson Park course in Statesville on what wound up being a record-setting day as far as high temperatures were concerned, the duo of Lake Norman’s girls and Mooresville’s boys teams each clocked in with the fastest times among their respective division’s combined counting entries while Lake Norman’s boys entry housed that gender’s overall fastest single finisher overall.

The seasonal affair account for the only time all season that representatives of all of Iredell County’s cross country teams convened at the same site for competition in the same event.

In the final team standings, Lake Norman’s girls used the placement of all five of their contributing runners among the top seven positions overall — each of them also worthy of being rewarded with respective All-Iredell honors — to accumulate a total of 22 points that bested the next-best team in the girls field by in excess of 50 points.

Meanwhile, among the field’s boys teams, Mooresville parlayed the positioning of all but one of the counting sets of feet among the field’s top five placements to support the tallying of a team-low 25 points that secured the Blue Devils the team title by less than a double-digit margin.

In the girls final team standings, Lake Norman set the day’s pace with the winning total with the Wildcats followed in the field by Mooresville’s 77 points, South Iredell with 83 points, North Iredell with 83 points, and Statesville with 101 points.

In the boys final figuring, Mooresville claimed the top spot followed, in order by Lake Norman with 34 points, North Iredell with 96 points, West Iredell with 108 points, South Iredell with 118 points, and Statesville with 170 points.

As is the case with all cross country meets, teams tally together the positions of each of their top five fastest finishers to achieve a total score.

Individually, no other single entry covered the affair’s 5K distance faster than did one member of Lake Norman’s boys team.

The Wildcats’ sophomore Griffin Horner keyed his team’s runner-up showing courtesy of crossing the finish line in an official time of 16 minutes, 53 seconds and change that allowed him to best the next-best entry in the field by a seven-second spread.

Among girls runners, North Iredell’s Jonna Strange captured medalist honors.

Lake Norman’s girls team’s push to the top came thanks to the finishes of all five of its counting runners logging among those top seven positions. For the day overall, as many as seven of the Wildcats finished in the field’s fastest 10 positions.

In pacing the charge, the Cats’ Maddie Huecker chimed in with a second-place finish and was then followed across the stripe by teammates Madeline Stolberg, Kaleigh Stolberg, Elizabeth Galla and Ashley Beinstock.

Mooresville’s girls boosted their presence thanks to Top 10 finishes from former county meet champion Sami Homburger and Ella Moore. Other members of the Blue Devils aiding the team’s scoring cause included, in order of doing so, Kallie Rockness, Lyndsy Neigel and Brianna Pratt.

For Mooresville’s first-place finishing boys team, Top 10 showings fashioned by the cast comprised of silver medalist Damien Gonzalez, bronze medalist Tanner Smith, fourth-place finisher Matt Ferrara and fifth-place Andrew Lanning keyed the effort. Also for the Blue Devils, Eric Jones completed the counting corps.

The majority of the runners in the field used the appearance in the Iredell County title meet to prepare for the beginning of statewide postseason cross country competition that is on track to take place later this month.

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