Iris and Lily Terwilliger celebrate with Coach Hanes after the championship race as an apprehensive looking Curtis Coleman lurks in the background.

Jordan Hirigoyen CFNN Reporter

On Tuesday, October 22nd, the women’s cross country team challenged themselves at the PAC-9 Cross Country Championships. They managed two of the top 5 finishes, and a 3rd place team finish overall – just short of the top 2 finish needed for a team award. 

The race, as usual, was held at South View High School. The women were familiar with this course as they face it biannually. Every year, the regular season opens with the well-established South View “Jungle Run,” and closes with the PAC-9 championship.  

Lily Terwilliger leads the way.

The race began at 5:30 P.M. for the Lady Colts. The team was composed of 9 girls; Lily Terwilliger, Iris Terwilliger, Dylan Sneed, Natalie Autry, Ilyana Walker, Alicia Simmons, Lia Tenhundfeld, Gracie Zudonyi and Gracen Ray. 

Rainger Pratt of Terry Sanford took first place from Psalm Delaney of Pine Forest, who dominated the conference all year. Iris Terwilliger followed Pratt, placing her second overall. This was Iris Terwilliger’s first race in almost a month as she missed the last four in recovery from a strained IT band. 

Iris Terwilliger finishes strong.

“It was a bittersweet race because I was happy to place second overall recovering from my injury, but being injury-free I know I could’ve taken first, which I plan to do next season,” said Iris Terwilliger

Psalm Delaney would finish third with team captain Lily Terwilliger following closely in fourth. This would close out the Lady Colts finishes in the top 10. The Terwilliger sisters performances would land them in first-team all conference and won them medals.

She would not let us use a picture of her running.

 “Considering this was my first fully healthy season since combating anemia in my sophomore year, being fourth in the conference solidifies all my hard work up to this moment,” said Lily Terwilliger. “Running cross country has always been filled with ups and downs, and I’m happy with finishing at the top.” 

Natalie Autry, an up and coming star runner, would finish 17th overall winning her a medal and a spot on the second-team all conference as a sophomore. She has made great strides throughout the season.

Natalie Autry looks to improve even more at States and next season.

“I just started running cross country, and I think over the next few years I can be much better than I currently am, and get to the top,” said Autry. “This year I was nervous leading up to the race, but it went away as soon as I started running. I ran one of my best races all year and still only look to improve for future races.”

The other Lady Colts would not quite make the placings, but, being composed entirely of underclassmen, they have a bright future and will look forward to making a statement in the races to come. 

Join the Lady Colts November 2nd as they compete at the Northwood course in Pittsboro for a chance to qualify for states. Hope to see you there!