The Catawba Ridge Copperheads have their first No. 1 ranking — and, well, you can say sophomore Mary Drolet ran away with it.
Drolet recently became the No. 1 ranked 3A girls’ runner in the state with a good showing at the Lake Murray Invitational on Tuesday, Sept. 24, where she finished 19th overall in 19:20. Drolet said she didn’t know about the ranking until head coach David Helms texted her.
She cut her season best run down by 50 seconds at the event.
“It feels pretty cool,” she said. “I am really proud of it.”
Drolet ran at Fort Mill last year, but she’s now at Catawba Ridge. She said she has been able to improve over the season and credits the summer training she did with the school.
“I think what happened was we started the season really early and I had like a two-week break between the end of track and the start of cross-country,” she said.
Drolet has embraced her new team and is happy with how things have developed for her. She said cross-country is more than just a sport for her.
“I have a lot of support,” she said. “I like the support that it gives and that we give to each other. I think out society needs more of that now.”
Helms said he isn’t surprised about Drolet’s success, but he didn’t realize her performance at Lake Murray got her the top spot.
“I knew she would be up there,” he said. “I didn’t realize she would be there. There are three girls that are all in the mid-19s that are pretty steady.”
The other runners Helms is referring to are May River High School’s Emma Peluso, who is second in the state at 19:27 and Waccamaw High School runners Alice Fancke and Anna Margaret Loftus, who are tied for third with times at 19:36.
Most recently, Catawba Ridge boys’ and girls’ cross-country team beat Riverwalk Academy of Rock Hill. Both of the Copperheads’ teams scored a perfect race with each team getting a score of 15, as all five finishers came in the top-5.
“I like where we are at in the season,” Helms said. “All of the kids times are getting further and further down. As October hits, we are getting into championship season.”
Drolet won the girls’ race in 21:30, and Josh Silverman for the Copperheads won the boys race in 18:05. Kayla Southwood, Hunter Mattes, Sophia Commerford and Talia Gluff rounded out the girls’ top-5.
Caden Westover, Will Macauley, Spencer Predmore and Ty Massey rounded out the boys’ top-5 finishers.
Up next for Catawba Ridge is the Wendy’s Invitational at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte on Oct. 5, and after that, the Copperheads will travel to Camden for the Coaches Classic on Oct. 12.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM