Pinecrest’s Carmen Alder, left, and Vanessa Alder hold up their hardware after finishing first and second at the NCHSAA 4A state championship meet on Friday in Kernersville. Carmen’s title was her third straight to close out her career on the cross country team.

Pinecrest senior Carmen Alder closed her cross country career in the same dominating fashion that helped her claim individual state championships as a sophomore and a junior during the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A state championship on Friday morning.

On the same course in Kernersville where she holds the girls record, Alder finished the 5K race in a time of 17:47 to earn her third straight state title. The accomplishment has only been done four other times in state history on the girls side, and the feat makes her the ninth runner in state history to three-peat as state champion.

The time on Friday was Alder’s best time at the state championship race.

The field for the state championship race was broken into two sections to limit close contact on the course and at the start/finish line, Pinecrest’s girls ran in the first section. Finishing behind Carmen Alder was his sister, sophomore Vanessa Alder, finishing two seconds ahead of Apex’s Sarah Mitchell for third place in the section. Vanessa’s time of 18:42 held after the second section ran the course to give the Alder sisters the top two finishers in the race.

Pinecrest’s girls team finished seventh in the final team results as its three best finishers came in the top 11.

Behind the Alders in first and second, sophomore Lauren Wimberly finished 11th overall in a time of 19:31.

The other finishers for the Patriots included junior Emma Overton in 86th place in a time of 22:22, freshman Madeline Tyson in 90th in a time of 23:05, freshman Opie Hagan in 91st in a time of 23:19 and freshman Caitlyn Hurd in 92nd in a time of 23:26.

Also running for Pinecrest on the boys side Friday morning was sophomore Zack Gilbertson.

Gilberton finished the boys race in a time of 16:14 to earn seventh place. It’s the second top-10 finish for the sophomore at the state championship after finishing ninth as a freshman.

The sophomore’s time was third-best in his section. The section was the second wave of runners, who started the race knowing the time to beat.

State champion Murphy Smith from Ardrey Kell ran in Gilbertson’s section, and finished the more than three-mile course in 15:44.

Contact Jonathan Bym at (910) 693-2470 or

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