Saturday night at South View High School saw lots of drama when it came to the six high school races featured at Jungle Run. With exceedingly hot temperatures sustaining throughout the day and in to the early evening, conditions weren't great for the first few races, but as the sun went down, the times got faster.
The Boys' Championship race got underway just after the sun had disappeared, and the conditions were the best they had been all day. In past years, the Jungle Run had been very much a solo-show with John Tatter's blowout win a year ago. Through the first mile, it appeared that it might not be this way with a good Chapel Hill pack at the front. Homeschool star Jedaiah Ruhl lead Jack Holbrook through the mile in around 4:45 taking the pace out fast. However, as the race progressed, it began to look like what many expected, a Ben Verchick show.
Verchick began to distance himself from the main pack around the halfway mark and kept building on to his lead. The senior entered the track with a solid lead over the rest of the pack and kicked hard to a PR time of 15:28.91. Verchick was followed by Holbrook, a junior from RJ Reynolds, who also PR'd in 15:51.27. Ben Hawley, a sophomore from Chapel Hill, kicked in right behind Holbrook in a PR time of 15:55.03. Ruhl would drop a big PR and ensured he's a name to remember the next two years taking 4th in 16:03.
It seemed to be Chapel Hill's night winning almost every single race in the team category.
With Hawley's strong finish as well as the 6th, 7th, 10th, and 12th finishers, Chapel Hill easily won the Boys' Championship with 38 points over Jordan who scored 96. After a heavy graduation hit this summer losing three long-time staples of their program we weren't sure how strong the Tigers would be this fall. Chapel Hill proved that this is the best team they've had over the last few years running a 1-5 team average of 16:13. The second best all-time behind last years Broughton squad at the Jungle Run.
It's certainly early in the season, but Chapel Hill currently sits at US#8 in the national team rankings.
As it almost always does, the 2018 Jungle Run lived up to the hype and proved to be a good sign that we are in for a very exciting cross country season here in North Carolina.