North Carolina's most dominant distance stars both received well-earned recognition as part of a national awards program.
(Engels photo courtesy of Peter Rufo)
Craig Engels and Wesley Frazier have been named Gatorade Track & Field Players of the Year for North Carolina. They are now eligible for the nation-wide award for track & field, which will be awarded to one male and one female athlete out of those who won awards at the state level. Engels and Frazier join Sammy George and Thomas Graham, who were named Gatorage Cross Country Players of the Year for North Carolina earlier in the school year.
Craig Engels earns his third championship of the day, and 5th of the year, at the NCHSAA 4A state championship.
Engels finished his senior season ranked 6th in the nation in the 1600/mile, 9th in the nation in the 800, and 12th in the nation in the 3200, displaying his amazing range. The Ronald W. Reagan student began his high school career as a soccer player and competed in the high jump. He didn't run a distance race until winter track season of 2009-2010, his sophomore year, and then ran cross country for the first time as a junior. With him at the forefront, Reagan finished 5th in the NCHSAA 4A state meet in cross country, 6th in indoor track, and 2nd in outdoor track. Craig will be headed to NC State this fall, where it seems like he still has improvement ahead of him.
Wesley Frazier won three individual titles for the second straight year at the NCISAA 3A state championship.
Frazier, a junior, finished the spring season ranked 5th in the country in the 1600/mile, 2nd in the country in the 3200/2-mile, and 4th in the nation in the 5000. For good measure, she also ranked 4th in the state in the 800, and anchored the Ravenscroft distance medley relay to a state-leading time and #12 national ranking. Wesley helped lead her Ravenscroft team to a second-place finish in the NCISAA 3A state championship this spring. She will certainly be a major recruiting target next year as a senior, and fans of the sport look forward to watching her continued improvement.