Through the rain and the mud, the Chapel Hill boys dominated two races, while the girls' competition was much closer.
There are two things about the Greensboro Invitational that make it very different from most invitationals. First, the Hagan Stone course starts at one location and finishes in a completely different place, with a long stretch of woods in between them; that means spectators really only get to see one phase of the race (start, middle, or end). Second, the pace of the meet is very quick, and so most people choose one spot and stay there. Our photographer stayed at the finish line, and got some great shots there, but that means we don't have anything on the start or middle of the races. Still, the finish-line shots are dramatic enough to be worth viewing all on their own, so enjoy!
After the long slog through the rain and mud, there were still three runners in contention for the win when they came aroundd the lake and headed to the finish. Philip Hall (Terry Sanford) was able to out-kick Clayton Wilson (Greensboro Day) for the win, clocking 16:13.75 (a good time given the conditions). David Cedillo (Brookville VA) trailed slightly, and he was followed by a small break to the next group. That group was led by Chapel Hill teammates Tima Karginov and Chris Reeder, starting a flood of Tigers in black that would signal a dominant team win.
It looks like Anna McBride (Davie) let someone else set the pace, and then unleashed her well-known kick to take the win in 19:13.50. The early leader could have been Gabby Maudiere (Grimsley) or Tristin Van Ord (Chapel Hill), who finished second and third, respectively. Then came two more Grimsley girls, followed by a trio of Carrboro runners. That meant the team battle came down to those two squads and their 4-5 runners; it was Carrboro's depth (even without Alexa Phillips) that carried the day.
Gilliam Hill (Western Alamance) emerged victorious in this race, pulling away to an 11-point win over Sam Williams (Bishop McGuinness). Next came Cal Meyers and Conor Honeycutt, leading their East Rowan teammates to the team win over A. L. Brown.
Kaitlin Phillips (Northern Guilford) came around the lake with a sizeable lead, and maintained it to the finish, winning by 9 seconds in 20:06.14. Carly Kreber (Bishop McGuinness) lead the chase pack, with two more girls close behind her: Samantha Francis (Rustburg VA) and Michaela Williams (Northern Nash). Kreber's performance was strong enough to lead her Villain squad to the team title over Northwood.