A great season for NC boys continues as Bakri Abushouk writes himself into the state record books and the national rankings.
(Photos, Videos, Results)
Boys Race of Champions
Bakri Abushouk (Cary) was North Carolina's star in this race, running tough in the incredibly fast lead group until fading ever so slightly up the last hill. That still resulted in a PR and state-leading time of 15:03.3 (the leaders ran 14:43!) for Abushouk, which shakes out as US #7 after a busy weekend around the country. The Broughton boys also ran well in this race, placing 6th against a strong field that contained 6 of the top 25 teams in the country and averaging 16:00 in the process. Will Roberson led them with a 25th-place finish, and freshman star Jeremy Brown followed that by coming in 46th (they were only 19 seconds apart). Although the pace was brutally quick up front, the thickness of the field (EVERYONE within 10 seconds of each other 800 meters into the race) made it very difficult to pass, and so the results in the middle of the race were not as impressive. Nonetheless, kudos to Dalton Nickel and Ian Milder (Mount Tabor, 36th and 54th), who both fought through the crowd to break 16 minutes. Between 15:51 and 16:51, there were 114 finishers, a rate of almost 2 per second!
Girls Race of Champions
Megan Sullivan ran an aggressive and courageous race (as did her Broughton teammates), staying in the top 5 until she faded late in the race. That left Sydney Foreman (Ardrey Kell) as the top finisher for the Tar Heel State, placing 15th in 18:06.6. Just behind her was the Cardinal Gibbons duo of Mary Grace Doggett and Sophie Ebihara, who finished 18th and 19th, respectively. Maura McDonnell was 27th, leading her Green Hope teammates to an 8th place finish overall, the best for any North Carolina squad. Sullivan and Kayla Montgomery (Mount Tabor) were the only other NC girls to break 19 minutes, both of them finishing in the top 40 in a race of nearly 200. In the final team scores, Cardinal Gibbons was 11th and Ardrey Kell 20th.
Boys Seeded Invitational
Tom Nobles (Green Hope) ran very well in this race, finishing 5th with a PR of 15:59.2. Close behind was John Crossley (West Carteret), also clocking a PR with his 16:02.7. Pinecrest had the best team result, with their clos pack bringing them a 3rd-place finish despite not having anyone in the top 20 individually.
Girls Seeded Invitational
Emily Pettis (Millbrook) was the top North Carolinian in the race by virtue of her 9th-place finish, and she helped lead her team to a third-place finish overall. Teammate Ashley Starnes ended up in 14th, just ahead of Bridgette Harrell (East Forsyth). Blake Dodge (West Carteret) ran an aggressive race, taking the lead in the middle and holding it to the base of the final hill before struggling to the finish with what seemed like a muscle cramp.
Boys Independent Schools
This was Colin Godwin's race from start to finish, as he took control after the initial surge down the hill and steadily pulled away to a nearly 1-minute advantage. Jon Luke Watts (Columbia Academy) finished second, while Ryan Speer (North Raleigh Christian) came in third. Godwin was able to clock an impressive 15:17 despite running alone on a course torn up by thousands of runners during the course of the long day. He didn't just bring home the individual title, either; he was joined by Josh Mitchell in the top 10, leading to a Cary Academy team victory.
Girls Independent Schools
After running in second for roughly the first half of the race, Emma Astrike-Davis took the lead and held on for the individual title. Two Ravenscroft runners were closing on her at the end: Maddy Ringenbach and Chloe Mikles both broke 20 minutes, leading their team to the overall title (Cary Academy was second).