Aaron Templeton had the day's fastest time in the Open Varsity race, a great start to a great day at McAlpine Park.
(Results, Photos, Videos)
Sydney Foreman (Ardrey Kell) and Darby Middlebrook (Watauga) took the early lead from the gun. By the time they reached the mile mark, they were joined by Laura Miller (JL Mann SC). The chase pack was led by Pegah Kamrani (East Chapel Hill), and then came a Brooke Gordon (TC Roberson), Tristin Van Ord (Chapel Hill), and several other runners.
After the runners had crested the hill and as they approached the 2-mile mark, it was Middlebrook and Miller in the lead. Foreman was in the second group with Kamrani and Gordon, while a third pack had formed with Evie Tate (Spartanburg SC), Georgia Compton (Wando SC), Van Ord, and Kayla Montgomery (Mount Tabor).
Miller made a move on the back side of the lake, and she was able to maintain a small lead all the way to the finish, running 17:47. Middlebrook finished in 17:54, while Kamrani stayed strong through the final mile to put up a big PR at 18:03. Gordon edged Foreman to round out the top 5, while Tate, Montgomery, Van Ord, and Compton all raced each other hard to get to the line within 10 seconds of each other. While the top 9 runners all finished in a stretched-out line, the real pack action began with 12th place, when Grace Morken led a Carrboro charge that included four girls in eight places, bringing them the team title. Carrboro became the first North Carolina girls' team to place four runners under 19 minutes this season.
Bakri Abushouk (Cary) had to squeeze by a large and fast-starting field from the left side of the initial straightaway, but once he got to the front he was gone. At the mile mark he already had a 20m lead over a large first group. By the halfway point, the lead was growing, while the main group had broken into two chase packs. Wyatt Maxey (Providence), Dalton Nickel (Mount Tabor), and Ryan Brady (East Chapel Hill) were running together in the first, while Gabe Haughey (Daniel SC), Abel Tecle (Cary), and Connor McCormack (Spring Valley) led the second (with Chapel Hill teammates Tima Karginov and Chris Reeder lurking there). At this point, Cary was in great team position, with Chapel Hill and Mount Tabor also looking strong.
At the finish, Abushouk was in firm control and just running for time; he ended up at 15:05. Maxey won the three-way duel with his group, and he was followed closely by Nickel and Brady. Ian Milder (Mount Tabor), who was trailing the second chase pack at the midpoint, passed several runners over the final mile to get into 5th place overall. Haughey was barely able to hold off Karginov and Reeder, who keyed a late-rising Chapel Hill team to the win over second-place Cary.
At the midpoint, Mashburn and Feiten had begun to pull away, leaving McBride running somewhat by herself. She was still well ahead of the next group, though, where Bishop and Sullivan were joined by Larissa Wood and Anna Vess of AC Reynolds.
Mashburn even pulled away from her teammate during the final mile, finishing with an excellent time of 17:56. Feiten ran 18:04 for second, while McBride held onto third place. Bishop and Sullivan paced Providence to a big team win by finishing 4th and 5th, with teammate Kayla Glova 7th. Hardin Valley rode their 1-2 finish to second place overall, while Wood, returning to her performances of last fall, led AC Reynolds to third place with three girls in the top 11.
Hardin Valley's Aaron Templeton wasted no time in getting to the front, and then steadily pulled away from the rest of the field. By the mile mark he was already in command of the race, while a pack of four was chasing him: Adam Bernard and Roderick Bowman of Daniel Boone (TN), Patrick Sheehan (Lake Norman), and Mike Lantz (Blythewood).
Just past the midpoint, Templeton had completely broken contact with the runners behind him, who has themselves broken into two pairs. Sheehan and Bernard were well-positioned to battle for second and third, while Lantz and Bowman were pushing each other to stay in the top 5.
Templeton rocketed around the final mile and closed out the race with a time of 14:54, which is in the top 40 all-time at McAlpine and spectacular for a solo run. Barnard held off Sheehan, both of them under 15:40, while Lachlan Dickie (Hardin Valley) rose from seemingly out of nowhere over the final mile to finish fourth, helping his team to win the race. Lantz rounded out the top 5, followed by Bowman and a third Daniel Boone runner, Chad Whitehead; that put Boone into second place overall.
More photos and information soon!
More photos and information soon!