A meet under the lights, a charity event for a worthy remembrance, and an ultra-competitive race; what more could you want?
Before discussing the 2-mile races that will be held at Reagan, you should know that the meet also features a 5K run on the track for charity. The Dash for Doobie celebrates the life of former Reagan runner Nick Doub, who was killed in a single-car accident in January of 2011. Nick was a loved part of the Reagan community and especially the cross country team, upon whose members he left a lasting impact. I knew Nick's older brother, Andrew, and also his parents; they are a wonderful family that has overcome more than their share of adversity and tragedy, and Nick's positive attitude was a common characteristic among all of them. The student-led project to organize the Dash for Doobie reflects the best of what high school athletes can accomplish, and also the essential spirit of the Doub family. I hope many of you that are in the general Winston-Salem area will come out and support the event on Friday night. And if you do, you will also get treated to some very special races as an added benefit!
Originally conceived as preparation for Foot Locker South (the track mimics the flat, fast conditions at the start of the race), the Reagan Two-Mile is on the verge of becoming a major event all by itself. At least one state-championship team considered coming to this event as its season-ending experience, without any plans to go to a post-season meet, and that sort of sums up the experience. Coach Catton has done a great job of publicizing the meet through his extensive network in the coaching ranks, and the result is a field that is stacked with incredible talent. The meet has a fantastic atmosphere, between "under the lights" setting and the electric racing, and it has produced some staggering performances the past few years.
It is important to note that this is an open event, unsanctioned by the NCHSAA, as the National Federation does not recognize any events that come after the official state championship; for this reason, all runners are competing unattached, cannot wear their school uniforms, and cannot be transported to the meet by their coaches (although coaches can come separately and be spectators).
(Information, meet history)
(Compiled by a Reagan parent)
Boys Seeded Two-Mile
Here is everything you need to know about this race, distilled into one fact: six of the seven boys' state champions from North Carolina, plus the top two from the South Carolina 4A race, will be competing in this event (the only one missing is the NCISAA 1A champion, Connor Jones). Of course, the headliner is Bakri Abushouk (Cary), who is up to #14 in the MileSplit National Rankings this week; he has great track speed and could threaten Craig Engel's meet record of 9:03 if the pacing is right. His only loss this season was to Colin Godwin (Cary Academy), and if Godwin is back to full strength he is an excellent two-miler (9:26 PR). Trevor Sleight (Carolina Day) has the top returning 3200 time in North Carolina after his 9:22 in the spring, and he ran 9:29 here last year (look out for Sleight, as he has been keying on Foot Locker South all year and has yet to really cut loose in a race). Tony Morales and Zach Langston (Lexington SC) went 1-2 in their state championship race; Morales clocked 14:54 this fall (on a VERY fast course) and 9:32 last spring, while Langston put up a 4:15 during the outdoor season to go with his 15:04 this fall. Broughton's William Roberson and Asher Smith-Rose both went under 9:30 during track season, while Allen Lawrence (Broughton) and Ben Huffman (Providence Day) were in the low 9:40's. The wild-card in this race is Tanis Baldwin (East Henderson), who had a huge breathrough last weekend and could ride that momentum to a strong time Saturday. How strong is the field? Mihret Coulter (Holly Springs) ran 9:41 last spring and he is currently listed in the second heat!
Girls Seeded Two-Mile
For whatever reason, the girls' race has never attracted quite the same level of participation as the boys' race here, but there is still some remarkable talent in the race. There are four girls that broke 11:20 for 3200 last spring, led by Teresa Enright (Green Hope). Kayla Montgomery (Mount Tabor), Mattie Blue (Broughton), and 3A state champ Mary Grace Doggett (Cardinal Gibbons) are all within eight seconds of Enright in terms of PR's. Tori Churchill (Grimsley) wasn't far behind, having run 11:25 during outdoor season. Three runners in this field have had breakout cross country seasons, and you can throw out their previous times when you factor them into this race: Gabby Merritt (Greensboro Day), Emily Grimes (Reagan), and Callie Wynn (West Davidson) could all legitimately PR in this race. Finally, add in three top-flight freshmen in Melanie Hussey (Marvin Ridge) and Grimsley teammates Blair Ramsey and Gabby Maudiere, and you have a recipe for a very competitive race.
Reagan High School isn't the easiest place to get to, but you can enter your address into this Google Maps page to get directions from your location.